Skip to main content


Frederick Douglass Commons Policies

Access Policy

To unload and load supplies for events in Douglass Commons, the designated location is the loading dock off of Library Road. Please put on your hazard lights while at the dock.

Vehicles cannot remain at the loading dock during events.

Meeting Room Usage Policy

The meeting rooms in Douglass Commons can be reserved by departments and student organizations. Please place requests through Virtual EMS. Room reservations are listed on the room cards posted outside of each space. Rooms are also available for general access by the University of Rochester community whenever they are not reserved. Simply swipe your valid ID to unlock the door. 

Furniture must be returned to its proper location and rooms must be vacated before any reservations begin.

Please do not leave any personal items unattended in meeting rooms. Any items found will be collected and brought to the Common Connection lost and found.

Meditation Room Usage Policy

Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., the meditation room is open for individual prayer and meditation use. Outside of these hours, reservations can be placed for activities appropriate for a meditation room. 

When in the mediation room please:

  • Remove your shoes and place them in the cubbies inside the room
  • Silence all cell phones and electronic devices
  • Be respectful of other’s using the space at the same time you are

This is not a room for group work or conversations. No food or drink permitted.

Community Kitchen Policy

Wilson Commons Student Activities (WCSA) offers a unique opportunity to student groups and University departments to host cooking and food-based events in the newly opened Community Kitchen in Douglass Commons. The space features a:

  • Gas cooktop
  • Digital display oven
  • Commercial grade dishwasher
  • Collection of cooking supplies and equipment

With seating for 24, and conveniently located across from the Douglass Community Room, the space is the ideal location for hosting events and programs.

Reservation Process

Only recognized student clubs and organizations, or University departments, can reserve and use the Community Kitchen. The Community Kitchen is not to be used for lunch or as a break room for building staff.

The Community Kitchen is a closed space. To gain access for an event or drop-off, individuals can contact the building manager who will open the space for them. Building managers will only open the space for confirmed reservations and scheduled drop-offs.

The Community Kitchen should be reserved through EMS at least five days prior to the event. Student organizations can complete this process using their Virtual EMS contact. Staff and faculty can use Virtual EMS or fill out the Community Kitchen User Agreement Form for Departments. This reservation is tentative until approved by the assistant director of student life operations.

Student clubs and organizations must complete a CCC Event Registration form prior to reservation approval through their Campus Community Connection (CCC) organization page. University departments must complete a Community Kitchen User Agreement prior to reservation approval. 

Community Kitchen Training

A member (or members) of the student organization or University department must complete Community Kitchen Training to become an approved kitchen user prior to reservation approval. This individual(s) must be present during the entire duration of Community Kitchen use, including any setup, cleanup, or prep time. We recommend that multiple individuals complete the training.

Training includes a short quiz, administered at the end of the training. A passing grade, as determined by the assistant director of student life operations, must be achieved to complete the training and become an approved kitchen user.

The status of approved kitchen user is effective for one academic year. At the end of an academic year, all approved kitchen user statuses obtained the prior academic year are considered expired. Users wishing to use the space must attend a new kitchen training and complete the associated quiz. Exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the assistant director of student life operations.

The assistant director of student life operations, as well as Wilson Commons Student Activities, reserve the right to revoke any individual’s approved kitchen user designation at any time. 

Drop-off Procedures

If a drop-off of food or equipment is required prior to an event, individuals must coordinate with the assistant director of student life operations prior to reservation approval.

Food ingredients must be purchased and brought directly to the Community Kitchen. Food is not to be stored in other areas of campus, such as residence halls or other departments, and should not be stored off campus prior to the event.

Food stored in the Community Kitchen must be properly labeled with the date of the upcoming event and the group hosting the event. Labeling materials are provided in the Community Kitchen.

Additional equipment may be brought into the space after approval, based on the discretion of the assistant director of student life operations.

Food Safety Policies

The Community Kitchen is primarily to be used for hosting small gatherings of University students, staff, and/or faculty only. The Community Kitchen is to be used to make food that will be served and consumed in the kitchen. The Community Kitchen should NOT to be used for catering events in other spaces, catering prep, or making food that will be served outside of the kitchen.

If a Community Kitchen event is open to individuals outside of the University community, the group must obtain approval from the campus sanitarian and may be required to obtain a Temporary Food Permit, to be decided at the discretion of the campus sanitarian and the assistant director of student life operations.

All food brought into the Community Kitchen must come from a New York State-licensed food vendor. Food that does not come from a licensed vendor, including items grown in home or community gardens, is not permitted.

Any leftovers must be clearly labeled with the name of the organization or department and the date. Leftovers must be removed by the building’s closing time on the day of the reservation. The refrigerator and storage cabinets are cleaned on a weekly basis. Any perishable items left will be discarded unless clearly marked for an upcoming event.

A shared dry storage cupboard, designated for leftover non-perishables (spices, sugar, flour, oil, etc.), is available in the space. Groups that wish to leave items for others to use may do so, provided that the items are properly sealed and labeled with the date of opening. Items in this cupboard can be used by any group using the Community Kitchen, but availability is not guaranteed.

Cleaning Procedures

It is the responsibility of the sponsoring organization or department to leave the kitchen as clean, or cleaner, than they found it. 

At the end of the event, a building manager will complete a cleaning checklist with the individuals hosting the event. If the kitchen is found to be insufficiently cleaned or the group fails to check out with a building manager, the sponsoring organization or department will be subject to a $300 cleaning fee and may lose the privilege to use the kitchen in the future.

Any grease produced in the kitchen during cooking should be disposed of properly in the provided grease disposal container. This container is emptied periodically by building staff. If the container needs to be emptied, please contact the building manager. Grease should never be disposed of in either the sink or garbage disposal.

Of the two sinks available in the space, the larger may be used for washing and cleaning food and equipment. The smaller sink is designated for hand washing only.

Second Floor Lobby Policy

The second floor lobby can only be reserved in conjunction with use of the ballroom. The lobby is a public space and thoroughfare, so even when reserved for an event, users should expect that there will be through traffic in the space.

Richard Feldman Ballroom Policy

All AV, lights, and curtains in the ballroom can be accessed through the installed Crestron system. For assistance or issues with the Crestron system, please contact Event and Classroom Management (ECM) at (585) 275-9014.

The curtains in the ballroom are motorized and cannot be moved manually. When reserving the space you must communicate with ECM your need to have the curtains opened or closed. If during your event there is an unanticipated need to open or close the curtains, please use the Crestron system to open or close or contact the building manager at (585) 329-9093.

Tape cannot be used to affix anything to the walls or floor of the ballroom. If you will need to hang items, please contact the associate director of student life operations before your event to discuss your needs and available options. 

If you need stanchions, sign holders, arrow signs, or other items, please request them ahead of time using our Equipment Rental Request Form and contact the building manager on the day of the event to pick up these items by calling (585) 329-9093.

Furniture cannot be dragged in the space. If you must rearrange furniture at any time during your event, please lift and move the furniture. 

If an external vendor is used for food, furniture, AV, or any other services, someone from the sponsoring organization or department must be present for all setup and cleanup to ensure these policies are followed.

Fog machines can only be used in the Douglass Ballroom with prior approval by the associate director of student life operations. Their use requires the sponsoring organization to hire a fire marshal for the duration of the event at which the fog machine will be used.

Sponsoring organizations or departments are responsible for any damage that occurs during their reservation and any associated costs.

Priority for use of Douglass Spaces Policy

Meeting Rooms

The registrar can put classes relating to the Burgett Intercultural Center and Language Center into the meeting rooms. These classes will get first preference when reservations open before the process is open to other groups.

Green Room

The Green Room can be reserved through Virtual EMS, but reservation in the space can be bumped for performances in the ballroom that require the use of the Green Room.

Restrictions on Outside Rentals Policy

No outside rentals will be considered during the high demand time from spring break until the end of the academic year.