Policy for a Vigil on Campus

This policy defines the process that needs to be followed to organize vigils on campus.

Vigils are one way of gathering to mourn or commemorate a tragedy. Vigils are a response to tragedy that has happened in the world or within Columbia that impacts the community.

Space & Lead:

  • Vigils can only be hosted by groups recognized by the university and not by individual community members. Vigils that are not planned through the proper channels will be held accountable to university policy.
    • Space requests must be submitted and event leaders must be identified with an email address and phone number.
    • One group must be the lead group responsible for the event.
  • Must be planned and coordinated with the assistance of Religious Life.
  • Must occur at a reservable space on campus.
  • Space must be requested through University Events Management  no sooner than one full business day prior to the requested time.


  • Vigils are limited to one hour in duration.
  • Only one vigil may occur per day on any given campus.
  • Vigils must be held within the hours of 5:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. unless special approval is granted.
  • Student organizations must provide full outline of the vigil with their advisor one business day prior to partner with you and provide advise


  • Crowd may disperse slowly but if participants are not departing, the lead organizer of the Vigil must verbally ask participants to kindly leave the space.
  • Candles must be battery operated or dripless (must have candle holder for wax to collect)
  • Vigils must remain in the approved space and may not travel to other parts of campus.

Vigils must be advertised as Columbia affiliated ID only.

If there are multiple groups wishing to host a similar vigil for the same reason, staff will recommend collaboration within the student groups