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Event Contracts

When do I need to use a contract?
Whenever your club wants to make a payment to a service provider - whether an individual or an organization - who is not employed by Northwestern University. Examples of service providers include, but are not limited to: photographers, videographers, bands and musical performers, dance instructors and entertainers, equipment rental services (A/V, lighting, photobooth, costumes and decor, etc.), referees, and many more.

Who can sign a contract?
Students are never allowed to sign contracts; doing so will make them personally responsible for fulfilling the terms of the contract. Only authorized University officials are permitted to sign contracts.

Who can pay for contracted services?
Contracted services must be paid for via University check. Personal funds should never be used to pay for contracted services; under no circumstances will these payments be reimbursed.

What constitutes a contract?
A contract is any document with a signature line. 
How does the contract approval process work?

  • Step 1: At least 4 weeks before your event date, submit an event pre-approval form and contact your Club Coordinator regarding your event.
  • Step 2: Email all contracts and vendor contact information to your Club Coordinator. Your Club Coordinator will obtain any additional documentation, negotiate the contract as necessary, and coordinate with our University signator
  • Step 3: Allow up to 3 weeks to receive countersigned contracts; your contract may be returned earlier, but our University signatory does require 3 weeks' lead time.
  • Step 4: After you've received your fully-executed contract, have your treasurer request a University check to make payment on the contract.
    • Please note: Requesting payment on a contract is a separate process that will take an additional 2-3 weeks after your contract is approved. It is your responsibility to take these timelines into account when planning your event and working with your vendors.

Questions? Contact your Club Coordinator or the Office of Student Life.