If you are a student affiliated with a BCSG-recognized club or other student organization planning an event or program that includes an external speaker, performing artist, or other entity providing a service on campus, you may simply be provided an invoice for services rendered, which can be sent to the Accounting Office for payment. In many cases, however, contract negotiation will take place. Contracts are agreements setting the terms of the external entity’s engagement while they are at Bates College, and are made between the college and the external entity.
The Office of Campus Life advises that students engaging in contract negotiation follow the below guidelines:
- Never agree to a dollar amount that you know you do not currently have the funds for in your club account. It’s okay to tell the individual you’re negotiating with that you need to figure out your funding situation before agreeing to a price.
- It’s best practice to get a sense of what the entity’s general asking price is for colleges similar to Bates. Typical questions to find out this information are phrased like “what is your typical fee for performing at small liberal arts colleges?”
- Be careful not to ask if a specific dollar amount would be fair as your opening question, as that could be construed as a binding offer. For example, “would $2000 be okay?” makes it sound like you’re offering that amount – if the individual you’re negotiating with agrees, that amount is legally binding, even before a contract has been signed.
- Once you’ve obtained a copy of the contract, submit it for review by Campus Life staff via the Contract Review Form. Please allow as much time as possible (a minimum of two weeks is ideal) for Campus Life to review the contract, as depending on its complexity, multiple parties may have to be consulted, and the original contract may have to be altered substantially.
- Once the contract has been fully reviewed and vetted by Campus Life, a staff member will sign it, signifying that Bates College has agreed to the terms of the entity’s engagement at the college, and ensure that it’s signed by the entity you’re bringing to campus. Please note that contracts worth $5000 or more must be signed by the College Treasurer, which will add processing time.
- Never sign a contract yourself – it puts you at personal risk. Bates College does not recognize contracts entered by students on behalf of the college.
- You will then receive the final copy back, known as an executed contract. You may then take it, along with the entity’s W-9 form and Certificate of Insurance (only needed if they are not a speaker), to Accounting for payment.
A Note on Certificates of Insurance
External entities wishing to conduct business and/or use Bates College facilities are required to have their own liability insurance. This insurance is necessary to cover any claims or losses for which the external entity may be responsible. Clubs and organizations contracting such entities should request that they provide a Certificate of Insurance with $1,000,000 in coverage and Bates College listed as co-insured. If you have questions about this policy, or if the external entity indicates that they do not carry a standard Certificate of Insurance, please contact Campus Life for guidance.