Guidelines and Policies
Updated September 2023
Persons and groups who use facilities managed by Gulf Park Event Services (Customer)
are expected to abide by these Guidelines and Policies, other University regulations,
as well as state and federal laws. Gulf Park Event Services reserves the right to
revise these policies without notice. Please refer to our website at www.usm.edu/gulf-park-event-services
for complete information on the Gulf Park facilities including policies, procedures,
services, and fees.
- The University of Southern Mississippi offers all persons equal access to educational,
programmatic and employment opportunities without regard to age, sex, sexual orientation,
disability, pregnancy, gender identity, genetic information, religion, race, color,
national origin and/or veteran status pursuant to applicate state and federal law.
- The customer is responsible for notifying Event Services of any special ADA accommodations
needed at least one (1) week before the event.
- Space is reserved based on blocks of time. Spaces are available to be booked as followed:
- Less than 4 hours
- Greater than 4 hours
- The University does not provide complimentary storage space for events held on campus.
Please contact Event Services to reserve a storage space if required.
- Use of tobacco in any form, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and e-cigarettes/vaping
devices, is prohibited in or on all University-owned, operated, or leased property
- Parking passes will be provided for external attendees parking on campus when applicable.
Passes are $2 per pass, and will be included in any customer agreement. Parking requests
must be submitted in writing to Event Services no later than two weeks before the
event date. Reserved parking is based on availability and may incur fees depending
on the number of spots requested.
- Arrangements for shipping/storage of materials before an event must be made one month
in advance by contact Event Services.
- Event Services offers linens for rent for internal indoor events when Southern Miss
Catering is not present. Any external event or any event offering catering through
Southern Miss Catering must secure linens through Southern Miss Catering or a third-party
- Event Services does not offer linens for vendor booths or tables.
RESERVATION OF SPACE:
- Space requests are only accepted via space request forms submitted to Event Services
through the Event Services website.
- Space requests must be submitted at least 1 week prior to the event date. Event requests
received within 1 week of event may be denied.
- All events are subject to review to determine if the nature of the event is suitable
for the facility before confirmation. The University reserves the right to reject
any requests or condition the use of its facilities on such terms as it deems appropriate.
- Once approved, the customer will receive a quote and Customer Agreement with any other
applicable forms via email. A signed Agreement along with a deposit is due within
five days of receipt to confirm a reservation. Space may be released, and reservation
canceled if not received within the allotted time.
- For requests made within 14 days of an event, a signed agreement and full payment
are due within 24 hours of receiving a confirmation email.
- Event Services reserves the right to relocate any meeting or event based on the needs
of the University or other facility patrons. If an event room is changed, the listed
event contact on the reservation will be notified via email.
- Reservation requests will be processed in the order they are received. University
recurring events, functions, recruiting events, and campus closures take priority
over all other meetings or events.
- Reservation/Meeting space in academic classrooms cannot be confirmed until the academic
class schedule room assignments for the upcoming semester have been finalized.
- Rearrangement, removal, or addition of furnishings or equipment to the facilities
will require pre-approval of the Event Services Staff.
- Tape, tacks, and nails will not be allowed on walls, floors, or carpet in the facilities.
- Decorations are not permitted to be attached in any manner to the trees or buildings
on the Gulf Park Campus.
- Any open flame is strictly prohibited on campus property.
- Parking and/or driving on any green space, sidewalk, or lawn is strictly prohibited.
- Please see Outside Space Policy below for general policies regarding outdoor event
- A fee will be assessed based on space if a reservation cancellation is not received
in advance. Depending on the space, up to 2 months' notice may be required. Any deposit
paid will be used as a credit toward late cancellation fees.
- CLASSROOM AND OUTDOOR SPACE: Cancellations made 14 days or more in advance of the
event date will receive a 100% refund. Cancellations made within 8-14 days to the
event will incur a 50% fee. Cancellations made within seven days of the event will
be subject to pay the full amount.
- ALL OTHER EVENT SPACE: Cancellations made 60 days or more in advance of the event
date will receive a 100% refund. Cancellations made within 31-59 days will incur a
50% fee. Cancellations made within 15-30 days to the event will incur a 75% fee. Cancellations
made within 14 days of the event will be subject to pay the full amount.
- FORCE MAJEURE: The ability to execute this Agreement by either party may be excused
by the occurrence of events beyond the control of the parties, including but not limited
to hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, fires, power outages, etc., as well as any government
intervention, staff disputes and strikes, civil disorders, terrorism, or other emergencies.
Upon the declaration of a force majeure event neither party shall bear liability to
the other. The parties agree to work together in good faith to discuss alternative
dates for the event.
FEES & PAYMENT:
- DEPOSIT: A deposit of $50 or 25% (whichever is greater) of total bill will be required
to confirm an event reservation and will serve as a credit toward the final bill.
This deposit is non-refundable if the meeting or event is canceled. The deposit does
not apply to University or Student Organization events.
- CUSTODIAL FEE: A cleaning fee will be applied to all applicable events. This fee varies
based on event types and sizes. An additional fee may be charged to any event leaving
excessive garbage, spills, etc.
- SERVICE FEE: Applies to any services that fall outside of the regular scope of the
Event Services Staff.
- CHANGE-OVER FEE: Any change or rearrangement made to an existing set or fixed seating
- RESOURCE FEE: Applies to any Meeting or Event that falls outside of the Vision, Mission,
and Values of the University.
- RENTAL FEE: Standard rental fees vary by event space. Regardless of event type, a
rental fee will be incurred by any organization that should charge admission or registration
fees to attendees.
- OVERTIME FEE: If an event requires a facility to operate outside of standard business
hours (8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday), overtime fees will be assessed on a per
hour basis. This fee includes the set-up and tear-down times required.
- INVOICE: Balance of invoiced items and fees are due one week in advance of the scheduled
- Customer shall be responsible for payment of any and all costs and expenses (including
reasonable attorney’s fees) incurred by the University of Southern Mississippi in
enforcing any of Customer’s obligations under this Agreement, including but not limited
to Customer’s payment and indemnification obligations.
CUSTOMER CRITERIA AND EVENT CLASSIFICATION:
- Please see the Customer Criteria and Event Classification document on our website
for the latest information.
USM STUDENT ORGANIZATION, DEPARTMENT OR HOSTED EVENTS:
- Departments may need to provide a budget string prior to the event being confirmed.
- Student Organizations, Departments, and Hosted Events are subject to standard service
and equipment fees.
- Departments sponsoring events may be responsible for any fees not collected from external
THEFT AND DAMAGES:
- Customer agrees to be responsible for the costs incurred and paid by USM to repair
or remediate any damage to USM facilities, including furniture, fixtures, equipment,
or other property used by the customer for its event. USM will assume no financial
responsibility for any damaged or stolen personal property provided by the customer,
customer guests, or outside vendors.
- Rooms with fixed seating/connected tables are not to be rearranged or moved. Groups
who move these spaces will be responsible for any fees assessed to reconnect/reset
FOOD & BEVERAGE:
- Southern Miss Catering is the preferred caterer on the USM Gulf Park Campus.
- Events taking place within Hardy Hall during regular operating hours are required
to use Southern Miss Catering.
- Snacks and refreshments may be provided by the customer if the total cost, including
food and paper goods, is less than $150 and comply with the University snack policy.
Customers must notify Event Services that Food and Beverage will be served to allow
for adequate set-up and clean-up time.
- The Event Services Staff must approve any event serving alcohol, and the customer
agrees to use Southern Miss Catering for all Food and Beverage needs solely.
- Internet and Technical Services can be provided through iTech. Please request all
services at least one (1) week before your event. Additional fees may be applied if
the event is outside of regular business hours and if additional equipment is required.
- Customer may not load software onto computers or attempt to circumvent computer security.
Losses incurred because of this violation will be charged to the customer.
- The University is not responsible for the loss of data to viruses or computer/electronic
- Fleming Education Center Auditorium events are required to use a third-party vendor
of the University's choosing for all AV needs. Fees vary based on the event.
- Event Services does not supply HDMI adapters for projectors. Please check with a member
of Event Services staff to see if your computer will require an adapter. All projectors
require a VGA connection.
- EXTERNAL EVENTS: The University of Southern Mississippi reserves the right to review
and monitor the usage of the University name, marks, and logos. Contact the Office
of University Communications to obtain approval for usage.
- INTERNAL EVENTS: The Office of University Communications requests that all units allow
UC to review communication materials before they are printed. Written approval is
required for distribution of internal marketing.
UNIVERSITY POLICE DEPARTMENT:
- In the event of an emergency, please contact UPD at 601.266.4986
- University Police will lock and unlock the facilities.
- In the event of a fire alarm, the individual/organization should not attempt to turn
off controls. Alarms ring directly to the fire department.
- If UPD is required for an event, the fee is $38 per hour with a 3-hour minimum charge.
- Funding for some university facilities was partially provided by Harrison County and
its municipalities. Facility rental fees may be waived for any city, county, or government
agency located in Harrison County in these facilities only. To be eligible for this
waiver, 50% or more of the organizations operating budget must be provided by the
cities or county. Please note, while rental fees may be eligible for a waiver, service
fees, and equipment fees still apply.
INSURANCE AND INDEMNIFICATION:
- Insurance may be required for the use of any facility on the Gulf Park Campus. Insurance
requirements do not apply to student or departmental events.
- If applicable, the customer agrees to (a) obtain Event Insurance with at least one
(1) million dollars in liability insurance coverage with "The University of Southern
Mississippi" as a named insured and (b) provide certification of insurance at least
two weeks before the event. Events that do not comply with this requirement are at
risk of the scheduled event being canceled.
- Customer and its officers shall indemnify, defend, save and hold harmless, protect,
and exonerate the State of Mississippi, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions
of Higher Learning, USM, and each of their officers, agents, employees, and representatives,
both in their official and in their individual capacities, from and against all claims,
demands, liabilities, suits, actions, damages, losses and costs of every kind and
nature whatsoever, including, without limitation, court costs, investigative fees
and expenses and attorney’s fees, arising out of or caused by Customer and its’ partners,
principals, officers, agents, employees or representatives related to actions or inactions
of Customer, its partners, principals, officers, agents, employees and representatives.
In USM’s sole discretion, Customer may be allowed to control the defense of any such
claim, suit, etc., but in such event, Customer shall use legal counsel acceptable
to USM. Customer shall be solely responsible for all costs and/or expenses associated
with such defense and USM shall be entitled to participate in said defense. Customer
shall not settle any claim, suits, etc., without USM’s written concurrence, which
concurrence USM shall not unreasonably withhold.
OUTDOOR SPACE POLICY:
- While outside space is available at no cost to registered student organizations and
departments for organized programs and activities and official university functions
(functions and programs sponsored by University departments and student organizations),
in order to preserve this space for the free use of students and other members of
the University family, external groups will be assessed an minimum fee of $100 to
reserve outdoor areas.
- A rain site is recommended for all outdoor events to prepare for inclement weather.
However, outdoor events are not guaranteed a rain site. Because space designated as
the rain site for an outdoor event is taken offline and is unavailable for other clients,
rain site reservations will be assessed a non-refundable fee of 25% of the regular
rate of the requested space – regardless of whether the space is used. Notice of the
decision to utilize or cancel the reserved rain site must be given 24 hours prior
to the event start time or additional fees may apply.
- Customer is responsible for any items or furniture used for an outdoor event. These
items are not supplied by, or the responsibility of, The University of Southern Mississippi.
At the end of the event, all items must be removed on the same day as the event.
- Outdoor amplified sound must be approved during academic class hours.
- Glass containers and litter are prohibited.
- Vehicles are prohibited on green spaces, lawns, and sidewalks.
- No markings or disturbing landscape.
- Vending and solicitation must be approved through Event Services.
- Placement of tents, stages, or any equipment requires approval and guidance from Physical
- Tents/tables may not obstruct or block the sidewalks or pathways. Tents or other items
requiring stakes require the supervision/approval of Event Services.
- Access available only during normal hours of operation.
- Any food related to your event must be ordered, coordinated and/or approved by Eagle
Dining in accordance with the University Snack Policy.
- Lawn space may only be utilized for inflatables under the supervision/approval of
*The University of Southern Mississippi reserves the right to change these Guidelines
and Policies at any time without prior notice. In the event that any changes are made,
the revised Guidelines and Policies shall be posted on our website immediately. Please
check the latest information posted to inform yourself of any changes.