Lottery Events

Attendance at many of the events held by GSPB are lottery-based due to high graduate student interest combined with the limited budget per event. Events and their associated lottery are very easy to organize. As the event planner, there are a few steps to take to ensure fairness in the lottery process and that events remain fun and accessible to all.

Steps to planning a lottery event:

1. Propose an event idea at the weekly GSPB meeting

The sponsorship for lottery events is capped at $15 per person and a maximum of $150 per event. Proposals should answer the following questions:

  • What is the name of the event?
  • When and where will it be held?
  • How many people are going?
  • If it is off campus, how are you getting there? (carpool, public transportation, etc)
  • How much does it cost (provide a rough budget)?
  • Are you receiving funding from other organizations? If so, how much?
  • How will the event be publicized?

*Note that we are unable to fund student groups

2. Create a survey

After your event proposal has been approved, GSPB uses Google Forms to collect information for those interested in attending events. Email the coordinators for help with this process if needed.

Event RSVP

You are required to create a Google Form survey for people to RSVP to your event within the GSPB Team Drive.  There are templates of past surveys that you can copy for your own survey. You need student names/ID number/SUNetIDs to be reimbursed, so those are mandatory fields. You will also need email addresses to coordinate with your participants. Please note on your Google Form submission that the event will be lottery-based, so people signing up should wait for confirmation that they’ve received a spot. Your RSVP survey link should go into the GSPB Event Announcement Form (instructions below). 

GSPB Event Announcement Form:

You are required to fill out this Google Form survey to provide the GSPB coordinators with information regarding your event so we are able to publicize it in a timely manner. Please remember, the event has to go out in our email distribution at least 5 days before your event. 

3. Advertise the event

The Google Form sent to you by the GSPB coordinators will make sure you provide all the necessary information for distribution on the GSPB mailing list as well as the GSPB calendar. Other advertisement ideas can be found under “Publicity” in the Event Planning Guide.

4. Run the lottery

After the deadline specified in the description, pick the lottery winners. Preference should be given to individuals that have not attended GSPB events and to form a diverse group of students.

From the results, pick about 1.5 times the number of people that can go on the event. The extra people will be used as a wait list. The individuals chosen to attend the event should be chosen randomly. However, you may want to form more balanced groups or to give preference to individuals that have not attended GSPB events. The best way to form balanced group is to set a rough quota before creating the list of random numbers (for example at least X% should be Y). If you fail to meet the quota after creating the list of winners, bump the last individuals down until you meet the quota. When creating the quota, please consider the subsets percentage of the total population and the target audience of the event.

5. Contact the winners

In the email to the lottery winners, please include any logistic information (carpooling, etc) and ask for a response to verify that they can attend the event. In the email to the students on the wait list, make sure that you state clearly that the individual is on the wait list. Also, mention that people usually drop out so there is a good chance that they may get a spot. You may want to ask for their phone number so that you can call them if a person no shows on the day of the event.

5. Collect co-pays, if necessary

If necessary, collect co-pays before the event. The co-pays can be dropped off at Graduate Life Office (2nd floor GCC, office 207). Email the Graduate Life Office ( to set this up.

6. Pick up needed items

For some events, you may need to order things to be used. If the items are reusable (such as board games), they are the property of GSPB and needs to be returned after the event. Always check with the Graduate Life Office to see what they might already have.

Before the event, pick up any items you ordered, the P-card (credit card) to pay for the event, and the required form to fill out and return. Email the Graduate Life Office ( to schedule a pick-up time. Reimbursements are possible but they take a while to process. Please return the P-card as soon as possible after the event.

7. Host the event

Have fun! Make friends!

8. Submit items to Graduate Life Office

Submit any reusable items, the P-card, receipts, and a list of participants (with Student ID numbers) at a GSPB meeting, or to the Graduate Life Office on the second floor of the GCC.