Administrative Services

Special Events

Guidelines for Alcoholic Beverage Distribution and Consumption at Campus Events

In support of the "General Statement on Alcoholic Beverages" the following guidelines have been established towards the objectives that:

  • The University supports the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (particularly those which prohibit underage drinking, regulate driving under the influence of alcohol, and support host liability laws).
  • The University will continue to offer educational programming for all members of the University about alcohol and alcohol abuse.
  • The University expects all members of the University community to adhere to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the University Alcohol Policy as found in the Student Handbook and these guidelines, thus reducing the risk of physical harm to individuals and of legal liability of the University, organizations affiliated with or sponsored by the University and all members of the University community.

The following guidelines apply to all constituents of the University including the administration, students, faculty, staff and alumni and their guests who attend events on campus that are sponsored by the University or divisions, departments, classes, teams or organizations of the University.

The President has appointed the Vice President for Student Life to approve requests of faculty, administration, staff, and students for events at which alcohol will be available. Exceptions to certain items may be made by the Vice President for Student Life within the parameters set in conjunction with an Alcohol and other Drug Task Force comprised of University wide representatives.

All events, other than student events, at which alcohol may be available shall be normally registered at least two weeks in advance with the Vice President for Student Life. *Student events with alcohol must be registered at least two weeks in advance with the Director of Student Activities and Leadership.

The registration of events shall entail the agreement by those registering the event to assume full responsibility for monitoring and controlling the event within these guidelines. Failure to do so will result in sanctions as outlined later in these guidelines.

The sponsors of an event are ultimately responsible to insure that all attendees obey the relevant provisions of the Pennsylvania Liquor and Crimes code relative to alcohol. They also are responsible to deny admission and/or refuse service to persons who appear to be intoxicated (such as having slurred speech, displaying erratic behavior and having physical coordination difficulties).

Faculty, staff or administration who entertain in their homes are subject to the host liability laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and are reminded that it is illegal to serve any kind of alcoholic beverage to persons under 21 years of age.

Alcohol cannot be sold or donations accepted in lieu of payment for alcoholic beverages.

Sponsors of an event must provide an adequate amount of food, other than snacks which encourage drinking alcohol, such as pretzels, peanuts or potato chips. Soft drinks, as prominently displayed as the alcohol, also must be provided in adequate amounts for those opting not to drink alcohol.

Those eligible to consume alcohol will have a band placed upon their wrist which must be worn during the event and cannot be transferred to another person. When a substantial majority of those attending an event are of age to consume, the issuance of the wrist band may be waived by the Vice President for Student Life. All of age will also be issued one, non-transferrable ticket for each hour of the event that alcohol will be available.

  1. Alcohol may not be the main focus of an event.
  2. Publicity for an event will not make reference to the availability of alcohol.
  3. Alcohol may be served for a maximum of four hours and service must end one half hour before the scheduled completion of the event.
  4. No grain alcohol is permitted on/off campus at any event.
  5. Authorization to serve alcohol may be granted only for closed group social events. A closed group is defined as the members of the sponsoring organization plus two (2) guests per each attending member.
  6. Alcoholic beverages of any kind, regardless of age of consumer/possessor, are prohibited at any athletic event.*
  7. No one, regardless of age, shall consume alcohol or possess an open container of alcohol in a University vehicle or University sponsored vehicle.
  8. Alcoholic beverages may not be provided as prizes or awards for individuals under 21, or for student organizations.
  9. Beer kegs/balls or any similar type of common source and their equivalents in volume of alcoholic content are not permitted.
  10. At events where persons under 21 are present, a serving and consumption area must be clearly and completely separated from a non-alcohol service area, with adequate space to avoid congestion and related disruptions.
  11. Certified professional bartenders must be hired at a ratio of 1:75 through the University Dining Service or another reputable firm. Self service of alcohol is not permitted.
  12. No alcohol is permitted in student organization offices.

On-Campus Events

All applicable guidelines mentioned above will be in effect in all University operated facilities, residences, including apartments, in addition to the following:

  1. The consumption of alcohol may take place only in a resident's room/apartment and thus is not permitted in common/public areas or University grounds.
  2. The resident(s) in whose room/apartment alcohol is being consumed is (are) responsible for, and will be held accountable for, the behavior of their guests, including but not limited to insuring that minors do not consume alcohol, open containers of alcohol do not leave the room/ apartment, and that guests and themselves do not become drunk and disorderly.
  3. When open containers of alcohol are present in a resident's room or apartment, the number of guests may not exceed two per resident.
  4. Any University official, including Residence Life or Campus Security Staff, who has a reasonable suspicion that the alcohol guidelines are being violated, may obtain immediate access to any University facility to determine that these guidelines are being followed. They are authorized to intervene in any situation that warrants action including, but not limited to, ejection of attendees, termination of the event and/or confiscation of alcohol. In the latter case, all confiscated alcohol will be turned in to Campus Security for subsequent disposal.

Off-Campus Events

As mentioned in the University's General Statement on Alcoholic Beverages in the Student Handbook: "Students are advised that the University does not condone off-campus underage drinking and reserves the right to discipline cases which are called to its attention and which are offensive to the name of the University or the rights of others. Even off-campus parties where students are of legal age may be subject to disciplinary action under similar circumstances."

Social Host

It is the responsibility of any student who hosts a visitor or guest in their off-campus residence to insure that the person knows and adheres to the Student Code of Conduct. In instances where guests violate rules or codes, the student host will be held responsible. Residents of an apartment or house off-campus are responsible for all that occurs inside or outside their residence including any guest misconduct. Whether a visitor is a student, non-student, or a non-identified guest, the student host will be held responsible for violations for the Student Code of Conduct. Responsibility under these rules may occur even if the host is not a participant in the activity or has left the visitor(s) alone. If a student is on a lease or rental agreement for an apartment or house, the student is responsible for what occurs on and in that property. Not being at the location at the time of an incident at that property does not exclude a student on the lease from responsibility for what occurs there.

Definition of a Group

A case may be determined by its nature to be an organizational act. Some organizational issues are not easily quantified. No specific number of members is required to establish an event as an organizational activity. Further, simply declaring that an activity is not an organizationally planned or sponsored event may not alter the responsibility of the organization for that event. Factors to be considered in determining organizational responsibility include, but are not limited to, the number of members involved in the activity, the manner in which the activity was planned and financed, the manner in which the activity was publicized, and the unique details of what transpired during the event that may clarify the role of the organization and its members.