Student Handbook - Events with Alcohol


Social Events with Alcohol Policy

Introduction

Union College recognizes that a vibrant, diverse social life is an important feature of campus life and encourages students to plan events within a framework that promotes safe, legal, and responsible fun. When alcohol will be available at social events, it is the responsibility of the Event Sponsor and the Responsible Persons to comply with all requirements of New York State Law (as set forth above) and Union College Policy. Event Sponsors are required to schedule a meeting with the Dean of Students (or designee) to review Union College’s policies and procedures which the Host Organization will follow.  These regulations apply to all College events (see “Definitions” section of this Policy) where alcoholic beverages will be served.  College events include, but are not limited to:

  • Any events held on campus, including events sponsored by groups that lease or use College property;
  • Fraternity and Sorority events held in College-owned property (group residential spaces);
  • Campus organization events;
  • Commencement events;
  • Department or unit events;
  • Events held by individuals, on behalf of the College, for members of the College community (whether on or off campus).

Definitions

These definitions apply to the following terms as they are used in this Policy.

Campus Facilities
The Campus Facilities include: Old Chapel, the Rathskellar, Chet’s, Dining Halls, and other areas approved by the Dean of Students (or designee).

College Event
  An event that is sponsored by an individual or entity on behalf of the College or an event that takes place on College controlled property.

Common Source
Common source is defined as but not limited to the following examples: kegs, pony kegs, punch bowls, commercial dispensers, or the amount of alcohol equivalent to a common source alcohol beverage container, whether empty or full. 

Event Sponsor
A Host Organization planning an event with responsibility for adherence to this Policy and New York State laws which prohibit dispensing of alcohol to anyone under the age of 21, or to any visibly intoxicated person, during all stages of the event.

Host Organization
A student organization recognized by the College or the Student Forum.

Group Residences
Residence Halls designated by the Dean of Students (or designee) where Closed Social Events are permitted.

Residential Spaces
All College owned facilities where students reside (on and off the main campus).

Responsible Persons
The officers of the Host Organization and an individual of Junior standing or older designated by the Event Sponsor at the time of registration for an Event involving alcoholic beverages shall be the “Responsible Persons.”  The Responsible Persons assume the responsibility for managing the Event in accordance with the requirements of this Policy. The names of the Responsible Persons shall be provided at the time of registration.

Sale of Alcoholic Beverages
The act of dispensing alcohol through direct sale or at a function where alcohol is dispensed and any of the following occur:

  • An admission is charged or tickets are sold;
  • Donations are collected;
  • Items or services are bartered or traded in exchange for alcoholic beverages or admission to the function;
  • Food is sold (even if alcohol is free).

Server
  A person qualified to serve alcohol at an event because he or she is at least 21 years of age and has had training in the dispensing of alcoholic beverages.

Social Event
Any function in an area where alcohol is present. Categories include:

Academic/Social Event
An Event held at group residences involving typically fewer than 40 participants and normally involving faculty and students with explicit approval of the Dean of Students or his/her designee, subject to the conditions imposed by the Dean of Students or his/her designee and the requirements established below under Academic/Social Events.

Registered Social Event
A function attended by invitation only that is registered with the Dean of Students (or designee) and takes place at a designated Campus Facility including designated Group Residences. The number of attendees at any given time at a Registered Social Event shall not exceed the number permitted by Building and Fire Code limitations established by officials for the designated Campus Facility or designated Group Residence.

Special Event
A Registered Social Event held on any day Sunday through Thursday where an individual or organization is serving alcohol. Size is typically limited to 40 people, or the number of active members of a recognized organization. To qualify, the registrant must justify the event as an occurrence of special importance and receive the explicit approval of the Dean of Students or his/her designee and be subject to the conditions imposed by the Dean of Student or his/her designee.

BYOB Event
A BYOB function is defined as a social gathering or event on or in college owned residential space, where the following criteria are met: the presence of non-residents; the presence of alcohol; no common source of alcohol.  A BYOB Event is a Registered Social Event.

Underage
Under 21 years of age.

Registered Social Events Requirements

  • At all Registered Social Events (e.g., Academic/Social Event, Special Event, BYOB Event), unless otherwise noted, all of the conditions and requirements below  must be satisfied, unless otherwise specified by the Dean of Students or his or her designee.
  • For all Greek Social Events with Alcohol, in addition to the requirements set forth herein, the Greek organization is encouraged to comply with the Fraternal Information & Programming Group (FIPG) Risk Management Policy.  If the FIPG requirements are more stringent than the College requirements, the FIPG requirements shall be followed.
  • Union College allows Social Events with Alcohol on Friday and Saturday nights only when classes are in session or as part of Senior Week activities. Special Events with Alcohol may also be registered, but only with proper justification. Such events are subject to the same registration requirements as weekend Social Events. The College does not permit Social Events with Alcohol at any time after the ninth week of any term or during new student orientation or during reading or exam periods, or during Fraternity and Sorority  Life recruitment periods.
  • All Social Events with Alcohol shall be held at an approved Campus Facility or Residential Space. When an Event with Alcohol is planned, the Responsible Persons shall notify the Dean of Students (or designee) at least  two (2) days in advance by completing all necessary forms (i.e. Social Events Registration Form and the Use of College Property Form) and by obtaining the approval of the Dean of Students (or designee).
  • Registration of the Event with Alcohol does not imply the College’s sponsorship of the Event
  • College funds, organizational dues, declining balance, or Student Forum funds may not be used to purchase alcohol.
  • Registration of the Event with Alcohol does not imply the College’s sponsorship of the Event.
  • College funds and Student Forum funds may not be used to purchase alcohol.
  • The sale of alcoholic beverages (see Definitions section above), including, but not limited to, charging admission at the door of an Event with Alcohol by any individual or selling invitations or any item of exchange or charging any remuneration, is illegal and a violation of this Policy without an Alcoholic Beverage Control License from the New York State Liquor Authority.
  • The Responsible Persons shall ensure that the total number of persons at the Event shall not exceed the number of persons as approved by the Dean of Students (or designee), and in no event shall the number exceed the Building and Fire Code limitations established by officials for the designated Campus Facility where the Event is held. It is incumbent upon the Responsible Persons to check with the Office of Environmental Safety for Building and Fire Code requirements.
Additional Requirements
  • The Responsible Persons must be present at all times while alcohol is available and/or served and must ensure that no one under the age of 21 possesses or consumes alcohol.
  • A system of checking the age of guests must be used before alcohol is served. Union College identification cards do not list the age of a student and are not acceptable.
  • Everyone attending an Event where Alcohol is served must carry valid identification that verifies their date of birth. Union College students must also carry College identification.
  • Guests must not have direct access to alcohol; servers (see “Server” in Definitions section above) must be used (unless it is a BYOB Event as specified below).
  • Hard liquor is prohibited at all events. The type of alcohol permitted is limited to wine and beer. No bulk alcohol/common source, as defined above, is allowed at the event.
  • Irresponsible distribution of alcohol is prohibited. Such distribution includes, but is not limited to, any occasion when the atmosphere or circumstances are such that the intended or likely outcome is either abuse of alcohol or to become intoxicated. Examples of irresponsible distribution of alcohol include, but are not limited to: funnels, shot parties, beer pong, chugging contests, or other drinking games.
  • All alcoholic beverages must remain indoors. It is imperative that the activities of the Event not disturb the surrounding environs.
  • The entrance to the Event must be staffed by individuals from the Event Sponsor or hired staff in proportion to the number of guests and as determined by the Dean of Students (or designee), at the time of registration.
  • Intoxicated persons must not be served. Those arriving in an intoxicated condition, even if 21 or older, MUST be denied entrance.
  • The amount of beer and wine and non-alcoholic beverages made available must be in proportion to the number of guests who will be above the age of 21.  (See requirements under BYOB Events)
  • The amount of non- alcoholic beverages made available must be in proportion to the total number of guests
  • Food must be available and easily accessible.
  • No alcohol may be served after 2:00 a.m., regardless of whether the Event extends past 2:00 a.m.
  • The volume of all music must be lowered at 2:00 a.m. and should not be audible to the neighbors and surrounding residents.
  • Any band, ensemble, or live musical act shall be promptly dismissed at 2:00 a.m.
  • All Registered Social Events must abide by the Social Event protocols set up by the Dean of Students or his or her designee.
  • Responsible Persons should refer to the “Social Event Policy Compliance Checklist” for further guidance.
Academic/Social Events
  • Academic/Social Events with alcohol must have a designated Responsible Person to sponsor the event.
  • The Responsible Person must notify the Dean of Students or designee at least 24 hours before the event.
  • The event must have specified beginning and end times.
  • Academic/Social Events are typically limited to 40 or fewer people.
  • Academic/Social Events typically involve faculty and/or guests of the College.
  • No hard liquor is allowed at any Academic/Social Event.
  • No Common Source alcohol is allowed at any Academic/Social Event.
  • Notification of the Event with the Dean of Students Office does not imply the College’s Sponsorship of the Event.
  • College funds or Student Forum funds may not be used to purchase alcohol.
  • The sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited (see the Definitions section above).
  • The Responsible Persons shall ensure that the total number of persons at the Event shall not exceed the number of persons as approved by the Dean of Students (or designee), and in no event shall the number exceed the Building and Fire Code limitations established by officials for the designated Campus Facility where the Event is held. It is incumbent upon the Responsible Persons to check with Campus Safety for Building and Fire Code requirements.
  • The Event must be confined to the space indicated indoors and all alcoholic beverages must remain indoors. It is imperative that the activities of the Event not disturb the surrounding environs.
  • Intoxicated persons must not be served. Those arriving in an intoxicated condition, even if 21 or older, must be denied entrance.
  • The amount of beer and wine and non-alcoholic beverages made available must be in proportion to the number of guests who will be above or below the age of 21.
  •  Food must be available and easily accessible.

BYOB Events

  • There must be a visible system of verifying the amount of alcohol being brought to a BYOB function at the door/entry point of the BYOB Event.
  • No glass bottles are allowed in any BYOB function.
  • A person who is 21-years or older may bring six 12-oz. cans of beer OR 72-oz total.
  • Each legal member or guest is responsible for their own beverages, and may not share the purchase/consumption of beer with other members or guests.
  • Malt beverages or wine cannot exceed 72 ounces and must be in their original container(s)
  • No Common Source of Alcohol is permitted.
  • For additional requirements, please refer to the “Social Events Policy Compliance Checklist”, and the Registered Social Event Requirements section above.

Campus Security and the Dean of Students Office

Responsible Persons may call Union College Campus Safety Department and/or the Dean of Students or his or her designee for assistance with any alcohol violations or difficult situations which may arise during an Event with Alcohol. Campus Safety may check in at approved Events to review whether a system for checking the age of student guests is in place. If a system is not in place, then the Event may be shut down.  If Campus Safety and/or the Dean of Students or his or her designee are notified of a disturbance at an approved Event, they will promptly investigate.

While Campus Safety and/or the Dean of Students Office will make every effort to work with Responsible Persons to address and remedy alcohol violations or other problems, Safety Officers and/or the Dean of Students or his or her designee are authorized to close Events if serious problems are evident. Absent a life safety emergency, the decision to close an event will be made in consultation with the Dean of Students or his or her designee.

  • All Events must be conducted in a safe and responsible manner that is not disruptive to the surrounding area.
  • Should Campus Safety or an official from the Dean of Students Office come across an unregistered event, such event will be closed immediately.

    Violations of alcohol regulations discovered by Campus Safety will be reported to the Office of the Dean of Students and appropriate disciplinary action will ensue. Host organizations are responsible and liable for the conduct of their guests at parties. They may face disciplinary action through the College judicial process for Alcohol Policy violations which occur at Events they sponsor and, under certain circumstances, may face criminal or civil proceedings under the jurisdiction of New York State law.

    Sanctions

    • Host Organization officers will be held accountable for violations of all College Alcohol Policies which occur at Events they sponsor and, under certain circumstances, may face criminal or civil proceedings under the jurisdiction of New York State law.
    • Organizations and officers of an Organization responsible for hosting an unregistered event will likewise be held responsible and liable for all alcohol-related violations committed by their guests and face additional sanctions for failing to register the event in accordance with the Social Events with Alcohol Policy or for hosting an unregistered event. College policy holds safety to be the top priority, expecting individuals and organizations to contact Campus Safety over any health concern. The Good Samaritan Policy (see Alcohol and Drug Policy) encourages individuals to consider safety before any other concerns about violating College rules.
    • Host Organizations and Responsible Persons must comply with these policies and applicable New York State law. Host Organizations and Responsible Persons found to be in violation of the Social Events with Alcohol Policy in a manner that is considered by the Dean of Students or his/her designee to be significant may lose their privilege to register or face other sanctions as deemed appropriate by the Dean of Students Office.  Violations include but are not limited to conduct involving one or more of the following, as applicable to the type of Event sponsored and the Host Organization:
      • Failure to register the Event;
      • Serving or allowing the consumption of hard liquor at the event;
      • Failure to comply with reasonable requests from of Campus Safety;
      • Failure to card and/or monitor the serving of alcohol to minors;
      • Permitting more alcohol at the Event than was approved.

      Violators will be adjudicated and sanctioned accordingly.

      • College sponsored events for Trustees, Alumni, Parents, Faculty, and Seniors are not required to be registered under this Policy. However, appropriate signs must be posted and a trained, professional, adult bartender (not an undergraduate) must control the dispensing of alcoholic beverages.
        • Wine and beer served with meals must be dispensed by an approved bartender.
        • Hard liquor may be dispensed by an approved bartender.
        • Alcoholic beverages must not be served to any intoxicated person or to anyone underage.
      • Functions held in the President’s House are not required to be registered pursuant to this Policy. There are no restrictions regarding the dispensing of alcoholic beverages at such functions.
      • Indoor and outdoor events, to which the whole College community is invited, such as building dedications, art exhibition openings, etc., must be alcohol free.
      • Actions that take place in student residential spaces, including apartments, private rooms within residence halls, and cooperative or small living units, are governed by regulations as set forth in the Alcohol and Residence Hall Policy or as set promulgated by Residential Life and the terms and conditions of the residential contract.  The procedures contained in the “Social Events with Alcohol Policy” are applicable whenever the service of alcoholic beverages takes place in any College shared area (including, but not limited to, a residential hall lounge, cooperative living room, or a communally shared space within a small living unit).  The terms and conditions of the residential contract, whether on or off campus, may be more restrictive than this Policy.  For example, consumption of alcoholic beverages in the shared areas within undergraduate residential facilities in prohibited by the residential contract.
      • Athletic-Tailgating Events –The reasonable and responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages during public athletic events on campus must be consistent with all laws of the State of New York and the aims and purposes of Union College as an educational institution.  When members of the College community (other than students), and visitors choose to serve alcoholic beverages during open air picnics (Tailgating), the College expects that participants in such activities will be reasonable, responsible, and in compliance with the law.  No open containers of alcoholic beverages will be allowed on the field or in the stadium.  Consumption of alcoholic beverages is limited to parking lots.  All other policy relating to alcohol use on College property remains in effect.

      Alcoholic Beverages on College Property

      • Only the Union College Dining Service is authorized to sell alcoholic beverages on College property unless a College approved third party vendor is secured by a Host Organization. The sale of alcoholic beverages by any other organization or by individuals, whether directly, or indirectly, through the purchase of a ticket, a cup, a tee shirt, wristband or any other item allowing admission, is prohibited on College property.
      • Because a significant majority of Union students are under the legal age at which alcoholic beverages can be obtained, funds collected by the College for student government distribution to student activities and organizations may not be used to purchase alcoholic beverages.
      • Alcoholic beverages in “open” containers (cans, bottles, or cups) are not permitted outdoors on the campus at any time, unless prior, written approval is obtained directly from the Dean of Students or his or her designee.  If approved, the event sponsor must ensure that all those attending the event comply with any specifications outlined by the Dean of Students or his designee as conditions for approving the request to have “open” containers outdoors.
      • No students or student groups are to have alcohol delivered by distributors to campus.