Guidelines Purpose:
These are the guidelines for requesting permission for the use of outdoor spaces on the MSU-Bozeman campus and the requirements that must be followed if permission is granted. 

Outdoor spaces covered under this policy:

  • Hannon Lawn
  • Lewis and Clark Field
  • Quads
  • Romney Oval and Flagpole Area
  • SUB Mall (area outside Bookstore entrance of SUB)
  • South side of SUB (near bus loop)
  • Centennial Mall
  • Wally Byam Park
  • Roskie Beach
  • Areas outside any academic or campus building
  • Any campus parking lots (if using for an activity)
  • Sidewalks and green spaces (such as chalk or staking objects)
  • Any area outside Dining Halls, Residence Halls or Academic Buildings

The practice fields and other areas used for sports and recreation activities are scheduled and managed by the Office of Sports Facilities and are subject to the sport Facilities Policy Manual. See, Section 310.00.

Any potential user, including campus departments, organizations and off-campus entities must complete the Outdoor Program Request Form to hold an event or program, including tabling, in an outdoor area of campus for the areas listed above. Please note that if you simply want to put out sandwich boards you do not need to fill out an Outdoor Program Request. This form is for APPROVAL AND NOTIFICATION purposes only; it does not serve as a reservation. Use of space is on a first-come, first-served basis. Registered Student Organizations, On-Campus Departments, and community non-profits or for-profits are eligible to fill out an Outdoor Program Request Form if the purpose of the activity serves our educational mission.  Any events/programs hosted in an on campus outdoor space without prior approval may be shut down immediately.

Please note the Office of Student Engagement (OSE) oversees the Outdoor Program request form and facilitates the approval process between University Police, Facilities Services, Sports Facilities, Auxiliary Services, and University Culinary Services.   OSE does not approve requests.

All requests must be submitted at least two (2) full weeks before the event date.   If a request is submitted outside of that time frame, OSE cannot guarantee approval of the event.

Outdoor Areas
Please view the MSU campus map and provide a DETAILED description of the area that you are requesting to use for your event/program in the online form.

Commercial Activity

Advertising or promoting a for-profit entity is not permitted by MSU policyCatapalooza is an annual event sponsored by the university that allows the opportunity for-profits to promote their businesses at the event.  Any for profit entity must apply for and be approved as a Catapalooza vendor. Only approved Catapalooza vendors may participate in the Catapalooza event. 

For profit entities may post flyers on any of the three outdoor public bulletin boards.

For-profit entities may promote internship or employment opportunities on outdoor spaces. We strongly encourage you to partner with the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success (AYCSS) in these instances. You can find their contact information on the Allen Yarnell Center of Student Success page

Nonprofit Activity 
The use of outdoor space is limited to awareness of the cause/issue, volunteer, internships or employment opportunities. No fundraising or solicitation of charitable contribution is allowed. See Section 300.00, Facilities Use Manual.

Selling Items
The sale of ANY ITEMS in outdoor areas on the MSU campus is expressly forbidden.  See MSU Policy 400.00 Sales/Promotions and Commercial Activities. Please see next section for exceptions to this rule. 

Fundraising and Solicitation of Charitable Contributions

University facilities and areas may not be used to raise money or to solicit contributions for any individual or organization, except an affiliated group (which includes registered student organizations) raising money for the support of that group, the MSU Alumni Foundation, and any group approved under the annual University Sponsored Charitable Giving Campaign.  See section 300.00, Facilities Use Manual

Raising funds for nonprofit or for-profit organizations in outside spaces is not allowed.  The exchange of money is NOT allowed in outdoor spaces for this purpose, however, promoting a fundraiser (handing out flyers, etc.) IS allowed.

Affiliated groups who wish to raise funds for a nonprofit organization, may reserve an information table or space in the Strand Union Building to sell items for fundraising purposes by contacting Conference and Event Services ($5 fee to fundraise or sell in the SUB).

Affiliated group fundraising for the purpose of raising funds for their organization will be limited in outdoor spaces.  All fundraising activities in outdoor spaces must be approved via the Outdoor Program Request process and must be consistent with the following requirements:

  • No exchange of goods/items (including raffle tickets or event tickets) will be permitted in outdoor areas.
  • Only activity-based fundraising is allowed in outdoor areas.  For example, dunk tank, pie a professor, etc. 
  • Groups must work with the Office of Student Engagement to establish safe handling of money and transactions.
  • Organizations will be limited to TWO fundraising days per semester in outdoor areas.

Sports Facilities
A number of outdoor areas on the MSU Campus are managed by Sports Facilities and therefore have a separate reservation process.  If your event ALSO includes one of these areas, please make a preliminary reservation with Sports Facilitates FIRST before submitting this form.  The Outdoor Program Request form does NOT reserve Sports Facilities areas.  Please view the list of these areas on the Sports Facilities Policy Manual.  Your group can make a reservation by calling 406-994-7117.

No programming will be allowed during common hour exams. Prior to submitting this form, please plan to check the Common Hour exam schedule.  Please plan to check the MSU Calendar to determine if other large campus events are taking place during your proposed date and time:

Food or Beverages
If your outdoor event includes serving food or beverages, (members outside of your organization), you are required to have a Temporary Event Food Permit.  When you submit your Outdoor Program Request, the University Sanitarian will be notified if the event includes food.  They will reach out to you regarding the process.

If you plan to use MSU Culinary Services, you DO NOT need a Temporary Event Food Permit.  However, you must follow all MSU Catering requirements and order items in a timely manner.

For the purposes of protecting public health, all food sold and provided on campus must be supplied by MSU Culinary Services. Under no circumstance may food be sold or catered by any vendor or organization other than MSU Culinary Services. If it is an open to the public event, no matter the size, you must order from University Catering. ONLY EXCEPTION:

  • ASMSU and registered student organizations may be allowed to use off-campus food donated from a local retailer/grocer (TEVA category #1 foods ONLY) upon pre-approval. This same consideration may be extended to non-profit organizations on a case by case basis. Donated food cannot be requested or obtained from a MSU contracted food vendor, or their competitors (Coke, Pepsi, Sysco, FSA, Ghost Town Coffee, etc).

NOTE:  The MSU campus is considered to be a “closed” campus.  By definition, this means that any individual, or vendor, located outside of the boundaries of the MSU campus, is not permitted to sell food, or beverage, items, due to contractual requirements of the State.  Temporary Event Food Permits may be required, and the Sanitarian must be notified with any requests to offer food or beverage, to the public, on the MSU campus.  Selling of food, in outdoor areas, is prohibited with the exception of the Culinary Services Division (CSD), of Auxiliary Services.

To request alcohol at an event, please visit:  You must submit this online form at least three weeks before the event.

Amplified Sound
Amplified Sound is generally not allowed during regular instructional and business hours. Use of amplified sound during the noon hour or other regular instructional and business hours requires written approval. See Section 230.00, paragraph 1 of the Facilities Use Manual.

Please be considerate of other campus guests, particularly with music lyrics containing profanity.

If your event involves any amplified sound, you must make a special request to the Office of Student Engagement, with final approval from the Vice President of Student Success.  Your special request MUST be submitted NO LATER than two weeks before your event.  This process includes notification of impacted buildings and if concerns from impacted faculty or staff are brought to our attention, we will consider this in the final approval. If approved, please be considerate of other campus guests, particularly with music lyrics containing profanity.

Please contact the MSU Office of Student Engagement if your event is cancelled after receiving outdoor program event approval.

Freedom of Expression Policy Compliance
If engaged in activities covered under the Freedom of Expression policy, the participants must comply with that policy. See, Freedom of Expression Policy

Weapons Policy
All persons on campus, including any users of outdoor spaces, must comply with the University Weapons Policy.

Environmental Impact

Any event/program that requires digging holes or driving any stakes into the ground (no matter how shallow) must request this on the online Outdoor Program Request Form.  The use of stakes, poles or any device inserted into the ground may require utility locates to insure no damage occurs to underground utilities. Fees may be associated with this service for non-affiliated MSU groups.   After approval of event request, the requester is responsible for ordering a locate by calling 811 no less than 1 week before the start of the event.  Failure to provide locates may result in cancellation of that portion of your event

If you plan to use chalk/spray chalk on sidewalks/streets for your event or for advertising purposes you must mark this on the online form.  Type of chalk/spray chalk is subject to approval.  Event/program organizers may be subject to clean-up fees. Typically, messaging is limited to one “panel” per message. (A panel is defined as the shape defined by the score lines). Messaging must be at least 20’ from building entrances.  Experience has shown that chalking to the side of the walks allows your message to last longer and be more visible during higher traffic times.

Any litter your event produces will be your responsibility to pick-up immediately following your event/program. Event/program organizers may be subject to clean-up fees if this is not followed.  This includes any litter as a result of handing out flyers/pamphlets.  Providing additional garbage/recycling receptacles may be necessary and will be provided at the cost of the event organizer.

Engaging Public in Activities
If your outdoor program/activity intends to engage the public in an activity (example, rock climbing wall, dunk tank, etc.) you must specify that in the Outdoor Program Request.  Risk factors will be taken into consideration by the event approvers.

Event organizers are responsible for any damages that occur as a result of the event and may be required to provide proof of insurance if not affiliated with the university.

If your event requires use of electricity, you must indicate on the form. A fused power strip and any electrical cords must be provided by the event organizer at its expense. All cords must be secured to reduce tripping hazards. 

Traffic (Foot or Vehicle) Impeded 
Generally your event should NOT impede the (foot or vehicle). Your event should not be held on a street unless authorized to do so. If the nature of your event may interfere in any way with the normal flow of traffic, it may be approved if the university can take appropriate steps to assure that it will not adversely affect the university functions. No activities may take place within 50 feet from any entrance or exit doors. Your event should not be held on a street unless authorized to do so.

If your event involves a race that would take place on a street running through or along campus must receive a Race Permit through the City of Bozeman:  Races utilizing sidewalks and crosswalks are still required to submit a Race Permit through the City of Bozeman. You must also be prepared to share a link or upload the race map in the form.

Parking Lot Use
If your event will include use of an MSU-controlled parking lot, you must work with Parking Services (994-1723) to reserve the area.  Charges may apply.

Emergency Services
If your event will require emergency services (UPD Police Officers, City of Bozeman Police Officers, security, AMR, etc.) Contact UPD at 994-2121 to facilitate your request WELL in advance of your event and BEFORE filling out this form.  Typically races and large events will need this.

MSU is committed to identifying, preventing, and eliminating physical and/or programmatic barriers that interfere with participants’ access and benefit from University programs, facilities and resources. We strive for equal and full participation in all facilities, services, programs and events and encourages student groups to offer barrier free access to all their events and activities by taking proactive measures to provide disability related modifications.  Please contact the Office of Disability Services with questions:


Contact information: Please contact, MSU Office of Student Engagement, if you have any questions or concerns at [email protected] or 406-994-2933.