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Dear Members of the HLS Community,

I am writing to update you on our event reservations timetable and our meetings and events policies for the spring. Please take the time to read through the following information and plan accordingly.

Express Reservations

Study and small conference rooms are now open for express reservations through our Events Management System (EMS).  We apologize for the slight delay in their opening this week. Please be mindful of the following policies as you make your reservations:

  • Masking: Masking compliance is strictly required while using these rooms.
  • Food: Food and drinks may not be ordered for meeting rooms booked using the Express Reservation Templates, and food may not be consumed in any indoor event space that is not designated for eating and drinking.
  • Type of Booking: The express nature of these bookings means that you cannot reserve rooms more than seven (7) business days in advance of your meeting or event.
  • Available Rooms: The rooms available for express booking are in the WCC and Langdell; they will be listed in EMS when you log in.

Please visit Event Scheduling & Support for more information or to make a reservation.

EMS Opening

In addition to express reservations, students, faculty, and staff will be able to reserve spaces for events through the Events Management System (EMS) beginning Monday, February 7. Students will be able to reserve spaces through the last day of classes, while faculty and staff may do so through the end of the term, May 13, subject to space limitations during exams.

Please note the following policies and guidelines for reserving spaces when the system opens on February 7:

  • Book judiciously: In order to allow for maximum use by the entire community, please book only the spaces on the dates and times you absolutely need. Excessive booking will not only hinder the ability of others to book space, but may result in a denial of the request/change in the booking.
  • Follow COVID-19 safety protocols: Those planning and attending indoor events must abide by all University and HLS public health policies, including masking and dining restrictions. Please see the following section of our return to campus policies for more information.
  • Grab and go: Event organizers wishing to provide food may arrange pre-packaged or buffet-style “grab and go” meals, which participants must take home or to a designated eating and drinking area to consume after the event. In all cases, the dining portion of the event must be clearly delineated from the programming to provide participants with the option to collect their food and eat it elsewhere or to forgo the dining segment of a sponsored event altogether. Food may not be consumed in any indoor event space that is not designated for eating and drinking.
    • Designated eating and drinking locations: As a reminder, the following are the school’s designated eating and drinking locations. Please remember that face coverings must be worn in these areas until seated, only removed when actively eating and drinking, and replaced immediately after finishing:
      • WCC Harkness Dining Rooms
      • WCC Pub
      • WCC 1st Floor Game Room (open 11am-4pm and 8:30-11pm daily, beginning January 27)
      • WCC Milstein East (free hot chocolate served here daily!)
      • WCC Student Org Workroom
      • Austin Hall, Ground Floor
      • Langdell Library, Rooms 232/ 233 (when not otherwise booked for classes or exams) and 295
      • Jarvis Tent: We plan to reinstall the Jarvis Tent next to the Hark as soon as weather permits this spring, and will update you when we know more about that timing.
  • Exercise diligence with outside catering: While Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) catering service (which provides hot and cold food, beverages, and set-ups directly from the Hark kitchens and is bookable through EMS) is our strongly preferred vendor, food deliveries from outside restaurants or services may be delivered, but only on the following conditions:
    • Deliveries: Due to traffic conditions and space constraints on Massachusetts Avenue and Everett Street, all outside restaurant and food service deliveries must be made to the parking lot at 28 Everett Street (behind the Gropius Complex between Perkins and Richards Halls). Recipients of those orders must meet the delivery drivers there promptly; the drivers are not authorized to enter HLS buildings.
    • Grab and go: Food must be offered as grab and go at the conclusion of the event and may not be consumed in any indoor event space that is not designated for eating and drinking.
    • Table set-ups and utensils:  When using outside caterers for grab-and-go meals, the appropriate table(s) should be ordered through EMS to ensure there is space outside the meeting room to set up the food and beverages for grab and go access and to ensure our Facilities team is aware of the booking so it can assist with post-event cleaning. It is important that outside catering orders include all necessary utensils, serving dishes, napkins, etc., as HUDS is not required to provide those items for meals provided by off-campus vendors.

We are emphasizing the above points and the need for your cooperation because we have experienced over the year numerous issues with the failure to properly manage outside catering delivery arrangements and on-site set-ups, and we will be unable to continue outside catering if such issues recur.

Important Reminders

Please remember that, for the safety of our community, our campus remains closed to the general public. Only Harvard community members and authorized visitors are permitted to enter HLS buildings and facilities. Authorized visitors must be approved and hosted while on campus in accordance with these standing guidelines. Finally, please continue to consider using virtual event formats for your meetings and events, where possible.

Thank you for your understanding, patience and ongoing cooperation as we continue working to reopen campus facilities and services this spring as quickly and safely as possible. We are hopeful that our plans will remain unaffected by the ongoing pandemic, and, of course, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff will always take precedence. With that in mind, please know that rules governing all event reservations remain subject to change, as public health conditions warrant and as University guidance may evolve in the coming weeks and months.

Should you have any questions as you plan your events, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Event Scheduling and Support at 617-495-3129 or They will be hosting some short tutorial sessions on how to use EMS in the coming weeks for those who have not used the system before or those who would like a refresher. Dates and times will be posted on the Event Scheduling & Support webpage as sessions become available.

Thank you again for your cooperation with our meeting and events guidelines and protocols. The HLS leadership team and I wish you all a productive and enriching semester ahead.

Tracee Whitley
Dean for Administration