Special Events and Visits of High Profile Guests to the University (Policy)

Legislative History:

Reviewed by Senior Administration; Effective September 1/2005

Signature: Lorna Marsden

Description: Describes the need and authority for approval to plan and host special events and visits of external dignitaries or high profile guests to the University campuses and to University events held off-campus. Has associated procedure.


To ensure that special events and visits of high profile guests to the University are properly arranged and staged, the President shall, from time to time, establish formal procedures applicable to all members of the University community. These procedures will ensure the application of consistent standards for University events and will address appropriate protocol and operational considerations, including, but not limited to, co-ordination for scheduling within the University calendar, evaluating the adequacy of the budget to the project requirements, space, risk assessment, security arrangements, invitations, publicity & media relations, hosting.

Co-operation of members of the York community with established procedures will foster co-ordinated communication with high profile guests through one official University channel and thereby serve to enhance York’s relations with these individuals and their offices.

In addition, the Office of Ceremonials, Special Events & Community Relations, working with the Office of the President, is responsible for the organization and management of a range of institutional events. Some examples are: groundbreaking and official opening for buildings, building naming, Convocation, Remembrance Day ceremony, Tennis Canada events.

Note: External convenors of conferences, special events and meetings organize their events through Hospitality York.


Special Events are social occasions, conferences and/or activities that have the potential to enhance the University identity and recognition and which foster and develop relationships with the external community to raise the University’s public profile. University events are those which are funded partially or completely by the University. Included in this definition are events which have the potential to attract significant media attention. 

High Profile Guests include public figures and dignitaries, for example, municipal, provincial or federal government representatives; foreign state leaders and officials; diplomatic staff and other international delegates; celebrities and public figures who attract media attention and/or raise concerns for security.

Visits to the University include visits to any of York University’s campuses or to any event sponsored or staged by York University or any of its Faculties, departments, research units, colleges, operating units. A visit includes a public appearance, speaking engagement, conference participation, performance, or confirmed attendance at an event.

Reference Documents related to this policy include:

Temporary Use of University Space Policy
Conference Planning for Faculty Members