These guidelines for Dances (on and off campus) are provided by the Student Activities Office (SAO) under the direction of the Office of Student Affairs to represent the University’s expectations for how these events should be conducted.  Deviations to these guidelines can only be made after consultation and with approval from the Director of Student Centers, Activities and Events or designee.  Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in the loss of a student group’s dance privileges.  Additional guidelines for residence hall sponsored dances (established by Residential Life), tent dances, off-campus dances, and dances taking place in the Dahnke Ballroom in the Duncan Student Center follow.

Planning a Dance

As for any other event, when planning a dance, you will want to start with an SAO360 request, which must be submitted no less than 2 weeks prior to your dance (at least 3 weeks prior for dances held in Dahnke Ballroom). In addition to the Facilities/Room/Location Module, you also need to complete the Dance Module. Dance spaces book up fast – if desired, you can complete the Facilities Module months in advance to secure the date and location. As the event gets closer, complete another SAO360 request with the dance details.

For more information on planning a dance, contact the SAO Main Office to schedule a meeting with Alicia Bates, Assistant Director of Student Programming.

General Guidelines for All Dances

When planning a dance, it is necessary for leaders to ensure that the focus of the event will be on group-wide activities rather than on private gatherings. Events which allow students to travel freely between the event and private gatherings over the course of the evening will not be approved. 

  • A minimum of $3.00 per person should be spent on food and non-alcoholic beverages for both on and off-campus dances to ensure there is sufficient food for the nature of the event. Exceptions can be made through SAO if the theme of the dance lends itself to less expensive food.
  • One uniformed NDPD officer, or ND Usher if designated by NDPD, at the event.  
  • Entry point should have a club officer (or, for residence halls, dance commissioner or hall staff member) checking names against a list of ticket-holders for admittance.
  • All participants must be present at the dance no later than 30 minutes after the official start time of the dance.  
  • No readmission is allowed once a student has left the dance.
  • All contracts (DJs, Venue, Photographer, etc.) must be executed PRIOR to the event.  Vendors will not receive payment if SAO does not receive a signed contract prior to the event. 
  • All dances must end by 1am. 
  • Dances can only be held on Friday or Saturday evenings, unless permission is granted by the Director of Student Centers, Activities, and Events or designee.

Guidelines for Residence Hall Dances (determined by the Office of Residential Life)

  • Because these events are intended to involve the majority of the residence hall/club community, residents or members who plan not to attend the dance or residents who have left the dance early are not permitted to have parties during or after the dance.
  • Guests should arrive to join or pick up residents no more than 75 minutes prior to the beginning of the dance
  • For residence hall tent dances:
    • Dance participants should NOT be allowed back into rooms once the dance has begun.
    • Re-entry into halls by dance participants is allowed only for restroom access. A hall staff member, security officer should monitor the entrance to the hall.
    • First floor of hall should have ample male and female restrooms.
    • Consider limiting the number of participants allowed entry into the dance at one time (no more than three at once, etc.)
    • Hall staff, club officers, and/or security officer should ensure that access to basement and upper floors is restricted for dance participants.
  • If the resident leaves before the dance is over, he or she may return to their residence hall room. Guests will not be permitted back into the hall, except in residence hall’s 24 hour lounge.

Guidelines for Tent Dances

  • Suitable out-of-hall location for inclement weather can be secured, or the dance will be cancelled if there is inclement weather.
  • Student group or residence hall must demonstrate that equipment has been purchased or contracted (tent with side flaps, snow fencing, fans, etc.).
  • Dance area must be secured by snow-fencing and/or natural borders (wall of a building, etc.). Snow-fencing is free from the University Landscape Services; student group must pay the labor cost for set-up and tear-down.
  • Bands can play music until midnight. Recorded music (DJ’s, playlists, etc.) can be played until 1:00 AM.
  • Students attending the dance should wear attire appropriate for the theme and formality of the event.

Guidelines for Off-Campus Formals

All policies above apply. In addition, charter transportation must be used unless exception approved by the Director of Student Centers, Activities, and Events or designee. Any student group or residence hall interested in hosting a dance off-campus must contact the SAO Main Office to schedule a meeting with Assistant Director for Student Programming Alicia Bates.

Guidelines for Dances Taking Place in the Dahnke Ballroom in Duncan Student Center

  • Dance Planning Meeting
    1. SAO staff will meet with student dance coordinators prior to the dance (typically two weeks in advance) to walk through the following Dahnke Ballroom Dance Protocols, and determine final logistics for the dance.
    2. The SAO staff member will send follow up email sharing Dahnke Ballroom Dance Protocols, ccing the group’s advisor or rector. 
  • Student Group Staff Support
    Each student group hosting a dance in Dahnke must have at least one advisor or University Representative present for the entire dance who can serve as point person for SAO staff managing the event. 
  • Additional SAO Staff Support
    1. When the size of the dance is under 500, the dance will typically be managed by one SAO staff member (usually Duncan Student Center staff)
    2. When the size of the dance is over 500, at least one other SAO staff member will assist with staffing the event.  Decisions on SAO staffing levels will be made in consultation with the Director for Student Centers, Activities, and Events.
  • Check-In Procedures
    1. A check-in window must be established.  This is typically 30 minutes, but can be extended to up to an hour for larger dances.  Students must be in line by the end of the check-in window in order to be permitted to enter the dance.
    2. Check-in is required to take place on the first floor for all non-residence hall dances.
    3. Check-in for single residence hall dances can take place on either the first or the seventh floor.  The check-in location will be determined at the dance planning meeting with SAO staff and cannot be changed on the day of the dance.
    4. Check-in for double residence hall dances is required to take place on the first floor.
  • Wristbands                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wristbands at check-in are required for all dances to ensure students all dance attendees pass through check-in stations.  Wristbands are provided free of charge by SAO. 
  • Elevators and Stairs
    1. Sponsoring student groups must make every effort to prevent attendees to jump in elevators in Duncan Student Center, as jumping will stop the elevator.  If an elevator is disabled due to jumping by attendees, the sponsoring student group will be fined $1500 to cover the cost of the elevator repair. 
    2. SAO staff will put up signs in the sign holders in every elevator being used for the dance that says “WARNING: This elevator is under surveillance.  Jumping will disable the elevator, resulting in an entrapment of up to 2+ hours and a fine.”
    3. The sponsoring student group must provide 2 monitors (volunteer students or staff) to circulate in each 7th floor elevator lobbies where the restroom and stairwell entrances are. 
    4. The sponsoring student group must provide “drivers” for each elevator, responsible for sharing that those riding are not to jump and to try to stop any jump they see potentially happening, according to the following protocols:
         a) Non residence hall student groups must pay for an usher to staff the elevator from the beginning to the end of the dance, at a rate of $10* per hour. 
         b) Residence Halls may choose to pay for an usher to staff each elevator from the beginning to the end of the dance at $10* an hour, OR to station members of hall staff as the driver of each elevator for the first hour and last hour of the dance.

         c) For large or complex dances (typically over 500 guests, though other factors to be considered in this definition), the student group must provide staff (either volunteer students or staff, or pay for ushers) to monitor the service stairwells to ensure guests are not entering or exiting through these. 
    * If Office of Crowd Control is not able to supply enough ushers to meet the need, then Monterrey security guards will be hired at a rate of $25 per hour. 
  • Intoxicated Guests
    1. Students and their guests are not permitted to bring in any beverages from the outside (including water bottles).  If students or guests are seen with beverages determined to be alcoholic inside the dance, they will be required to leave the dance.
    2. Overintoxicated students or guests will not be permitted to enter or remain at the dance.  SAO staff will work with the student group advisor or University Representative to ensure the student’s safety and well-being, with final decisions made by SAO staff in consultation with NDPD.  
  • DJ use of SAO and Dahnke Ballroom Equipment
    1. Student group procured DJs are able to use SAO and Dahnke Ballroom sound and light equipment. 
    2. If the DJ does not respect the sound and light equipment (e.g. maxing out levels on PA speakers and sound board, playing with light presets in Duncan controller, etc.), they will be given a warning by SAO staff managing the event.  Should the behavior continue during that dance or a subsequent dance, the DJ may not be permitted to continue to serve as a DJ in SAO facilities.