Policy Title: Alcohol Service at Student Events
Classification: Students (Organizations)
Approval Authority: Students (Organizations)
Responsible Entity: Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Policy Owner: Associate Provost for Educational Affairs and Student Life
New/Revision/Retired: October 21, 2019
Original Effective Date: Unknown
Aligning with MUSC’s values and mission to preserve and optimize human health, MUSC supports the educational and social well-being of its students and the welfare of the university community. This policy provides guidelines for safe alcohol service at student events (see definition in Section X) hosted by recognized student organizations or other MUSC entities.
This policy governs alcohol service at events hosted by recognized student organizations/groups or other MUSC entities where students are the primary audience/attendees. These events will be referred to herein as "student events."
If alcoholic beverages are provided at a student event as part of the cost of admission or via a cash bar provided by the sponsor of the event, all elements of the policy as stated below apply. Student events held in commercial establishments where alcoholic beverages are purchased by individual attendees are not subject to the time and drink limits specified in this policy. However, event coordinators should refer to Section VI. H. for specific requirements for events held in a commercial establishment.
If you are uncertain whether an event falls under the scope of this policy, please contact the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity. Lack of knowledge that an event is subject to this policy will not be considered a valid defense for violations of the policy.
III. Approval Authority
The Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost is the approval authority for this policy.
IV. Purpose of This Policy
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the responsible service of alcoholic beverages at events sponsored by recognized university student organizations or by other MUSC entities where students are the primary audience/attendees. The intent is that alcohol service at student events reflects the mission and values of the institution and its responsibility to its students.
V. Who Should be Knowledgeable of This Policy
All students, college deans and associate deans, student program employees, advisors, faculty, and staff who interact with students should be knowledgeable about this policy.
VI. The Policy
A. In keeping with MUSC’s concern for the educational and social well-being of its students and the welfare of the community, MUSC expects students who are of legal drinking age (21 years of age) who choose to serve and consume alcohol at student events to do so in a mature and responsible manner.
B. Student events should reflect the values of the University and support the overall mission of recognized student organizations/groups. Alcohol should not be the focus of student events, nor should the event be advertised as such.
C. Only recognized student organizations and other MUSC entities as defined in this policy are afforded the following privileges:
a. Permission to use the university and/or college name to advertise the event
b. Use of university funds or collection of funds in the university/college organization’s name (includes fundraiser events or the collection of dues)
c. Use of campus media (includes the Catalyst, MUSC’s Yammer networking service, and bulletin boards) to advertise the event
D. The service and use of alcohol on the MUSC campus are prohibited at any student event hosted by a recognized student organization or other MUSC entity where students are the primary attendees.
E. Student events require that the recognized student organization or other MUSC entity hosting an event where students are the primary audience/attendees submit and obtain approval of an Alcohol Service Request Form at least three (3) weeks prior to the date of the event. Within the request form, the event organizers acknowledge that they have read and will comply with the “Responsible Hosting Criteria.” Violation of the Responsible Hosting Criteria will constitute a violation of this Alcohol Service Policy and will subject the recognized student organization or the MUSC hosting entity to sanction.
F. If the student event is college-specific, the recognized student organization or MUSC hosting entity will submit the Alcohol Service Request Form to their respective dean’s office for approval. If the student event is university-wide, the recognized student organization or MUSC hosting entity will submit the form to the Executive Director of the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity for required approval. Events falling under the scope of this policy shall not be held until an Alcohol Service Request Form has been approved by the appropriate governing authority.
G. The Dean’s Office and the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity will maintain possession of the approval forms for a minimum period of 3 years.
H. Student events held in commercial establishments where alcoholic beverages are purchased by individual attendees are not subject to the time and drink limits specified in this policy; however, they are required to adhere to the following requirements:
a. Focus advertising and announcements on the sponsoring organization, type of function, entertainment, location, time, etc. Do not advertise or promote alcohol as the center of interest or main activity of the event.
b. Include the following statement in all digital and print event advertisements and announcements: “If you attend, please be advised that you will be responsible for complying with the Policy on Professionalism and Standards of Conduct for Students.”
c. Submit an Alcohol Service Request Form and obtain approval. It is recommended that the form be submitted at least three (3) weeks prior to the date of the event.
d. Confirm the commercial establishment will have food and non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase.
I. Student events hosted by recognized student organizations where alcoholic beverages are served as part of the cost of admission or through a cash bar provided by the host must meet the following conditions:
a. Be supervised by staff, faculty, or assigned student leaders; providing appropriate supervision is the responsibility of the hosting/sponsoring student organization or MUSC entity
b. Secure contract(s) with professional staff (e.g., security, bartending, etc.) to maximize the safety of event guests, mitigate liability, and ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws; members of the professional bartending staff cannot be MUSC employees or students and cannot be affiliated with the hosting organization
c. Secure event insurance coverage as determined by MUSC Risk Management
d. Limit duration of the event to 4 (four) hours or less
e. Do not serve alcohol via an open bar that provides unlimited drinks
f. Provide a maximum number of drink tickets to individuals equal to the number of hours of the event, not to exceed three (3) drink tickets
g. Provide on-site free access to non-alcoholic beverages and food
h. End alcohol service 30 – 60 minutes prior to the scheduled event end time
J. The sale, consumption, or possession of alcoholic beverages in an irresponsible or unlawful manner could expose an individual, student organization/group, and/or the University to liability. South Carolina law holds that the negligent sale or service of alcoholic beverages may create civil liability. This Alcohol Service policy, Responsible Hosting Criteria, and the MUSC Student Event Approval Forms are mechanisms to educate students about responsible sale, service, and consumption of alcoholic beverages and to advise them of potential liabilities associated with the sale, service, and consumption of these beverages. Adherence to these guidelines and policies does not ensure immunity from criminal responsibility or civil liability. Recognized student organizations, though supportive of the University’s mission, are voluntary and independent organizations. Student organizations and/or MUSC hosting entities may be held responsible for property damage(s) or personal injuries resulting from their sponsored event. The Medical University of South Carolina, its employees and agents, do not, by adoption of this policy or by approval of any student function, accept liability arising directly or indirectly from an approved event.
VII. Sanctions for Non-compliance
Recognized Student Organizations suspected to be in non-compliance with this policy will be subject to review and corrective action by the appropriate governing authority as outlined in the Policy on Professional Behavior and Standards of Conduct for Recognized Student Organizations. Failure to comply with this policy may result in the loss of an organization/group’s privilege to host student events and/or loss of official university recognition.
Individual students who violate this policy are accountable under the Policy on Professionalism and Standards of Conduct for Students.
A student, student organization, or MUSC entity may be subject to criminal responsibility or civil penalty or liability for failure to comply with all local, state, and federal laws associated with the legal sale, use, or distribution of alcohol.
VIII. Related Information
I. South Carolina Code of Laws Title 61: Alcohol and Alcoholic Beverages
2. It is a misdemeanor for the possession or consumption of alcohol by those individuals under twenty-one (21) years of age.
3. A beer and/or alcohol license is required for the sale of alcohol. Sale of alcohol is defined to include events where the admission price includes alcohol or contributions are requested for alcoholic beverages.
4. It is a violation to drink publicly on the streets or public property or to have an open container of alcohol in any vehicle.
5. It is unlawful to serve alcohol to an intoxicated person.
IX. Communication Plan
The policy will be published in The Bulletin. Information regarding the Student Alcohol Service Policy will be included in the Manual for Student Organizations and listed on all individual college websites.
The Responsible Hosting Guidelines will be included on the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity’s website. The policy will also be reviewed at all Responsible Hosting Sessions sponsored by the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity.
Any event where MUSC students are the primary audience/attendees.
Degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students enrolled in coursework at MUSC.
Recognized student organization
An MUSC student organization or group that successfully meets the criteria established for recognition and which is officially recognized by either the Executive Director of the Office of Student Programs (university-wide) or the dean’s office of one of the six colleges (college-specific); program-level (e.g., physical therapy, bachelor of science in nursing, etc.) organizations must be recognized by the dean’s office of the appropriate college.
Other MUSC entities
MUSC administrative units (e.g., Student Programs and Student Diversity, President’s Office, Deans’ offices, academic departments, etc.) that may host a student event.
The MUSC authority that approved the hosting of an event; either the Executive Director of the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity or the Dean of the College.
The process established by the governing authority to determine if students, student group and/or organization is in compliance with local, state, and federal laws, or any policy, guideline, or procedure identified in the MUSC Bulletin or Manual for Student Organizations.
An establishment open to the public used for commercial purposes such as a bar or restaurant where drinks and/or food are sold to all patrons at the business.
A bar/bartending service contracted by the host for an event that sells drinks exclusively to attendees at the event.
XI. Review Cycle
This policy will be reviewed every 3 years or sooner pursuant to changes in applicable law.
XII. Approval History
October 21, 2019 Provost Council
XIII. Approval Signature
Lisa K Saladin, PT, PhD, FAPTA
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost