The SDSU Hospitality Policy has been updated and effective February 1, 2024. Please review the updated policy and supporting documents.

Hospitality expenses are governed by the CSU Hospitality Policy and the SDSU Hospitality Policy (PDF). Hospitality includes expenditures for activities that promote the University to the public, usually with the expectation of benefits accruing directly or indirectly to the University. Hospitality includes the following elements:

  • Entertainment Services
  • Food & Beverage
  • Awards & Prizes
  • Incentives
  • Promotional Items

The Hospitality Policy (PDF) outlines a number of allowable hospitality expenses, events, and activities and what resources can be used to pay for the expenses.

Certain hospitality expenses are always prohibited, regardless of funding source:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Hospitality expenses that are personal and are not related to the active conduct of official University business
  • Employee farewell gatherings that are not official campus functions
  • Memorial services
  • Celebrations of retirement, and farewell gatherings for employees separating with less than 5 years of service
  • Hospitality expenses will not be paid or reimbursed for membership in social organizations, activities, or entertainment services that discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, or disability.

The Hospitality Justification Form (Adobesign login required) must be completed via Adobe Sign Workflow  (How to Access Adobe Sign Workflows (PDF)) to support purchasing any items/services considered Hospitality. The Hospitality Justification Form must include the following, but not limited to:

  1. The name of the host/sponsor
  2. The date, time, and location of the event
  3. A guest list that includes the names and relationships of the guests to the University
  4. Type of hospitality
  5. The type of event (business meeting, department meeting, host of official guest, employee recognition, reception, fundraising, or community outreach)
  6. Type of meal
  7. Estimated cost per attendee
  8. State whether you obtained a catering waiver if not using Aztec Shops for on-campus catering.
  9. The business purpose of the meeting or event
  10. State whether the meeting is recurring

Please note, that the purpose of the Hospitality Justification Form is to justify the items being purchased, not just the event. Please be sure to include specific justification as to how the items being purchased serve a business purpose and benefit the University. The Hospitality Justification Form should be completed/approved prior to any expense being incurred.

Hospitality can be purchased using the following payment methods:

If an award is given, an Award and Incentive Payments Reconciliation Form (PDF) must be completed. 

Step 1:

Review the CSU Hospitality Policy & SDSU  Hospitality Policy (PDF) to ensure you are aware of the requirements of the policy.

Step 2:

Access the Hospitality Justification Form (Adobesign login required) through the AdobeSign Workflow. For more information on accessing AdobeSign Workflow please refer to the How to Access Adobe Sign Workflows (PDF).

Step 3:

Complete the Hospitality Justification Form (Adobesign login required) via AdobeSign Workflow which will route to the appropriate approving authority and FAH Approver.

Step 4:

Complete the Hospitality Event/Purchase the Hospitality Item.  Whenever possible, an SDSU procurement credit card should be used for purchases, in accordance with the Non-PO Procure-to-Pay Policy. This includes online purchases and catering from campus partners, as well as off-campus partners if possible (phone payment for a pickup order, for example), or purchases at the campus Bookstore. Campus Partners should not pay out of pocket and request reimbursement unless that is the only option.

Step 5:

Submit the Hospitality Justification Form (Adobesign login required) with the required itemized receipts and other supporting documentation to the Procure-to-Pay team ([email protected]) for processing. 

Please reference the Hospitality Policy Update Presentation (PDF) for further assistance.

Awards and Incentive Payments

There may be times when it is appropriate to provide items of value to students, employees, or others affiliated with the University. Awards may be given for recognition or achievement and incentive payments may be made to compensate individuals for their participation in research or other studies. Incentives may also be used to increase participation in other campus events. The SDSU Hospitality Policy (PDF) provides guidance for these types of payments.

Awards and incentives may be distributed in the form of gift cards or non-monetary items such as T-shirts, books, etc. All payment types are considered taxable and subject to the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) income reporting requirements. The issuing department is responsible for tracking and maintaining reports on the recipients of such awards and incentives. For University employees who receive awards or incentives with a value over $50, either on a single or cumulative basis during a single calendar year, the total value of payment will be reported as income to the recipient. For students who receive awards or incentives over $600 on a single or cumulative basis during a single calendar year, the total of the awards/cards will be reported to the IRS via Form 1099. In any case, records of recipient information are necessary and required for expenditure justification. If a participant is identified as a nonresident alien, taxes must be withheld from the payment and reported on Form 1042-S.

The PI or other payee will be responsible for the distribution of the awards or incentives. When awards or incentives are distributed, a log (Award and Incentive Payments Reconciliation Form (PDF)) must be kept completed noting who received the award or incentive.  In completing the Award and Incentive Payments Reconciliation Form (PDF), certain data must be documented, as noted in the SDSU Hospitality Policy (PDF).