Event Use, Alcohol Use, and Event Cancellation Policies

Thank you for your interest in hosting your event at the Johnston Center. Please review the below policies before submitting your reservation request form.


Event Use Policy

The James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence

Graham Memorial Building, which opened in 1931 as Carolina’s first Student Union, has been renovated to house the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence (JCUE). Described by its planning committee as a “democracy of learning,” the Center’s mission is to lead a renaissance in undergraduate education at Carolina. The Center features:

  • Three (3) seminar rooms and two (2) classrooms equipped with the latest in teaching technology. Capacity: 18-30. Training for faculty interested in utilizing the classroom technology is available through ITS Classroom Hotline.
  • A common room for lectures, films, performances, symposia, meals and other events (with an attached catering kitchen). Capacity: 32 seated for meeting U, 72 seated for dinner, or 100 seated theater-style.
  • A living room/dining room for small groups of 12-16 (with an attached catering kitchen and gas fireplace).
  • A large, formal lounge with attached terrace, two gas fireplaces, and a grand piano. (The lounge and terrace are public spaces open to the entire campus community and may be reserved during weekday business hours only under special circumstances and at the discretion of the director of the JCUE. Lounge furniture may only be moved under the direct supervision of facility staff.)

Hours of Operation

Normal operating hours during the Fall and Spring semesters are 7:30 a.m to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m.to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. The Center is closed on Saturday and Sunday. During the summer, the Center operates from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The JCUE may accommodate events outside of normal operating hours based on approval.

General Considerations

Official University departments, curricula, other administrative units, and registered student organizations represented by an official University admin unit or academic department will be given priority use of the Johnston Center. Non-University organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. In all cases, however, priority and emphasis will be given to uses that involve UNC undergraduates and the University’s undergraduate instructional mission. The Center’s director will make final determination about the use of the Center. Because of limited staffing, back-to-back events in the same room on the same day cannot be accommodated.

Top priority for use of all rooms will be given to those units administered by Honors Carolina. These include:

  • Honors Carolina
  • Burch Programs and Honors Study Abroad
  • The Office of Distinguished Scholarships


Classroom reservations for undergraduate courses are coordinated by the JCUE staff and the scheduling officers in individual academic units. Faculty who are interested in teaching in the Center should communicate that preference to their department or curriculum managers during the normal process of course scheduling.

Reservations for other uses by qualified groups will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservation forms are available online. In general, the Center’s seminar rooms, classrooms, and conference room will not be available for booking during regular business hours, since they are usually reserved for classes and other Center activities. However, they may be booked for Friday evening and weekend use, provided the client pays all security charges associated with opening the building ($74 / 4-hour minimum).

Reservation requests for events outside of normal operating hours are based on approval and require a minimum of three weeks’ advance notice.


There is no room rental charge (except in the case of the Lounge and/or Terrace) for Official University departments, curricula, other administrative units, and registered student organizations sponsoring activities directly related to the undergraduate instructional mission of the University. These units will, however, be responsible for the costs of extra cleaning and/or damage to the facilities they have used. In addition, a 10% fee will be assessed on the total catering and/or grocery bill. If you cannot supply a receipt for the food and drinks served (as in the case of potlucks), a minimum $50 (or $2 per person, whichever is greater) catering fee will be added to your final invoice. This fee is to be paid to the Johnston Center in order to provide funds for cleaning and upkeep of catering facilities and other public spaces.

If the above units choose to sponsor events where more than 50% of the attendees are not undergraduates at UNC-Chapel Hill and where the event is not in large part related to the undergraduate instructional mission of the University as determined by the director, then the fee schedule below shall apply. This fee schedule shall also apply to non-University events that have been approved by the Center’s director.

Fee Schedule

For non-instructional uses per day (Capacity)

  • Seminar rooms: $50.00. GM 210 (24), GM 212 (18), GM 213 (25)
  • Ground-Level classrooms: $75.00. GM 035 (30), GM 038 (26)
  • Commons Room: $350.00. GM 039 (32 for meeting U, 72 for dinner, 100 theater-style)
  • Living Room/Dining Room: $75.00. GM 011 (12-16)
  • Lounge: $400. GM 109 (190).
  • Lounge and terrace: $500.00.
  • Terrace only: $200.00. (300).
  • Security: $16.00/hour ($64 / 4-hour minimum).
  • Cancellation/No-show: $75 plus security fees.
  • Cleaning: $50 standard, but may be higher based on room condition.


The rooms of the Johnston Center must be left as you found them. If you serve food at your event, or if the event is catered and clean-up is not included in the catering contract, clean-up is your responsibility. All trash should be placed in the outside dumpster. No rentals, linens, florals, décor, or other event-related items may remain on the premises when the event is over. We do not offer overnight storage. Violation of this policy will result in a $50 fine (or higher based on event space condition) and possible revocation of catering and/or rental privileges. For events utilizing the kitchen, clients will agree to the JCUE Kitchen Use Policy posted on the Kitchen doors. Lastly, food is not allowed in the classrooms (GM 035, 038, 210, 212, 213).


Events that involve the serving of alcoholic beverages will be governed by the Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence’s Alcohol Use Policy.


Event cancellations will be governed by the Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence’s Event Cancellation Policy.

Publicity of Events

When publicizing your event, please indicate that it will take place in the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence in Graham Memorial, followed by the room name and/or number in Graham Memorial. Any advertisement or publicity for an event occurring in the JCUE must be approved by Aëron Delaney, Events & Client Services Manager, prior to circulation.

Alcohol Use Policy

Alcoholic beverages (including mixed drinks, beer, wine and champagne) may be served under terms and conditions consistent with the laws of the State of North Carolina and the policies of the University and of the Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence (JCUE). Permission to use such beverages must be obtained from and approved by the director of the JCUE. Below are general guidelines.

Except for University holidays, no alcohol may be served on a weekday until after 5 pm.

It is a violation of North Carolina law to serve alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age. Any group planning a function that is likely to be attended by individuals under 21 is strongly discouraged from serving alcohol to anyone at the function. If the host group plans to serve alcohol at a function that will be attended by guests under the age of 21, the group must submit to the director of the JCUE, as part of the approval process, a written explanation of the method by which it will determine which guests are over 21 and how it will assure that guests over 21 do not obtain alcohol for guests under 21. Such precautions might include a sign on the bar that says “Over 21 Only” or “No Students” and an instruction to the bartender to ask for proof of age whenever there is any doubt that an individual is 21.

In addition, color-coded name tags for guests under 21 and instructions to the bartender and/or banquet staff as to the significance of the color coding (color coding shall be accomplished via a non-removable medium such as colored ink). They can use a gold star, a Tar Heel emblem, or another marker of their choice.

Instructions to bartenders, banquet staff, and representatives of the host group who are in charge of the event to be alert to the possibility of guests over 21 obtaining alcohol for guests under 21 and to prevent this from occurring.

It is the host group’s responsibility to be certain that individuals under the age of 21 not be served any alcohol.

Any function at which alcoholic beverages are served must be an invitation-only private function and must include non-alcoholic beverages and wholesome food (heavy hors d’oeuvres or dinner). Alcoholic beverages must be served by a professional caterer or bartender with liability insurance, and no self-service of alcohol is permitted.

If the JCUE’s outdoor terrace is used for a function at which alcoholic beverages are served, the event’s sponsor must provide adequate supervision and significant barriers to control access from nearby streets and sidewalks. The terrace must be accessible only to invited guests.

Cash bars are prohibited, and “cover charges” for attendance at an event where alcohol is “given away” are also prohibited.

If any type of alcoholic beverage is served at a reception or social that will be followed by a full meal, the reception or social is limited to one hour in length.

Receptions or socials involving the serving of liquor or fortified wine (more than 14% alcohol by volume i.e., brandies and liqueurs) must be followed by a full meal.

Receptions not followed by a full meal are limited to the serving of beer and unfortified wine (less than 14% alcohol by volume) and are limited to two hours in length. Note: most red and white dinner wines fall into the unfortified wine category.

All alcoholic beverages must be provided by the user group, except in cases where the caterer has a permit that allows the caterer to provide such beverages as are requested by the user group. There are no storage facilities for alcohol at the JCUE. Consequently, the user group must bring the alcohol immediately before its event and remove it immediately after the event ends.

Event Cancellation

Events must be cancelled three business days in advance. Events scheduled outside of normal operating hours must be cancelled at least three weeks in advance. Any events cancelled after this deadline or “no-shows” will incur all fees for security and a $75 space cancellation.

To cancel a reservation, contact Aëron Delaney by phone (919-843-7001) or email (gmevents@unc.edu).

Please note that Honors Carolina reserves the right, at our sole discretion, to refuse, postpone, or cancel any reservation for any reason, and neither the host group nor guests nor vendors are entitled to rights or damages resulting from the action.