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Events With Alcohol FAQs

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the alcohol policy and guidelines:

  • Why do we have to have our events where alcohol will be served approved?

First, MUSC is concerned for the welfare of party guests and MUSC student hosts/hostesses. Having events approved assures that student party planners are aware of the risk and educated in related laws and responsible hosting techniques and plan to sponsor their party accordingly. If there is a negative outcome from a party that has been approved and the responsible hosting practices were complied with, student planners/organizations will normally be protected by the South Carolina Tort Claims Act, and may be provided with a legal defense.

  • Since we are adults and have a University-wide Honor Code, why can’t we “self-regulate” our parties?

Serving alcohol is very risky business. While we know that student organizations are “trustworthy” self-regulation presents many liability and safety concerns and leaves the organization vulnerable for human error. Each individual will have a different personal opinion regarding reasonable and responsible alcohol service and party planning if left to self-regulation. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the host organization to adhere the university policy and procedures for responsible social host serving practices.

  • Do we have to have events approved at licensed locations e.g. Salty Mike’s, and why?

Yes, sponsoring an event at a licensed location can help alleviate the hosting organization from the responsibility of verifying guests’ ages, serving liability as host, and monitoring intoxication level. Because, the party is sponsored by an MUSC organization, MUSC could still be named in any suit as a result of a negative outcome. Along with legal/financial consequences, as a Health care institution we are concerned with the safety of event guests and sponsoring any event in a responsible manner. In keeping with the University’s Policy and responsibility to ensure student organizations are in compliance with SC law, it is a best-practice to have advisory approval for ANY event where alcohol is served.

  • What if a party is going to be held in a students’ home and it will be an “informal” gathering e.g. following a test?

Please review the Policy for instances when events MUST be approved. Having an event approved and following responsible hosting guidelines is always worth the small amount of effort.

  • What if the planned event is denied approval?

Event arrangements must be changed/made to meet standards for event approval and the event must be approved accordingly. Or, the event must be modified to exclude the service of ANY alcohol.

  • Do event planners have to put into practice all recommendations/techniques described in the Responsible Hosting Guide i.e. hiring bartenders and Public Safety Officers?

No, BUT the individual approving the event will want to make sure that you have planned to cover ALL the bases for serving alcohol safely.

  • When and why do we need to get a temporary license to serve alcohol?

It’s the law that when money is charged for alcohol, a license for the event location must be obtained and displayed. If alcohol is included in the price of admission, a license must be used. Taking donations for alcohol is not a “loop-hole” for circumventing the law; when money exchanges hands, a license is still required. It is a point of confusion, but even if a bartending service or caterer is used, a license must either be held by the facility where the event will be held or obtained by the sponsor for that location. If you cannot secure a licensed venue, Student Engagement can help sponsors with the timely process of obtaining a temporary license. This process needs a lead time of 6 weeks and is described in the “Responsible Hosting Guidelines and Strategies.”