Society External Speaker Events
Queen Mary Students' Union is committed to providing a forum that facilitates Freedom of Speech
whilst providing a safe space for our students and the public.
Once your event has been authorised by QMSU and the University Please discuss with your
committee members and QMSU staff which steps you will need to take to ensure the successful
organisation of your event.
Before the Event
How do I promote my event safely?
– Think about how you will promote the event. Are you using any language or imagery that may upset or
threaten other societies, students or members of the public? All posters need to be stamped by QMSU
for authorisation. Flyers need to include the QMSU logo and should also be authorised before
– If you are using social networking sites to promote your event, ensure you check these regularly. If you
receive any negative comments refer these on to QMSU to mitigate any potential new risks.
How do I regulate who attends my event?
– Ask QMSU to print off a list of your society members to act as a guestlist. You will need to ask students
to sign in at the door of the venue and show relevant Student ID.
How do I organise extra security for my event?
– If QMSU advises you to organise extra security, please arrange a meeting with Queen Mary University of
London Security staff. You can do this by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
– Think about additional risks that may change how the external speaker will be received. This may
include global or local events, existing issues or arising tensions between groups of students.
– Think about how the external speaker will travel onto campus. Arrange for a member of the Society to
meet them at an appropriate place. Ask the speaker if they will require extra security and if so, organise
this with QMUL Security. Please note, we can only offer this service when speakers are on campus.
Who should Chair my event?
– Allocate an experienced and independent chairperson. This could be a member of academic staff.
– Brief the Chair on procedures around disturbances, specifying circumstances when the Chair would
need to intervene.
– Events promoting a particular view should include the opportunity to debate or challenge that view.
My event will discuss a religion / topic / political ideologies/ issues not directly
linked to my own Society. How do I mitigate any risks involved?
– Events organised by societies that discuss religions or issues not directly linked to that group should be
referred on to the relevant Societies for their feedback. If this raises further risks, the event will need to
be reassessed in regards to;
– The format (organise a debate instead of a lecture)
– attendance (open to Society members from different groups) and/or organise extra security;
– Think about the topic / theme of your event. Will these cause any controversy for students, societies or
members of the public? If so, discuss your concerns with QMSU so we can help you to mitigate these
risks. This may involve balancing an argument to open up the discussion into a debate, or inviting people
from other groups to ask questions at the end of the event. Events where you do not wish for this to
happen will need to have strict guidelines on who attends the event (e.g. Society members only).
How can I manage who attends the event?
– Allocate a member of the Society Committee to staff a registration desk outside the venue. Using the
Society Membership list as a guestlist, ask attendees to sign in and show their Student ID cards.
– Society members / QMSU students can sign in one external guest per event.
– If appropriate, ask members of your Society to act as stewards at the start and end of the night. This
could involve taking tickets off guests at the door, escorting the external speaker with Security staff to
and from the venue, and standing on the doors during the event to prevent further people entering the
– Do you require extra security outside the event for crowd control and public order in the event of
Will the event be recorded or reported in anyway? If so, by whom?
– What will happen to these recording after the event?
– Will student press be attending the event? If so, ask them to send you details of the article before
printing this. If local and national press express an interest in attending the event, this will need to be
flagged up with QMSU who will support you to mitigate any risks involved. This will be dealt with in
conjunction with the University Communications / Press office.
How can QMSU support me with my event?
– The QMSU staff will be happy to meet up with you to discuss ways of reducing the risk involved in your
event. Please contact Claire on email@example.com
– A QMSU staff member or representative could be invited to attend the event to oversee procedures.
What do I do if I need to stop an event because I / fellow students feel threatened or
- You should have organised a procedure with the Chair in the event of this happening. This may
involve a signal to show you would like the event to stop. The Chair should then be able to alert the
Security staff to stop the event.
- If you do not have a Chair or Security in the room, as this was not deemed necessary in the planning
stages of your event, please call a member of the Security Team on:
Mile End Campus Security: 020 7882 5000
Whitechapel Campus Security: 20 7882 2599
- The Security Team should be able to deal with any situations.
After the Event
How can I ensure the safety of my guest speaker after the event has ended?
– If you are happy for attendees to talk informally with the external speaker after the event you do not need
to ask people to leave in any order. However, if you have concerns over the safety of your speaker, you
may wish to ensure they have left the building and campus first. This should have been organised before
the start of the event and arranged with QMSU security.
– If you would like your speaker to be escorted off campus using an alternative route, this should be pre-
arranged with the QMUL Security Staff and Speaker.
How can I improve on future events?
– Events should be evaluated by the organising society as this will highlight issues and tensions as well as
possible risks associated with similar events in the future. Evaluation of events will help QMSU to
understand why some events can be more challenging or controversial.