Activity Toolkit

With over 40,000 faculty and staff, almost every possible interest is represented at UW. Biking, book clubs, baking… the list is endless and pursuing personal interests is one of life’s great joys. In fact, faculty and staff are using their time creatively to pursue their interests before work, after work, or during their breaks. At The Whole U, we refer to these as “interest groups” and want to help promote the groups that already exist and make it easier to start new ones.

There are important things to consider before launching a group. Should your group meet in person or should it exist online? Can students participate? Retirees? Members of the public? If you’d like to meet in University spaces, consider limiting the group to UW community members because reserving space is generally less expensive for University groups than for public events.

When you’ve determined the purpose of your group and your audience, consider if you should review the idea with your supervisor and be aware of the UW’s ethics guidelines. You may not use state resources in any form for personal benefit or gain, or for the benefit or gain of any other individuals or outside organizations.

Once you’re ready to launch an interest group, we hope this toolkit will streamline the process. This toolkit is a work-in-progress and your feedback will help us to make it as robust as possible. We welcome additions and edits.

1) Register with The Whole U

Email us at, and let us know if you’d like to be on our events calendar or receive help with publicity.

2) Create a private Facebook group

Create a social media page for your group if you’d like an online space to post information, coordinate with others, or share photos. If you create a Facebook group, we’d love to share it on The Whole U’s page if the group is open to all UW faculty and staff. Just let us know by registering your group or sending us a Facebook message!

3) Find room (if needed)

Will your group need space to meet? The easiest way to find meeting space is to start with your home department. Your building coordinator can help you figure out what space might best fit your needs and how to reserve it.

If you’d like to host an event in an outdoor space on campus, check out this guide for events on the ground of UW. Faculty, staff, students and outside organizations are allowed to use the University Campus for events as long as there is preliminary approval from an appropriate campus unit and the event is consistent with the University mission of teaching, research and public service. Some of the more popular spaces are the Grieg Garden, Sylvan Theater, Liberal Arts Quadrangle, Red Square, Medicinal Herb Garden, HUB Lawn, Climbing Rock, Drumheller Fountain, and Forestry Courtyard. Fees range from $500-$1,000.

Another option is a room in one of the many buildings that allows university groups to reserve space. Be sure to ask about associated fees and any audio-visual needs. Below is a preliminary list of room reservation information. Please send additions and corrections to

Room Reservation Contact List (last updated May 2014)

  • Bothell Campus
    Rooms may be reserved using the Facilities Use Request form linked to above. There is generally not a fee for University groups to reserve a room. Rooms fill up quickly, so it’s a good idea to e-mail to find out if the desired room is available before submitting the form.
  • Harborview
    Harborview uses an online meeting request tool linked to above. Rooms are usually free for UW faculty and staff. If you have questions you can e-mail
  • Seattle Campus:
    • Classroom Services
      If you’re hosting a one-time event, consider reserving a classroom. To see if a classroom is available, e-mail Attn: Marie. Include your phone number, the name of your group, how many people will attend, date, time, what size room you need, and any equipment needs. If your event is small and only includes faculty and staff, it could be free. There is a room rental fee if you invite members of the public. (A guest speaker is the only exception.) Classrooms cannot be scheduled until two weeks after each quarter begins except for events after 5pm and on weekends
    • HUB Reservations
      The HUB has a free meeting policy that states that campus departments are eligible for one meeting for two hours or less per week in small meeting rooms and at 50% discount in mid-sized meeting rooms in standard sets. The HUB’s online reservation request system requires a Login Account and password. You can request a login here.
    • Health Sciences
      Health Sciences uses an online room request system to schedule rooms in the Health Sciences Building, South Campus Center, and the Foege-South (Genome Sciences) Building. The charges associated with room reservations and event support vary with every groups’ unique needs, so rates and charges are not posted online. More information is available here.
    • Library Rooms
      The libraries have an auditorium and mid-size rooms that are available for University groups. Fees range from $0-$75/hour.
    • South Campus Center
      In addition to the online room request system for rooms that can be reserved, there are two study rooms that are free on a first-come, first-serve basis.
    • UW Club
      The UW Club offers full-service catering and meeting planning for departmental events, conferences, retirement parties, graduations, and holiday celebrations. Because they are a private club, they require sponsorship by a member. They have rooms that can accommidate up to 50-250 people and rates start at $35/hour for department and University-related events.
    • UW Medical Center, Plaza Café
      The Plaza Café has four conference rooms that are available for medical center related business. There is no charge to reserve the rooms but all food eaten in the rooms must be purchased from the Plaza Café. The walls between adjacent rooms may be removed to facilitate large groups (maximum capacity is 120 people).
    • UW Tower
      Rooms are free for UW Tower occupants. Non-occupants can reserve rooms for an hourly rate.
  • South Lake Union
    University employees may book rooms at SLU through this email address,, or by calling 206-897-1327. They have one 140-person auditorium, two multipurpose rooms that seat 25 each or 50 when combined, and two board room style rooms that sit 16-20 people. All of the rooms are integrated with AV tools like projectors, video and audio recording, and videoconferencing. Groups and departments physically located at SLU have priority for rooms; groups within the School of Medicine have the next highest priority. Groups outside of the SoM are required to fill out and submit event request paperwork in order to gain approval to have an event at SLU. Fees, if necessary, are determined on a case-by-case basis. There is a parking garage onsite. The rates are three dollars an hour up to a maximum of $15. Groups can arrange to cover parking for their attendees through the facilities manager. The rate is twenty-five dollars an hour with a four-hour minimum.
  • Tacoma Campus
    There is no cost if the request is submitted by a UWT employee for the benefit of UW employees.

4) Use preferred vendors

Check out this campus resource guide. It has information for everything from food to parking. If you’re planning a large event, also look at the University’s list of event resources. And if you want UW branding on items, check out the licensing program.

5) Be Accessible

Making your events accessible insures that they are inclusive and have the potential to be truly diverse. Even if you’ve never planned an accessible event, there are simple steps you can take so that all interested individuals can attend. Here are the top 5 things to consider for accessibility.

  1. Communicate Clearly – Don’t be afraid to ask people what they need and what will help them. Check out these Communication Hints for advice. And remember to include an equal opportunity and accommodation statement on event announcements. You can simply copy-and-paste the statement that is most appropriate for your event.
  2. Think Ahead – Many accommodations only require a willingness to plan ahead. For instance, sending out presentation materials in advance allows people with limited vision to view them in a larger font size.
  3. Hearing or Vision Accommodations – For interpreting, captioning, and amplification services contact the Coordinator of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services at 206-543-1415, TTY: 206-543-6452, or via email at
  4. Mobility – You can learn about the accessibility of campus buildings here. Often, booking a room on the first floor provides the easiest access. For large events or times when you know someone with limited mobility will attend, please book a space that has wide aisles and accessible bathrooms. Newer buildings, such as Alder Hall, Lander Hall, or the HUB, are usually designed to be accessible. All library event spaces are wheelchair accessible.
  5. You’re not alone! If you have questions or need help, please contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 or

6) Consider a Whole U Consultation

If your department has a recognition budget or you are interested in providing rewards for your participants, let us know. We would love to talk about creative ways to encourage participation and stretch your budget. Please contact with CONSULT in the subject line to set up a consultation via phone or e-mail.