Environmental Health & Safety

TENT AND OPEN-AIR SPACE RESERVATION POLICY


Tent Space Request Form   <--- Click here to register

For regulatory and safety reasons, all tents to be erected on Amherst College property, regardless of size or use, must be approved by the office of Special Services, within the Facilities Department.  Any person, department or organization approved by Amherst College wishing to have a tent on campus must complete the necessary request form at least 2 weeks in advance of the event, so that the necessary permits can be obtained from the Town of Amherst (Building and Fire Departments), as well as the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, DIG SAFE.

A Contract must be obtained for all events, gatherings and parties, with or without tent(s) which are to be held outdoors, on campus.

  • Tent Space Request and Contract Reservation Forms can be obtained on-line, or by calling the Office of Special Services at (413) 542-2367
    • Exception: For Homecoming Events contact the office of Alumni & Parent Programs (413) 542-2313.
    • The Contract must be completed and submitted to the Office of Special Services at least 2 weeks in advance of the event.
      • For Commencement Events and graduation parties, the Contract must be submitted no later than April 1st. Applicants will need to obtain comprehensive general liability insurance for all claims, losses, liabilities, damages, costs and expenses arising from the use of such tent and related space, with limits of $1,000,000 per occurrence for bodily injury and $25,000 per occurrence for property damage.  If alcoholic beverages will be served, such insurance will include liquor liability coverage in the same amounts. 
        • Room or space acquisition will be granted to the College first, then to Alumni/Graduates and then to others, but is typically distributed on a first-come, first served basis
  • Any space request that is submitted for an event and/or tent with less than the 2 week notice will be denied, without exception.
  • The following locations cannot be requested for outdoor gatherings;
    • Main Quad, Valentine Quad, Mead Art Courtyard or the Japanese Garden
    • For events on any athletic field, you must first reserve the area or space through the athletic department at (413) 542-2274, before completing the Space Reservation Form.

Depending on the function or use of the tent, permit fees for the Town of Amherst will range from $25.00 (most common) - $200.00

Tent regulations in Massachusetts are strictly enforced by Amherst Inspection Services, Amherst Fire Department and Dig Safe. Tents, regardless of size or use require permits for fabrication, manufacture, placement and use. In order to meet the necessary requirements, and to insure that the tent you are renting is safe, Amherst College will only permit the following “approved” companies to rent tents, chairs and tables etc., for use on the campus;

All tent rental companies are required to confirm the location of the tent placement through Special Services. Before the tent is erected, the rental company must contact the Facilities Department, located at 6 East Dr by calling (413) 542-2254, in order to arrange for the assistance of the Facilities representative(s), which may include the Electrical Shop, Environmental Health & Safety, Grounds Department and/or Special Services

  • Tent stakes shall not be driven into asphalt walks, roads or parking lots.
  • Any tent that does not meet the requirements referenced above will be required to be immediately dismantled at the renter or purchasers expense.
    • Any damage to Amherst College property and/or its utilities caused by an unapproved/unauthorized tent installer, or the person reserving the space will result in the collection for damages, paid for by the person(s) reserving the space.

Additional tent information and requirements;

  • Amherst College is unable to provide electricity or heat for outdoor events
    • If electrical power or heat is required, the person(s) reserving the space must acquire the generator and/or space heater(s)
      • The type of space heater(s) must be approved, in advance by the Office of Environmental Health & Safety.
      • The generator must be located 25’ or more away from any tent, building or other enclosure to prevent accumulation of carbon monoxide.
      • When a generator or heater is in use, all flaps of the tent must remain up and an operational battery powered carbon monoxide detector must be installed in the tent, 5’ above the floor or grass, on the same side as the generator or heater.
      • Smoking is not permitted in or within 25’ of a tent, building or enclosure for fire safety and/or health reasons.
      • Candles and other open flame devices must be approved, before the event, by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety or the Campus Fire Marshal.
        • If approval was not granted, and conditions were not specified, no open flame device(s) shall be used in or around the tent.
        • Fire extinguishers will be provided by the Facilities Department, depending on the type of event.
          • Only persons trained in fire extinguisher use will be permitted to use the extinguishers provided.
            • The use of candles and other open flame devices (after approval) will be contingent upon whether or not a fire extinguisher is in place, and that there is a trained person on site, at all times
            • It is the responsibility of the person(s) reserving the space to clean up after the event.
              • If the area or space is not returned to pre-gathering condition, the person(s) reserving the space will be charged for the cost of the clean up.
  • Exit Signs - All tents for which a permit must be acquired, must have approved "Exit Signs" and maintain means of egress to the designated exits.  Exit Signs shall be provided and placed by the tent company hired to erect the tent.

For additional information on space reservation or tents, please contact the Office of Special Services at (413) 542-2367or e-mail George Shaheen (gmshaheen@amherst.edu)

Tent Space Request Form   <--- Click here to register