Alcohol Guidelines

BUMC Alcohol Guidelines

 BUMC Guidelines for Serving & Consuming Alcohol at BUMC Events

This document sets forth guidelines for the service and consumption of alcoholic beverages at BUMC events, particularly events that are sponsored by student organizations, and establishes guidelines on required approvals for such events.

These guidelines are consistent with the Boston University Statement on Illegal Drugs and Alcohol, which addresses the unlawful use, possession, sale, distribution, or manufacture of controlled substances or alcohol on University property or as part of University activities.

Nothing in this document limits the right of the University to discipline individuals or sponsoring organizations for misconduct or violations of these guidelines or any other institutional policy.

The following guidelines apply to all campus and off-campus BUMC events at which alcohol is served and consumed:

  • Anyone possessing or serving alcohol in any area on University property or at University sponsored event is responsible for complying with all federal, state, and local laws, which provide strict and specific regulations for the use of alcohol.
  • No person, group, or organization may sell alcoholic beverages in Massachusetts without obtaining a license granted by the Commonwealth through the local licensing authority.
  • Damage to or destruction of property, or injury to any person that is caused by or related to the consumption of alcohol may be subject to University disciplinary action whether or not such violation occurred on University property.
  • No person shall possess an open container of alcoholic beverages in University common areas, such as grounds, hallways, auditoriums, classrooms, shared offices, cafeterias, lounges, etc., unless such area has been expressly designated as the site of a function where the serving of alcoholic beverages has been officially approved in accordance with these Boston University Medical Campus guidelines.
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in all clinical, patient-related space in all Medical Campus buildings.

The following guidelines apply to all campus and off­-campus BUMC events that are sponsored by BUMC student organizations and at which alcohol is served or consumed:

These guidelines do not all apply to other BUMC events, including non-­student events in which students may be present.

  • Alcohol may not be the primary focus of an event sponsored by a BUMC student organization. Any advertising for an event that involves the service of alcohol may not depict alcohol, or in any way indicate alcohol as being the main focus of the event.
  • Student organizations are not permitted to have an “open bar” at any sponsored event.
  • Student organizations may use organization funds for the costs associated with the service of alcohol, such as service fees, but may not use organization funds for the direct purchase of alcohol without the explicit approval of the Dean of their school or division.
  • Food and non­-alcoholic beverages must be provided at any student organization event at which alcohol is served.
  • Alcohol may only be served at an establishment or by a caterer licensed to serve alcohol. The license holder must hold all responsibility for checking IDs, serving alcohol, and adhering to applicable federal, state, and local laws.

These guidelines represent the minimum standards for serving and consuming alcohol at student organization events. The Dean of each Medical Campus school may elect to specify more restrictive conditions on all or some student organization events in his or her school.

Guidelines for Approving/Disapproving the Service of Alcohol at BUMC Events

  1. Student organization events:
    Student organizations must request formal approval from the Dean’s Office of the school or division in which the student organization is constituted for the service of alcohol at ALL events they sponsor regardless of size or location. Deans may delegate approval responsibility to appropriate management staff in their school or division’s Office of Student Services.
  2. Events involving faculty, staff, and/or students that are not sponsored by a student organization

Events generally can be divided into the two categories below and the corresponding guidelines should be applied.

a. Formal or official University functions:

Formal or official University functions includes events for which Boston University funds are used and at which attendance extends beyond a small, private party hosted by a faculty/staff member or a private departmental event.

  • Authority for allowing the service of alcohol at these events rests with the Provost/Deans; however, this authority may be delegated to Chairpersons and/or department heads for specific, regularly scheduled events (e.g., an annual alumni reunion, a formal dinner event for distinguished faculty, Match Day, etc.)
  • A one-­day alcohol license should be procured for any of these events where alcohol is served and (1) the event is open to the public, (2) a ticket price or entrance fee is charged, (3) there is a cash bar, or (4) a relatively large group—50 or more people, mostly or all BU affiliates or some by invitation only—will be in attendance. Event organizers can obtain such a license by contacting Boston University Police Department project manager at 617­-353-­6511.

b. Informal or small functions:

  • On­-campus, small groups, composed exclusively of students—Alcohol at these events is strictly prohibited.
  • Off­-campus, small group of students—The University does not have jurisdiction over groups of students who get together on their own, off University property, and not under the auspices of a student organization, even if they are discussing school-­related issues.
  • On­-campus, small group of faculty/staff (that may include students): Alcohol may be served and no alcohol license is required for informal events such as “beer and pretzels” sessions held by faculty or departmental gatherings, for which there is no admission fee and alcohol is served at no charge. The faculty or staff member hosting the group is responsible for:
    • obtaining approval for the service of alcohol from his/her department head or Chairperson;
    • the safe and proper conduct of all attendees; and,
    • ensuring that no person under the age of 21 is served alcohol.

[Approved by BUMC Deans on May 3, 2007]