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Entertainment Resources and Guidelines

Before you purchase business-related refreshments, familiarize yourself with UC and campus policies, procedures, and tools. Information is available on Blink and key resources and tools are highlighted below.

Meeting/Entertainment Event Planning

Business Purpose

  • The business purpose should explain the reason for the meeting/event – "why" (not "what")
  • The general discussion topic(s) or specific purpose for a meeting must be documented
  • When possible, attach meeting agendas or event invitations to support the business purpose


Meetings typically include UCSD faculty, staff and/or students only and are held on campus
  • A meeting held off campus is considered entertainment (hosted event)
  • A meeting must have an agenda as the business purpose
  • To be eligible for reimbursement, any food/beverage must be a necessary and integral part of the meeting and serve one of the following purposes:
    • Administrative, planning, workgroups
    • Planning, mentoring, workgroups (faculty, staff, and students)
    • Formal training sessions, conferences (not on travel status)
    • Professional association, scholarly society, external organization
    • UC-wide meetings, Academic Senate, Regents
  • Frequency is limited to one meal or two light refreshments per month, per group

Programmatic Activities

Programmatic activities support educational and community programs
  • Examples of programmatic activities include:
    • A class, study hall, or other academic-based activity
    • An opening reception for an exhibition
    • A department open house
    • A social gathering for graduate students
    • A student government, student association, or other student meeting

Standard Entertainment

Standard entertainment events are directly related to university business with no personal benefit

  • The designated event host must be in attendance at the event
  • Examples of standard entertainment include:
    • Hosting official guests, including:
      • Visitors from other universities
      • Members of the community
      • Employees visiting from another work location
    • Recruitment, where expenses are either:
      • Funded from a source designated for graduate students or professional recruitment
      • Related to recruitment for positions requiring specialized training or specialized professional, technical, or administrative experience
    • Hosting prospective donors to generate goodwill
  • Events where expenses exceed the per-person maximum are considered special entertainment

Special Entertainment

The following circumstances are considered special entertainment:

Travel Card

Apply for a Travel Card to pay for meeting/entertainment expenses
  • Submit the completed application (PDF) signed by the applicant and supervisor to the Business Officer for the Index Authority signature and final submission

Meeting/Entertainment Expense Processing

  • Meeting/Entertainment expenses should be processed within 21 days of the event date 
  • MyPayments is UC San Diego's online application for requesting event reimbursements
  • MyPayments Overview provides a basic understanding of how to request reimbursement or payment for entertainment and meeting expenses
  • Using MyPayments provides step-by-step guidance for using MyPayments
  • There is no required training for access; MyPayments training videos are available
  • Before processing an event payment, please review the event checklisttraining demos & FAQs for assistance navigating through travel preparation, processing and reimbursement
  • How to request a new payee to be set up for MyPayments
  • Determine which expenses are included/excluded in per-person calculations:
    • Included: meal, labor, sales tax, delivery charges, and other service fees such as gratuity
    • Excluded: room rental and setup fees, media rental fees, china and linen rental, decorations, and other non-meal expenses
    • Excluded items go under “Other”
  • Include written justifications for exceeding any policy maximum
  • Recharging meal expenses from UCSD Catering, Faculty Club & other entities requires that a recharge approval form (Excel) aka "recharge tracker" be completed
    • Be sure to correctly calculate per-person expenditures (know what’s included/excluded)
    • Use the correct account code(s) depending on the type of event
    • Extending and Sponsoring are programmatic activities and do not require an attendee list; if included, the count must match attendance claimed; per-person maximums apply