Brock University strives to strike a balance between providing space for meaningful, fun, engaging and inclusive activities, and ensuring that the potential for harm to students is low. The Student Event Risk Management and Approval (SERMA) process has been established to create an awareness of planning/safety issues and to protect both the attendees and the organizers of the event.
All students and student organizations must adhere to the SERMA process to use University resources and to conduct/promote events and activities as a student organization.
What is Risk Management?
Risk management is the process of planning, leading, organizing and controlling your activities to minimize risks, including injury or harm to students, event participants, or property.
Risk Management is your responsibility as a student organization. You are expected to plan your events in advance and to consider and understand all associated risks with your event and take steps to prevent or mitigate them. You are also responsible for ensuring you adhere to Brock University policies.
All events have some degree of risk associated with them. The purpose of this process is to outline requirements that will seek to minimize the level of risk for and to student events while also offering open, accessible, quality events, and to help you navigate Brock’s policies and processes and ensure your event has been well planned.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Student Event Risk Management Approval (SERMA) process applies to all Brock student(s) and student groups organizing events on or off campus, in-person or online.
“Event” means a scheduled activity, occurring on or off campus, in-person or online, that is organized by student(s) and has one or more of the following characteristics:
- sponsored or organized by a Brock University recognized student group
- makes use of University or BUSU resources such as rooms/spaces or student organization funds
As an example,
- club/group meetings are events as they are scheduled activities organized a Brock University recognized student group
- general social media campaigns and other non-scheduled activities/initiatives are not events and do not need to be approved through the SERMA process
All events must be approved prior to being promoted – including via social media, word-of-mouth, posters or other means of advertisement.
Failure to adhere to the SERMA process, including conducting events without approval or advertising events prior to approval, is a violation under the Student Code of Conduct.
To submit your event for approval you must have administrative access to your club or group page:
- In the top right, click on the ‘waffle’ icon, which will bring up the Explore/Manage menu and click on Manage
- Click on your club/group under My Memberships
- From the organization menu (at the top left of the page), click on Events
- Click on Create Event
As you complete the event submission on ExperienceBU, not only will you be submitting your event for approval through the required channels, but your event will also be advertised on ExperienceBU.
For information about submission timelines for in-person events during COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 SERMA Resources page.
The submission deadline varies by complexity and level of risk involved with the event.
At a minimum, meetings and other low-risk, low-complexity events must be submitted at least 4 business days prior to the event start date.
Events with complex details, or that have an increased risk to participants should be submitted 10-21 business days prior to the event start date. Examples of more complex or higher risk events include: conferences, competitions, fundraisers, and/or events involving: travel, external speakers, alcohol, high risk physical activity
*Note: a business day is Monday – Friday between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm.
If you do not receive event approval, your event cannot move forward.
Failure to adhere to the SERMA process, including a failure to properly risk manage your event, promoting your event prior to approval, or holding an event without approval, is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and as such can result in a Class A offence notice, possible de-ratification and/or charges under the Student Code of Conduct.
We recognize that student organizations are a traditional part of University life and contribute to the intellectual, cultural, social and skill development of all Brock students. Student organized activities contribute to the University’s goal of “providing an engaging campus experience that meets students’ needs and affords social, cultural and recreational opportunities for all students” and supports our value of providing “a unique student experience”.
We are always here to help – our goal is to support you in hosting successful and safe events!
To get started, you can review our Policy and Planning Resources page
If you still have questions, need support, or are planning a complex event, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org