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University Center

Division of Student Life and Enrollment

Reservation Services

The following are useful tips and information items that we feel will make your event or activity in the University Center easier to plan and more successful. They are based on frequent questions and/or concerns that users have expressed over the years. Please do not hesitate to contact any of the staff of the University Center to request assistance with any event you are planning.

The Facility Reservationist may be contacted at 423/439-4342, by e-mail at  

Please use the following links to jump directly to the information you are seeking:

  1. Operating/Inclement Weather Hours
  2. Scheduling
  3. Event Planning
  4. Basic Room Services
  5. Event Times
  6. Food Service
  7. Decorations
  8. Cleanup
  9. Raffles, Drawings, etc.
  10. Commercial Product or Service Sales
  11. Last Minute Requests
  12. Overtime Labor
  13. Posting of Signs and Banners
  14. Parking

hard hat

Operating Fall/Spring Hours: 

7 a.m. - 12 midnight, Monday - Sunday

Operating Summer Hours:



Inclement Weather:

1. If the University is operating under a Closure and the announcement is made the day before, The D. P. Culp will work to be open from 7:00 am - 9:00 pm.

2. If the University is operating under a Closure and the announcement is made the morning of, The D. P. Culp will work to be open from 7:00 am - 9:00 pm.

3. If the University is operating under a morning delay and the announcement is made the day before, The D. P. Culp will work to be open from 7:00 am - 9:00 pm.

4. If the University is operating under a morning delay and the announcement is made the morning of, The D. P. Culp will work to be open from 7:00 am - 9:00 pm.

5. If the University is operating under a Closure and the announcement is made midday, The D. P. Culp will work to stay open until 9:00 pm.

With special prior arrangements, small student groups may remain in the building with their advisor, sponsor, or other full-time University employee who accepts full responsibility for the safety and security of the individuals and the building. Advance arrangements must be made with the Facility Reservationist so that Public Safety, Physical Plant, and other appropriate departments can be notified.

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The University Center is heavily scheduled. Reserve space(s) for your activity as early as possible. We accept reservations for campus affiliated events up to 12-18 months ahead. The most heavily scheduled months are September, October, March, and April. It is not uncommon to have all available dates for the Ballroom and Auditorium booked several months before each of these heavy periods.

University users have priority in the use of the University Center. However, a confirmed reservation, even if for a non-university related group, will not be cancelled once they have been accepted in order to make room for another event.

It will be best for you to call the office or email the Reservationist to check on room availability before sending in a facility request form. This will prevent our office and you playing phone tag when the facility you request on the form is not available, as is often the case.

University Policy stipulates that the Facility Reservationist must receive all relevant reservation information at least 5 working days in advance of the event. This includes all room setup details and technical service needs. Requests received without this 5-day notice may not be accommodated.

You may pick up a Facility Reservation Request Forms in the University Center Office or print one off of the University Center website under forms, click:

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Event Planning

The secret to a successful event is careful and complete planning. The staff of the University Center is available to assist you in planning your event. In essence, the planning process is one in which you carefully 'walk through' every detail of the event and discuss it with the Facility Reservationist. Everything from picking the date to insure that other campus events do not conflict with it, to planning seating/table layout, to making the arrangements to remove your decorations after the event must be discussed and accommodated.

The technical needs of your event must also be carefully planned and scheduled. The University Center has a variety of audio/visual equipment available to support your activity but it must be scheduled, set-up, and perhaps operated by our staff. Last minute changes are particularly difficult to accommodate.

In some cases, where equipment is needed that is not available through the University Center, the user may need to rent the equipment elsewhere and have it delivered to the facility. A document is provided on the web that will assist you in identifying and planning your technical needs.

You can find it, on the Document and Forms page.

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Basic Room Services

Basic facility services of the University Center include:

  • Building access during the standard operating hours:
  • Access to all public food service facilities
  • Access to reserved facilities during contracted hours
  • A clean-comfortable facility
  • Chairs, tables, staging arranged as requested
  • Use of sound reinforcement systems
  • Use of special lighting systems
  • Use of audio/visual equipment
  • Access to local phone, campus video, and campus digital network services
  • Full food catering services
  • Support of the Technical Services staff if needed
  • Public Safety support if needed
  • Physical Plant support if needed
  • Information Technology support if needed

* Use of some of these services may incur special fees.

The University Center floor plans can be found by clicking the following link: Floor plans.

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Event Times

Indicate actual start and end times on the reservation request, not the time when you want the doors open or when you plan to arrive for setup. The actual event times you indicate are those on which all publicly announced schedules, room setups, A/V setups, food service setups, and other times for service will be based.

Remember that any use of the building outside of regular operating hours will incur overtime charges. This means you should schedule your event to end in time for your attendees to exit the building before closing, we suggest ending your event no later than 11:45 p.m. 

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Food Service

Food service, of any type, must be arranged through the contracted University Food Service unless the catered amount is less than $300.00. If catered amount is less than 300.00, you may utilize any licensed food vendor. If this is the case, the user is responsible for any and all clean up/trash removal.

Food Service may be contacted at 423/439-4389

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You may decorate the area reserved for your event, within the parameters set by University Center policy. These parameters include that no tape, tacks, staples, etc. may be used on any painted or wood surface. Nothing may be hung from the ceiling without the permission and assistance of University Center staff. Use of water for fountains, confetti for decorations, glitter open flame candles and other such problematic materials need to be discussed and approved by the University Center staff. Advance delivery of decoration items must be arranged with the University Center staff. Decorations not removed at the conclusion of the event will be disposed of unless prior arrangements are made with the Reservationist.

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Normal custodial clean-up services after an event are provided as a basic service of the building. However excessive cleanup and/or debris removal may result in additional charges. We suggest that if your event causes excessive trash and debris in an area, you pick up the material and properly dispose of it. If you need cleaning equipment, you may ask the building manager for assistance. If you have concerns about possible cleanup problems with your event - ask!

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Raffles, Drawings, etc.

Under State of Tennessee law, drawings, raffles, and other such games of chance are illegal and cannot be conducted in the University Center. Even if the activity is to benefit a charity or non-profit organization, it is still illegal.

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Commercial Product or Service Sales

Commercial product or service sales and/or demonstrations may not occur in public hallways, booths, and other such high traffic areas. They may only occur within reservable space. The only exception to this is when the sales process is done under contract with a student organization and with members of the organization present at the location at all times.

A full text of this policy is available from the SORC.

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Last Minute Requests

Proper planning, in almost all cases, negates the need for last minute changes and requests. In many cases, due to the scheduling of equipment and staff, last minute room and equipment changes or service requests cannot be accommodated. However, every effort will be made to insure your event or activity is successful; thus if a last minute request can be accommodated, it will be. There will possibly be additional fees charged as a result of the last minute request.

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Overtime Labor

When it is necessary for staff to work outside their normally scheduled hours, overtime labor charges will be assessed the sponsor. The rates are clearly indicated in the Facility Use Fee Schedule, which can be found on our Information and Forms page by clicking here.

This policy applies to all University staff - custodians, public safety, technical services, building management, etc.

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Posting of Signs & Banners

Signs and posters, no larger than 11" x 17", pertaining to university affiliated events and/or community non-profit organizations may be posted only on bulletin boards within the University Center after being reviewed and stamped in the University Center Office.

Exterior banners may be hung off the 3rd floor cafeteria balcony only by campus groups and must meet safety criteria. It is suggested that you discuss construction methods for exterior banners with University Center staff before attempting to build one.

Easels for use in displaying signs are available in the University Center Office.

Under no circumstances should any materials be posted on glass, wood, metal, or painted surfaces within the building.

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Parking around the University Center can sometimes be difficult. All campus visitors are requested to stop by the Public Safety Office and pick up a free visitor parking hangtag. This will allow them to park anywhere on campus except for fire lanes and handicapped spaces.

Around the building there are several lots specially designated for faculty/staff and for students, these are accessible to those individuals with the appropriate campus parking sticker or a visitor hangtag.

There is a small, metered lot near the building that is useful for short term parking.

Please contact us with any questions or comments you may have.

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