The following are the steps you must follow and information you must know in order to organize an event involving an off-campus artist, performer, or speaker:
- Contract Regulations
- Inviting Artists, Performers, or Speakers to Campus
- Reserving a Venue
- Requesting Funds
- Wesleyan Contract Request
- Payment Process
Wesleyan University's administration must authorize any contractual relationship entered into by student groups. Recognized student organizations are legally part of the University, and as such, all contract agreements into which student organizations enter (such as performance contracts, service contracts, etc.) must first be reviewed, approved, and then signed by the Director or Assistant Director of Student Activities and Leadership Development (SALD).
Only the Director or Assistant Director of Student Activities and Leadership Development's signature is valid with regard to contract enforcement. Therefore, contracts that bear the signature of a student or an advisor representing the University will not be honored. Contracts above a certain amount must be signed by the Vice President for Student Affairs. However, they will always first be reviewed by the Office of Student Activities & Leadership Development.
Contracts can be very complex. These are things you should know:
- Verbal agreements are almost always considered legally binding.
- Written agreements are always considered legally binding.
- Any student group holding a musical event or hiring a speaker must supply a contract and Wesleyan's W-9 Form for the performer to the SALD office, in compliance with the regulations pertaining to Wesleyan as a non-profit institution.
- READ YOUR CONTRACT IN FULL! If after reviewing a contract you realize that you may have trouble meeting some of its requirements, DO NOT HAVE IT SIGNED! While most parts of a contract are non-negotiable, some parts may be. For more info about this, talk to the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development.
- Do not forget, a student should never sign a contract. The contract must be read, approved, and signed by the Director or Assistant Director of Student Activities and Leadership Development.
There is a stack of brochures from agents of speakers, artists, and/or performers in the WSA Office where you can find ideas, addresses and phone numbers of agents. If you can't seem to find the agent you need or what you're looking for, the staff in the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) or Student Activities and Leadership Development (SALD) office may be able to help you. Agents are often aware of the clients of other agents and may be able to set you in the right direction.
If the artist, speaker, or performer you are interested in is not one that would be likely to have an agent, there are a variety of ways you might go about getting in touch with them. You may be able to reach them through their place of employment (e.g. a university) or through an organization they are involved with (e.g. a record label). If it is someone who has been published, you can write or call their publisher. If it is a group that has recorded an album, you can write or call their recording company (though they will probably have an agent if they are popular). If you know the area in which they live, you may find their number listed in the phone book. Student groups can make these calls, so long as they pertain to the group, on the WSA phone.
Visit the SALD Office to make sure that events are not overbooked for the date your event is scheduled. Also, ask the WSA Administrator what your group's smartkey budget number is. You will need to give this number to the SALD staff in order to finalize your reservation of a facility, arrange for equipment, and to ensure, if necessary, that Physical Plant and/or Public Safety support services will be available.
Be sure to confirm your reservation for the facility where you want to hold your event. If the facility is one where extensive forms need to be filled out, make sure you complete and return the form to the SALD Office before it is due, otherwise you may lose your reservation. Call the artist/speaker/performer and confirm the time and date. At the event make sure that members of your group are present to collect admission, prevent eating, drinking, and/or smoking in facilities where it is not permitted, and to keep aisles clear for safety reasons.
Once a student group has a proposed date, time and place for an event, and knows that the artist/speaker/performer is available to come to Wesleyan at that time, the group can apply to the Student Budget Committee (SBC) or the Concert Committee (CC) for funding or can seek alternative sources of funding.
- The SBC needs as much information as possible with regard to your event; you should know the details of your event even before a contract has been made up and signed. When applying for funding, the SBC needs to know all projected costs for the program, including ticketing, public safety charges, custodial services, AV costs, the cost of the speaker or artist, and extraneous charges incurred by the speaker/artist such as transportation, guest house and food costs. DO NOT COMMIT TO AN ARTIST, SPEAKER OR PERFORMER IF YOU HAVE NOT YET BEEN GRANTED FUNDS FROM THE SBC OR AN ALTERNATIVE SOURCE!
- After the group has submitted an application for funding, the SBC discusses it and will inform the group if they have received any allocations. This will happen within a week of meeting with the SBC. Once you have received funding and you begin to negotiate a contract, it is important that you stay in close communication with the SBC, the WSA administrator and/or the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development. All contracts should be sent directly to the SALD Office — never to a student box.
Student group leaders are responsible for negotiating contracts with artists, performers or speakers. You should begin negotiations at least four to six weeks before the event. Please be advised that Wesleyan University's administration MUST supervise any contractual relationship in which the University becomes obligated whether it is from an outside agency or a university contract. You can list your name as the contact person on the contract, but you need the Director or Assistant Director of SALD listed as the reviewing agent or official signer. Please consult with SALD (x2467) regarding this issue. Please note: Failing to acquire Wesleyan University consent will delay or prevent payment to the artist. We have provided the following questions to assist you with your negotiations.
IMPORTANT: It is important to know an artists/performers/speakers citizenship status during negotiations and prior to signing a contract with them. The easiest was to collect this information is by having the artist complete Wesleyan's W-9. Activity conducted by a Non US Citizen in the US (and subsequent payments made) are highly regulated. Deviation could jeopardize an individual's current visa status and/or future travel to the US, as well as impose immigration and IRS fines and fees on the University.
Regardless of whether the payment is made to an agent or the artist, disclosure of citizenship and corresponding proof of work eligibility of the artist must be submitted to Wesleyan prior ro signing a contract. Please contact Christine Rodrigue (x3502) with questions regarding work eligibility requirements for Non US Citizen.
Questions to ask your artist/speaker/performer:
- What is their address and social security number or the federal ID number of the organization they are working with? This information is necessary because of IRS regulations pertaining to Wesleyan as a non-profit institution. You will need this information in order to have a check made out to the artist. Artists or performers who are not US Citizens will need to provide proof of work eliginility prior to signing a contract.
- Will they need to stay overnight?
- How do they plan to get here? (car? bus? train? plane?)
- Do they have any special dietary needs/restrictions?
- Does their contract contain any clauses or riders for which you will have to make arrangements ahead of time (such as ordering food, sound or light equipment)?
If the artist/speaker/performer does not have a contract of their own, you will need a Wesleyan Contract drawn up. To do so, you must schedule an appointment with a staff member in the Office of Student Activities at least four to six weeks before your event. They will provide the Contract Request Form for you to complete. You also need to have your speaker complete Wesleyan's W-9 form. Below are the appropriate forms. Or, you can find both forms online through the WSA website or in either office. Complete the paperwork and then schedule an appointment with either staff person.
To request payment for an artist, speaker or performer you must complete a Financial Request Form and attach the signed contract. Speakers and performers may now scan and email or fax their contract. Contracts should be faxed to 860.685.2461 or emailed to the event coordinator. Both the contract and Financial Request Form should be submitted to the WSA Office. After both documents have been reviewed and funds have been verified, the forms will be processed for payment. It normally takes 7 to 14 business days for a university check to be cut or longer if further information is needed.
To request payment for a vendor, rental facility, etc., submit the original invoice along with a Financial Request Form to WSA Office.