Events with Food, Alcohol, and Off Campus Venues with Alcohol

Fall 2021 Student Organization Event Procedure Disclaimer:

Student organizations are encouraged to holding in-person events, meetings, and activities either on or off-campus in virtual, in-person, or hybrid modes in accordance with the Fall 2021 Event Guidelines.  The following in-person elements will not be approved for student organization events and as such should be excluded from your planning processes: 

  • Food for public consumption provided by the organization
  • Alcohol consumption or access to alcohol 

Failure to comply with these student organization procedures and requirements could ultimately result in your organization’s loss of University recognition and the benefits associated with that status for the remainder of the 2021-2021 Academic Year to be reviewed for Fall 2022.  Furthermore, confirmed student organization procedure violations, including but not limited to event registration, may ultimately lead to individual student conduct proceedings

The following sections of the Student Organization Handbook are provided for reference and are applicable when student organizations are allowed to incorporate them into their events. Prior to the start of the Spring 2022 semester, these procedures will be reviewed and updated in accordance with the University, state, Los Angeles city, and county guidelines.  

Events Involving Food

Any time an organization wishes to sell or give-away prepackaged food and/or beverages not provided by University Catering to the public including but no limited to students, faculty, staff, and/or visitors a Temporary Food Facility Permit must be submitted with a completed Event Registration Form at least 10 business days prior to the scheduled event to CSI. 

Here are some questions to determine if the organization should complete the Temporary Food Facility Permit for an event:

Is the organization…

  • Planning an event on campus with food and/or beverages not provided by University Catering?
  • Giving away or selling candy on campus?
  • Selling bottled water or canned beverages for a proceeds to benefit transaction on campus?
  • Giving away or selling any food not provided by University Catering on campus?

If the organization members answer “yes” to any of these questions, a Temporary Food Facility Permit must be submitted with the Event Reservation and Registration Form at least 10 business days prior to the event.

Additionally, the organization agrees to read, understand, and comply with the Cal State LA Temporary Food Facility Guidelines governing food sales and service.  Failure to comply with the rules may result in the loss of food and/or beverage selling/serving privileges and possible disciplinary action. 

Food Permit Process

Step 1: Food Handler Training

Before completing the form your organization must have at least two Certified Food Handlers who must complete the certificaiton training and must be present during the entire event.  Students can access the training here and must search for the Food Safety and Handling course.  You will need to login with your MyCalStateLA credentials.   The course lasts one hour and must be completed in order to gain the certificate. CSI recommends all student organization officers to complete the training in order to maximize the number of event food handers for your events.  

Once your food handlers have completed the training, their certificates should be included with the Food Permit form.  It should also be on display at your event at all times.  

Step 2:  Complete the Form 

The form is found online here and must be completed and printed for signatures.  Please include all required documentaiton including the Food Handler certificates.  

After completing the Temporary Food Facility Permit form  a student organization member must submit the permit for approval in the following order:

  1. Center for Student Involvement  (University-Student Union Room 204)
  2. University Auxiliary Services, Inc. (The Golden Eagle, 3rd Floor)
  3. Health and Safety Coordinator (Environmental Health & Safety Office, Corporate Yard Bldg., Room 244). 

Please keep in mind that you will need a signed and completed Food Permit form to be submitted with your Event Registration Form at least 10 business days prior to your on-campus event.  You should build more than 48 hours in order for the Food Permit form to be signed and completed by all of these offices.  Same day signatures are not guaranteed by any of these offices.  

Step 3: Pick up the Signed Food Permit and Include It with Your Event Registration Form

After you have picked up your completed Food Permit form, it can now be included with your Event Registration Form which should be submitted online at least 10 business days prior to your event.  

Step 4:  Post the Permit at Your Event and Follow Food Safety Guidelines

After your Event Registration Form has been approved by CSI, your organization must post the signed and approved Food Permit and Food Handler Certificates during the entire duration of your event.  Environmental Health and Safety will be conducting spot checks to ensure your organization has met and complied with all Food Handler Safety guidelines and requirements including the following:

  • Proper personal hygiene
  • Food protection guidelines
  • Safe storage, holding and cooking temperatures
  • Certified food handlers
  • Current and approved permit

Student organizations who do not comply with these guidelines and requirements will be reported to Facility Use and/or CSI and your event may be canceled on the spot.  

If your organization has any questions on how to complete the Event Registration Form, please do not hesitate to email CSI at

Food Trucks 

How to Schedule a Food Truck Fundraiser in the U-SU Plaza

  1. Complete a Temporary Food Permit and attach the following documents:
    1. Copy of Food Truck's Menu
    2. Copy of Food Truck's Tax Registration Certificate/ Business License 
    3. Copy of the Food Truck's Public Health Operating Permit
    4. Copy of Food Truck's Seller Permit
    5. A certificate of liability insurance in the amount of one million dollars or more.  The vendor's liability insurance must include the University-Student Union, Cal State LA, UAS,the California State University, Los Angeles, the Trustees of the California State University, the State of California, and their officers, employees, and volunteers, are named as Additional Insured.
  2. Obtain the necessary signatures for the Temporary Food Permit from the Sponsoring Organization Chairperson, the Center for Student Involvement, University Auxiliary Food Services, and Environmental Health & Safety.
  3. Submit a completed Event Registration Form, along with the completed Temporary Food Permit and all other accompanying documents, to CSI at least 10 business days prior to your event date. 
  4. Visit Information & Event Services (U-SU 107) to check for availability and make a reservation. Bring your copy of your submitted Event Registration Form, approved Temporary Food Permit, and other pertinent documents with you. Pending availability, you'll be issued a Reservation Confirmation to sign and confirm the event.
  5. Take a copy of the signed Reservation Confirmation to Public Safety to purchase an Inter-Campus Permit. This permit is required to gain access to Plaza North (the designated space for food trucks) on the day of your event.

Food Truck Guidelines

  • Student organizations are allowed to submit 2 requests per semester and a maximum of 2 trucks per event.
  • Food Truck Fundraisers can be scheduled in the U-SU Plaza from 11am - 5pm Monday through Saturday.
  • Only 1 Food Truck can be hosted by a club/organization per week.

Catering/Food Service:

In the event that an outside caterer or food service provider must be used, the sponsoring organization must obtain from the off-campus caterer the following three documents, to be attached with a Temporary Food Facility Permit:

  • A copy of the caterer’s Los Angeles County Health Permit.
  • A copy of the caterer’s business license
  • A copy of the caterer's sellers permit. 
  • A certificate of liability insurance in the amount of one million dollars or more naming California State University, Los Angeles and Cal State LA. University Auxiliary Services, Inc. as additional insureds.

Student organizations should review the California State University, Los Angeles Temporary Food Facility Guidelines.  The following are examples of potentially hazardous foods and beverages prohibited from being prepared or sold:

  • Pastries filled with cream or synthetic cream, custards, and similar products
  • Sandwiches or salads containing meat, poultry, eggs, fish or seafood: i.e., potato, macaroni, chicken, ham, tuna deviled egg, or similar salads
  • All home prepared foods: i.e., home canned foods, home cooked fish, meats, poultry including salads, casseroles, or sauces containing such products, homemade cakes, pies, or pastries which have a cream, whipped cream, or custard filling or icing.
  • Beverages containing raw eggs or raw egg substitute.      

Use of Alcohol at Student Organization Events

University Administrative Procedure 019, Use of Alcoholic Beverages, explains the restrictions beyond City and State laws that govern the possession and use of alcohol at University events.  Student organization events are considered University events because organizations are affiliated with Cal State LA.  An organization must submit a Request to Serve Alcoholic Beverages Form for any event held on or off campus where alcohol may be served or available for purchase/consumption.  

Written permission to use alcoholic beverages shall be subject to the following restrictions:

  • The event shall not be open to the general public or to the general University community except when the event takes place within the Luckman, Fine Arts Complex, or the Golden Eagle.  The event shall not be advertised or publicized as an event where alcoholic beverages are to be served.
  • The chair of the event and the sponsoring organization are both responsible for compliance with applicable law, regulations, and University policies.  No person under 21 years of age shall be in attendance, and no such person nor obviously intoxicated person shall be furnished, served, or given an alcoholic beverage.
  • The sponsoring organization shall cease serving or consuming alcoholic beverages at the request of an appropriate University official.
  • Safety and risk management are primary concerns for events with alcohol.  If approved your organization will also be required to meet the following requirements:
    • At least two organization members must be TiPS certified and must attend the event from start to finish. (See below for more information.)
    • The use of professional bartenders only at the event venue
    • Non-alcoholic options and/or food options 
    • Presence of your faculty/staff advisor during the entire duration of the event 
    • A devised plan for safety developed by your board and advisor

How to request permission to serve alcoholic beverages 

  1. Complete a Request to Serve Alcoholic Beverages Form and submit to the Center for Student Involvement along with a completed Event Registration Form
  2. The request will be submitted for review to the Office of the Dean of Students and for approval to the Associate Vice President for Administration and Finance/Financial Services no later than ten business days prior to the proposed event.  
  3. After the request has been reviewed, the Office of the Associate Vice President for Administration and Finance/Financial Services will notify the event chairperson of the status of the request.
  4. No contracts with venues or caterers should be signed prior to the Request to Serve Alcoholic Beverages Form being approved. Organizations are advised that the review process takes at minimum 10 business days and are encouraged to submit these form in advance of the minimum 10 business days.  
  5. If approved, a copy of the signed Request to Serve Alcoholic Beverages form and Event Registration Form must be provided to the Department of Public Safety prior to the event. 

For more information on this procedure, please contact the Center for Student Involvement.  Student organizations violating this procedure will be subject to administrative action ranging from probation to removal of University recognition.  Individual students who violate University Administrative Procedure 019 are subject to institutional disciplinary action.  

Off Campus Venues Where Alcohol is Available

Organizations can hold events at off-campus venues where alcohol is available but is not a component of their event. The event contact/planner should initial on the Event Registration Form indicating that NO guest/member attending the event will consume alcohol regardless of their age/ability to do so since they are participating in an organizational event.  All organization event guests and participants must comply and abide by this acknowledgement during the entire duration of the event. Examples of these venues and events include but are not limited to:

  • Fundraisers at restaurants/venues that serve alcohol where organizations receive a percentage off of food sales
  • Banquets or ceremonies at restaurants where alcohol is available but will not be served 
  • These events will also require the TiPS training requirement (see below).  

Training for Intervention ProcedureS (TiPS) Training 

Student organization events at venues where alcohol is available or events that have been approved to serve alcohol will require at least two student organization members to attend a University-led Training for Intervention ProcedureS training prior to the scheduled event date. Both trained members should be in attendance for the full duration of the event and must pass the certification test. Previous TIPS certification will be recognized while valid. TIPS trainings will be scheduled throughout the semester.  Events that meet these criteria are subject to cancellation pending the successful completion of the training requirement. 
For more information on TIPS and to RSVP for a training please contact CSI at 323-343-5110.