Alcoholic Beverages on Campus

Policy Information
Policy TitleAlcoholic Beverages on Campus
Responsible OfficeStudent Affairs
Policy TypeFacilities and Property
Policy Number400
Last Revision Date5/22/2018

In accordance with the legal restrictions imposed by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and with University considerations based upon security and appropriate supervision, it is important that members of the University community abide by the specific regulations related to the possession, consumption, and serving of alcoholic beverages on campus.

All members of the University community should be aware that New York State law prohibits the serving, selling, providing or procuring of alcoholic beverages to, or for any person under the age of 21.

Further, New York State law states that:

“Any person who shall be injured in person, property, means of support or otherwise, by reason of the intoxication or impairment of ability of any person under the age of 21 years, whether resulting in his death or not, shall have a right of action to recover actual damages against any person who knowingly causes such intoxication or impairment of ability by unlawfully furnishing to or unlawfully assisting in procuring alcoholic beverages for such person with knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that such person was under the age of 21 years.”


  1. Use of Alcoholic Beverages on Campus

    1. Persons under 21 are prohibited from purchasing, possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages.
    2. Persons 21 and over are prohibited from possessing open containers and consuming alcoholic beverages except in rooms, suites, apartments, licensed dining facilities, or at registered events.
    3. Persons 21 and over are prohibited from removing alcoholic beverages from or bringing such beverages into dining facilities or at registered events.
    4. All persons are prohibited from possessing or consuming from bulk containers of alcohol such as beer balls, kegs, trash-can punches and punch bowls; possessing empty beer balls and kegs; and possessing or using tapping equipment. Persons 21 and over are permitted to possess draft containers of wine not larger than five liters.
    5. All persons are prohibited from selling, serving, giving away or making alcoholic beverages available to persons under 21 and are prohibited from purchasing alcoholic beverages for persons under 21.
    6. Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in any buildings or on University grounds, including all athletic fields, by any person regardless of age, except at registered events when appropriate arrangements have been made.
    7. State funds may not be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.

  2. Off-Campus Events Where Alcoholic Beverages are Served

    Students and organizations are reminded that if an event is held off campus and alcohol is served, all Alcoholic Beverage Control Board rules and New York state laws must be observed. 

Service and Control of Alcoholic Beverages

  1. Specific Policies Covering Serving and Selling of Alcoholic Beverages on Campus

    1. Reserving Facilities and Applying for Permission to Serve Alcoholic Beverages:
      1. Any organization sponsoring an event must first reserve a campus facility following University procedures.
      2. An Application for Permission to Serve Alcoholic Beverages form must be completed by the sponsoring organization for each event at least five working days in advance.
        • For events held in University dining halls or public areas of Susquehanna and Hillside Communities, the form must be reviewed and signed by the Director of Residential Life & University Housing or designee.
        • For all other events, regardless of sponsor, forms should be reviewed and approved by the Dean of Students or designee.

    2. Charging for Alcoholic Beverages:
      1. If any direct or indirect charge is made (charging for drinks or other refreshments, charging an admission fee, selling tickets to the event, asking for donations, etc.), special requirements must be met (see b. below). If the special requirements have not been met, no charge of any kind may be made nor donation requested.
      2. If any charge is to be made, the sponsoring organization must make arrangements for one of the following:
        • If the event is to be held in an area licensed by University Dining Services (such as the Chenango room), the wine, liquor or beer must be catered by Dining Services. Arrangements must be made with Dining Services at least 15 working days in advance of the event and all Dining Services forms must be completed. The food and beverage contractor holds liquor license for events catered by them.
        • If an event is to be held in an area not licensed by University Dining Services, but the wine, beer, and liquor are to be catered by Dining Services, then Dining Services may apply for an extension of its license to cover the event. Arrangements must be made with Dining Services at least 15 working days in advance of the event.
        • If the event is to be held in a non-dining Services facility and not catered by Dining Services, a one-day permit to sell beer or wine must be obtained from the Syracuse Consolidated Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board at least three weeks in advance. Note: In this instance, only beer or wine may be sold; arrangements must be made through University Dining Services (see section a and b, above). However, the individual (including any member of a student organization’s executive board—e.g. officer) presenting the request to the ABC Board must be 21 years of age. The ABC Board may not issue the permit if this condition is not met. The sponsoring organization is required to make arrangements, including payment, at least 10 working days prior to an event, for a New York State University Police Officer to be present whenever alcoholic beverages are served under an ABC Permit. Note: The New York State University Police may waive this requirement if it is felt that the nature of the event does not warrant this measure. All requests for waiver must be submitted in writing no later than 10 working days prior to an event.

    3. Service Control and Identifications:
      1. The sponsoring organization and/or bartender is responsible for checking identification to make sure those being served and/or consuming alcoholic beverages are 21 years of age or older. Proof of age may be requested at any time before selling or serving alcoholic beverages. University Dining Services will require the sponsoring organization to make arrangements for a manager on duty at dining facilities. There will be a fee for this service.
        • Students must present their student ID card plus a second form of identification such as sheriff’s card, driver’s license, official birth certificate or passport as proof of age. If a question remains as to the legitimacy of the identification or the student being of legal drinking age (21 years), service must be denied.
        • Guests of students must also provide two forms of identification, one of which includes a picture, as proof of age. Sheriff’s card, driver’s license, official birth certificate or passport are acceptable forms of ID. If a question remains as to the legitimacy of the identification or the guest being of legal drinking age (21 years), service must be denied.
        • It should be understood that students may bring guests, but events are not intended for people unrelated to the University. Hosts and hostesses are responsible for the behavior of their guests. Sponsoring organizations are required to register guests and their host/hostess as they enter an event, facility or designated serving area of an event when alcoholic beverages are being served. If a guest without an identifiable host/hostess causes problems, damages property, etc., the sponsoring organization is held responsible.
        • Arrangements for serving of alcoholic beverages, appropriate systems of identification checks, and containment and control of alcoholic beverages will be reviewed as part of the alcoholic beverage permission form.Approved procedures will depend on the nature of the event, number and composition of the group expected to attend, type of permit and facility.
      2. The sale or serving of alcoholic beverages to any individual will be refused in cases of inebriation or misconduct.
      3. As necessary, the assistant director of the area, or the Dean of Students or designee, may require the sponsoring organization to make arrangements, including payment, for one or more house managers and/or New York State University Police Officers to be present during an event. Such arrangements must be made at least 10 working days in advance.

    4. Other Policies
      1. Non-alcoholic beverages (other than water) must also be available at functions where alcohol is served, and must be available for the duration of the function and upon request.
      2. The total amount of alcohol permitted is dependent on the facility, the number of people and composition of group expected to attend, and duration of the event. These must be discussed with the staff member responsible for review of the alcoholic beverage permission form. (Director of Residential Life & University Housing or the Dean of Students or designees).
      3. All events involving the distribution of alcoholic beverages must include the serving of food items in sufficient quantity (dependent on the estimated attendance and duration of the event, as discussed with the staff member (see above) responsible for review of the alcoholic beverage permission form).
      4. Under no circumstances may individuals bring their own alcoholic beverages to an event held on campus. An exception to this policy may be granted upon review and approval by the Office of the President (or designee) of the attached Appendix: MP400 BYO Request.
      5. Alcoholic beverages may be served or sold only at the location specified in the permission form and cannot be taken out of that location.
      6. Hours for parties held in locations other than residence halls must conform to building hours. For events held in residence halls, it is urged that the ending times be midnight Sunday through Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

  2. Violations

    1. Violations of the policies covering use of alcoholic beverages may lead to University discipline and/or arrest.
    2. Sponsoring organizations are responsible for the condition of the facility where an event is held and for any damages done as a result of the event. Organizations will be billed for extra maintenance charges and for damage along with extra security costs and expenses. In addition, an organization may be denied future use of a facility if the facility is left in poor condition, if damage occurs, or if policies are not followed.

Advertising on Campus

  1. Alcohol Advertising

    In addition to the General Advertising Policies (see Student handbook “Advertising on Campus”), alcohol advertising must also comply with the following policies.

    1. Event advertisements should not state or imply by words or graphics the excessive use or abuse of alcoholic beverages. Examples include, but are not limited to, graphics suggesting a person may be intoxicated, terms like “Drink till you drop,” that consuming alcohol may lead to sex and drink/price specials. It also may not place emphasis on quantity or frequency of use.
    2. Event advertisements may not suggest or encourage by words or graphics illegal consumption of controlled substances, including alcohol and other drugs.
    3. Alcohol advertising on campus or in institutional media, including that which promotes events as well as products, should not portray drinking as a solution to personal or academic problems of students or as necessary to social, sexual or academic success.
    4. Alcoholic beverages and related products (e.g. cups with an alcohol name brand printed on them) may not be provided as awards, door prizes or giveaways. This also includes providing certificates or coupons used to obtain alcoholic beverages at a later time or place.

      Non-compliance with these regulations by Student Association or Graduate Student Organization chartered organizations or University recognized organizations might lead to the loss of the organization’s privileges to advertise on campus and access to University facilities. Individual students may be subject to campus disciplinary action and/or arrest (New York State Penal Law 145.30, Unlawfully Posting Advertisements). Non-student individuals and off-campus entities who post or advertise events or products or promote through use of campus media, posters, or circulating handbills or other means, may also be subject to arrest and/or be prohibited from advertising on campus.

Promotional Activity

  1. Uncontrolled serving of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.
  2. Where controlled serving has been approved, it should be limited as to time and quantity. Principles of good hosting should be observed, including availability of food and planned programs. Non-alcoholic beverages must be included in sufficient quantity. The consumption of beer, wine or distilled spirits may not be the sole purpose of any promotional activity.
  3. Promotional activities may not be associated with otherwise existing campus events or programs without the prior knowledge and consent of appropriate University officials.
  4. Display or availability of promotional materials should be determined in consultation with appropriate University officials.
  5. Informational marketing programs should have educational value and subscribe to the philosophy of responsible and legal use of the products represented.