How to invite Performers, Speakers, and other guests to campus

All students interested in bringing performers, lecturers, or speakers to campus are required to attend the financial manager training and the contract training sessions held by Student Involvement. 

Individuals or student groups may decide to bring artists or lecturers to campus. No matter what funding the student group is using, they must submit a contract request form through WesNest at least 6 weeks before the date of engagement. Wesleyan University does not allow artists or lecturers to come to campus without a completed contract.

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:

  1. Contract Request Policy
  2. Inviting Artists, Performers, or Speakers to Campus
  3. Reserving a Venue
  4. Requesting Funds
  5. Negotiations
  6. Wesleyan Contract Request Process
  7. Video Tutorials

Contract Request Policy

Student Involvement oversees contractual negotiations for WSA student-sponsored events that feature independent contractors. Independent contractors are any visiting artists, speakers, and performers, paid or unpaid, who provide onetime services to the Wesleyan community. All independent contractors who provide services to the University must sign a Wesleyan contract prior to the date of the engagement. Students must request a Wesleyan University Contract through the student organization portal, WesNest. Students can log into their portal and navigate to WesNest to submit a Contract Request Form. All Contract Request Forms should be submitted at least 6 (six) weeks before the date of the engagement.
The following guidelines must be followed to ensure successful completion of the Contract Request Process:

  1. No independent contractors may perform or provide services for students on Wesleyan University grounds if a contract has not been signed by the authorized signatory before the engagement date.
  2. Students cannot act as the authorized signatory representing Wesleyan University for any contracts on campus.
  3. Students should not agree to or attempt to enter into any agreements, settlements, or arrangements of any kind with independent contractors, whether verbal or written, without consulting an authorized Wesleyan University administrator beforehand.
  4. Students cannot host or bring independent contractors to Wesleyan University grounds without an authorized contract. If this guideline is not adhered to, the student will be responsible for payment and/or recommended to meet with the Community Standards Board.
  5. Students must comply with Student Involvement's standard contract request procedures upon receiving funds from the WSA Student Budget Committee (SBC) in order to successfully host activities or events featuring independent contractors. Students must also comply with the policies and procedures of collaborating departments involved in the contract process including, but not limited to, Center for the Arts (CFA), Residential Life office,  and the Resource Center.
  6. The Contract Request Form cannot be submitted until all funding and all venue accommodations have been secured and all negotiations between independent contractor, student, and Wesleyan University have been completed. Negotiations include but are not limited to: securing all outlined items in tech and hospitality riders, agreed upon honorarium, venue adjustments, performance duration, etc.
  7. Students must stay in contact with the independent contractor who must submit all necessary contract-related documents to the Student Involvement adminstrator.
  8. For any contracts less than $5,000, only Wesleyan University standard contracts will be used.
  9. Retroactive payments will not be made to independent contractors who have neglected to sign a Wesleyan University Contract prior to providing services for the Wesleyan community.
  10. Independent contractors who are non-Connecticut state residents may be subject to a 6.99% CT Athletes and Entertainers tax.
  11. Federal Non-Resident Aliens (non-US Citizens) may be subject to a 30% income tax depending on their country of residence’s tax treaty with the United States of America.
a. All Federal Non-Resident Alien contractors must fill out the appropriate tax documentation according to the Wesleyan University Finance Office procedures and policies.

Contract Request Dates and Timelines:
Student Involvement must adhere to the timelines of key administrative departments who provide support with tax preparation, payment, and processing of contracts. The contract request guidelines noted above explain the expectations and rules for bringing independent contractors who are sponsored or cosponsored by WSA Student Organizations to Wesleyan’s campus. Adherence to the following dates and deadlines will ensure that all relevant parties have the opportunity to review all uploaded contract documentation, tax forms, and immigration materials, so that payment is made in a timely manner. Failure to follow these deadlines will slow down the contract request process and may prohibit an independent contractor from coming to campus.

  • Students are encouraged to attend the contract training sessions announced each term to provide you with further knowledge.

Inviting Artists, Performers, or Speakers to Campus

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). Many artists/speakers also have websites.

Reserving a Venue

Your first step in event planning is to secure a venue.  Make sure to reserve your space using WesNest via your group's page. You will need a reservation number in order to submit a Contract Request in WesNest.

More information about reserving a space.

Requesting Funds

Once a student group has a proposed date, time and place for an event, and knows that the artist/speaker is available to come to Wesleyan at that time, the group can apply to the Student Budget Committee (SBC) 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, lodging, 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 Fiscal Management Coordinator and/or the Office of Student Involvement adminstrator. All contracts should be sent directly to the Office of Student Involvement — never to a student box.


Student group leaders are responsible for negotiating contracts with artists, performers, or speakers. However, you cannot commit anything until you are guaranteed funding.  Otherwise you may be held personally responsible for the artist's payment.  You should begin negotiations at least 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 a Staff member from Student Involvement listed as the reviewing agent or official signer. 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 CITIZENSHIP INFORMATION: 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 to 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:

  1. 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 eligibility prior to signing a contract.
  2. Will they need to stay overnight?
  3. How do they plan to get here (car, bus, train, plane)?
  4. Do they have any special dietary needs/restrictions?
  5. 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)?

Wesleyan Contract Request Process

Per the Contract Request Policy noted above, you must complete the Contract Request Form for any non-wesleyan artist - even if they are performing for free.

If you are interested in bringing an independent contractor to campus to provide services for your student organization, you are required to review the Contract Request PowerPoint and pass the quiz with a score of 80 or higher. You will have up to 3 attempts to pass the CR quiz. The presentation and quiz are on Moodle.

Below are video tutorials on how to submit contract requests.  If you have any questions, students are highly encouraged to email Asking questions and being trained before trying to submit a contract is the best way to ensure that your event will not need to be delayed.

Contract Request Guidelines are listed in the Student Handbook for your reference. It is highly recommended that students review this material prior to beginning the contract process.

Video Tutorials