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Food at Events
In ALL cases where food is served at an event, it will be the responsibility of the organization to clean up the reserved space immediately after the event, dispose of any trash (remove it from the room), and clean off all table space. The event room must be left in the condition it was found. Failure to clean up the area could result in charges assessed to the organization and/or a loss of room usage privileges for a period of time.

REFRESHMENTS: Items such as soda, chips and cookies, that are non-perishable and do not require heating or cooling. May be used for events with 100 people or less OR organizations members ONLY

PIZZA/SANDWICHES/TAKEOUT: Off-campus deliveries to campus for an organization meeting. May be used for events with 50 people or less OR organizations members ONLY

POTLUCK: Organization members bring a prepared food item to share with the group. May be used for events with 50 people or less OR organizations members ONLY

ON-CAMPUS CATERING:Rebecca’s Café is the preferred on-campus caterer. To order, please visit their website,
>> Chartwells and Varano are other on-campus catering available for use and/or required in certain event spaces.

OFF-CAMPUS CATERING:Any external vendor that does not meet the characteristics of Refreshments, Takeout, or Potluck. Please meet with your CSI Program Manager to discuss contracts and timelines. May be used for events with NU community members and/or non-NU guests.


To Use a Non-Northeastern University Caterer
The Center Student Involvement defines catering as a:

  • Non-university caterers/restaurants/food vendors who provide food on property owned or leased by Northeastern University.
  • A food vendor coming onto University property to prepare, deliver, transport, set out, and/or serve food for meetings, conferences, or special occasions.
  • Licensed, insured, and approved caterers providing food and beverage service on-campus.

The Center for Student Involvement does not consider the following catering:

  • Meals and other food served in an off-campus restaurant and/or catering premise where a University-sponsored program or event is being held (example: a group of University students/guests eating at a restaurant or hosting an event at a facility that includes food and the use of the facility).
  • Potlucks or pizza, sandwiches, or simple refreshments delivered to campus or picked up by the student organization

>> Rebecca’s Catering, Varano and Chartwell vendors are the preferred caterers for Northeastern University. CSI highly recommends that all student organizations having catered food for meetings, conferences, or special occasions, work with these vendors to complete their food needs.

You are required to complete an Event Registration Request on Engage and gain CSI Program Manager approval BEFORE placing a catering order with on-campus or off-campus caterers. 

If your student organization is planning on having catered food at your event from an off-campus vendor that meets the catering criteria above, you need to complete the following steps before an order is placed:

ORDERS $5,000.00 AND UNDER: Your CSI Program Manager, SABO staff member, Advisor, or a member of your organization can place a catering order without the need of a Northeastern signed contract if the following criteria’s are met:

  • The vendor provided only an invoice that does not require a signature to complete the order.
  • The vendor does not require a signed contract or has legal terms requiring a signature.
  • You have completed an Event Registration Request, and gained your CSI Program Manager’s approval. 

ORDERS $5,000 AND OVER: All outside vendors who perform catering services at or above the $5,000.00 mark must have a signed Northeastern agreement, a current insurance certificate (including liquor liability for full-service caterers) and all necessary paperwork on file with CSI. The following criteria must be met before your event can happen:

  • You have completed an Event Registration Request and gain CSI Program Manager approval.
  • A pre-contract form and all necessary paperwork from the vendor has been completed via the instructions provided to you by your CSI Program Manager.


Student organizations interested in hosting a BBQ must reserve outdoor space through the CSI Scheduling Office. BBQs are permitted in the following locations:

  • Centennial Common
  • Krentzman Quad
  • Library Quad
  • Robinson Quad
  • Speare Quad 
  • West Village Quad
  • Stetson East + West Quad
  • Any other location must receive approval from the Center for Student Involvement

Once the space is reserved, contact your CSI Program Manager and work with them to seek approval, to confirm the location, and to complete the Event Registration Request on Engage. The form must be completed at least 2 weeks prior to your BBQ.

Note: Completing the Event Registration Request does not guarantee a grill reservation. Dining Services will send a confirmation to the contact person(s) once a grill has been reserved.

Food order payment options include University-issued budget numbers. Security deposit payment options include cash or University-issued budget numbers. Full payment is requested upon pickup. You will be charged $15 for a grilling and preparation fee.



Alcohol at Events
Meet with your CSI Program Manager to discuss the policies for events at which alcoholic beverages are served. Ensure your organization is prepared for all necessary components before spending funds.

The legal drinking age in Massachusetts is 21. Northeastern University and your organization, including its executive board members are subject to disciplinary action and liabilities if existing rules and procedures are not followed. Student organizations planning events must ensure the laws of the Commonwealth are followed by:

  • Choosing not to serve alcohol at an event
  • Choosing to serve alcohol, but restrict admission to those 21 years or older
  • Choosing to serve alcohol without restricting admission, but limiting the consumption of alcohol to those 21 years or older

General Guidelines
The following guidelines apply to all student group events where alcohol will be served.


  • Alcohol is prohibited at all Northeastern undergraduate student organization recruiting, orientation, and initiation activities
  • Alcohol is NOT permitted in AfterHOURS
  • Commercial distribution, promotion, and giveaways of alcohol and related products are prohibited
  • Alcohol cannot be provided as an award or prize
  • Funding or sponsorship by the manufacturers, distributors, or sellers of alcohol are prohibited

Sale and Use:

  • All bars must be a ‘cash bar’
  • ‘Open bars’ are prohibited at all student organization sponsored events
  • Activity Fee funds may NOT be used for the purchase of alcohol
  • Alcohol may not be included as part of the cost of a student organization’s event admission fee

Safe Consumption:

  • Food (substantial snacks) and non-alcoholic beverages, other than water, must be provided for free, or sold at a price less than the charge for alcoholic beverages
  • Only one alcoholic beverage per person can be served at a time
  • Serving of all alcoholic beverages must end 30 minutes prior the scheduled end time of the event

Host Responsibilities:

  • At least one member of the hosting student organization must be present and remain sober throughout the entire event to assist event staff in enforcing all rules and procedures
  • The organization’s faculty/staff Advisor (or their designee) is encouraged to be present at events where alcohol is being served, and to assist staff in enforcing all rules and procedures

Advertising On-Campus OR Off-Campus Events with Alcohol:

  • Advertisements for Northeastern-sponsored events with alcohol must focus on the theme or social function, rather than the alcohol service
  • Advertisements may NOT include any reference to alcohol (examples of this marketing: “Beer Blast” or “Booze Cruise”)
  • Advertising and promotion of events with alcohol must be completely under the control of the sponsoring Northeastern organization
  • No posting, announcements, promotions, or ticket sales may be made, placed, or distributed on Northeastern-owned or leased property for non-Northeastern sponsored events at which alcohol will be served or consumed

On Campus Events with Alcohol: In addition to the preceding general guidelines for events with alcohol, the following policies apply to all on-campus student organization events at which alcohol will be served:

  • Events must be Northeastern only
  • Admission to the event will be limited to those producing legal proof of age, such as a passport, valid driver’s license, or a Registry of Motor Vehicles Liquor ID
  • NUPD Detail Officer(s) are required to be present at all student organization events where alcohol is served
  • There may be restrictions on where alcohol can be consumed
  • Rebecca’s Cafe must cater the event and will do so according to the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Boston pertaining to the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Only Rebecca’s staff may load-in or remove alcoholic beverages to and from any event
  • The event may require extra Event Management staffing (applicable only when hosting an event in a space staffed by Event Management)
  • Rebecca’s staff will not serve persons believed to be intoxicated
  • CSC Operations staff and/or NUPD Detail Officer will advise and assist hosts at the function. However, the hosts must conduct the function in accordance with the Commonwealth laws, local ordinances, and Northeastern regulations
  • The NUPD Detail Officer, Rebecca’s, or CSC Operations staff have the authority to shut down an event if, in their opinion, laws or policies are being violated. Rebecca’s reserves the right to stop serving alcohol if it is felt that problems may arise if alcohol continues to be served

Off-Campus Events with Alcohol:
Any event sponsored by a student organization places responsibility on Northeastern as well as the organization. Therefore, events held off-campus that involve alcohol require careful planning and strict regulation for your protection. Northeastern requires that each individual organization be protected from legal liability for the serving of alcohol. All organizations must use off-campus facilities and vendors that hold and accept liquor liability. Many local hotels, clubs, and harbor cruise companies meet these standards. Contact your CSI Program Manager for guidance or questions.

In addition to the preceding guidelines and general guidelines for events with alcohol, the following procedures apply to all off-campus student organization events at which alcohol will be served:

  • A third-party vendor (hotel, night club, etc.) must be contracted
  • All third-party vendors must sign a Northeastern contract detailing the alcohol service, adequate liquor liability coverage, and liability related to the serving of alcohol is placed on the vendor (this contract must be reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel prior to contracting for services)
  • Alcoholic beverages may only be brought into or removed from an event by vendor personnel

This page was last modified on March 3rd, 2022 at 1:02 pm