Compliance & Policies

Alcohol Policy for Undergraduate Student Events

Philosophy on Undergraduate Programming with Alcohol at Washington University in St Louis

Undergraduate students and student groups are afforded the privilege of serving alcohol at certain events. With this privilege come expectations regarding the safety and welfare of those in attendance. Students are expected to know and abide by all applicable state and federal laws and University policies and procedures. Students are responsible for their own behavior; however, if alcohol is a part of an event, student organizers and sponsors must share in our efforts to provide a safe environment for the attendees.

Students and members of student groups will be accountable for any and all violations.  Participants need to be aware that knowingly or recklessly violating a published University policy, rule, or regulation; or participating in conduct which one should reasonably know to be a violation of a published University policy, rule or regulations is a violation of the University Judicial Code.  Sanctions for violating this policy may include, but are not limited to, loss of funding, loss of space reservation privileges, referral to the judicial administrator and campus police or off campus criminal prosecution.

Fraternities and Sororities governed by Interfraternity Council and Women's Panhellenic Association should refer to Social Management and Training Guidelines for Greek organizations in planning events with alcohol.

Student Involvement and Leadership staff is available to answer questions or address concerns related to these policies.  Contact Mary Zabriskie, Assistant Director for Campus Life at 314-935-7199.

Eligibility to Sponsor an Event with Alcohol

Students wishing to include alcohol as part of an event they are organizing must attend a "Programming with Alcohol Workshop" offered by Student Involvement and Leadership staff.  All undergraduate events with alcohol must be registered with and approved by SIL using the "Undergraduate Events with Alcohol Form" 15 working days before the event.

Responsible Contacts

At least four individuals, including but not limited to those who are planning the event, must be designated "Responsible Contacts".  More may be required based on the size, type and location of the event. New members to the community and/or organization are not to serve in this role.  Responsible contacts are expected to oversee the implementation of these guidelines throughout the entire event. They are not to consume any alcohol during any portion of the event, including set up and clean up.  The Responsible Contacts must remain the same individuals throughout the entire event; shifts are not acceptable. 

Focus and Publicity

Alcohol may not be the main focus of an event. Alcohol may not be mentioned on publicity for the event.

Events open to the general public and/or advertised off campus are not permitted to include alcohol as part of their event.

Alcohol:  Types, Distribution, Charging

  • Beer and wine are permitted.
  • Hard liquor, including but not limited to grain alcohol, punches or any mixed drinks are not permitted at events.
  • Glass bottles are not permitted.

Distribution of alcohol is only permitted through a third party vendor with a valid liquor license.  Appropriately credentialed third party server(s) must always be present; alcohol cannot be left unattended. A central point of distribution must be designated to allow for proper identification. Only one cup at a time, not to exceed 12 ounces of beer or 5 ounces of wine, may be served to attendees of legal age. The Responsible Contacts and security staff are responsible for ensuring alcohol does not leave the event. If a person appears to be intoxicated, he or she is not to be served. Alcohol distribution must conclude 30 minutes before the event ends.

When undergraduate events with alcohol take place off campus, the event area should be clearly set apart from the rest of the venue if the facility is open to other patrons ideally in a separate room.  If attendees leave the space where the event is taking place, they cannot return.

All events must conclude and be completely cleaned up by 2:00 am, or one hour before the venue closes, whichever is earlier.  

The selling of alcohol may not be a fundraiser for the sponsoring group.

Food and Beverages

Equally attractive non-alcoholic beverages and non-salty foods must be readily available, free, and visible. Water must be one of the non-alcoholic beverages. Food must be available when the alcohol distribution begins and replenished as necessary throughout the event.  Food options should be substantial for the purpose of offsetting the effects of alcohol. Suggested food options include pizza, pasta, sandwiches and heavy appetizers.

Attendance and Proper Identification

Washington University identification, with valid driver's licenses or state/federal issued identification cards must be checked at the point of entrance. Fake identification will be confiscated, and the student risks a referral to the University Judicial Administrator and/or off campus authorities in addition to University fines up to $500.  The line for admission should be in a well-lit area and well-organized.  A security guard will be responsible for checking for proof of legal age and affixing wristbands. Individuals under the age of 21 will receive a wristband of a different color. A responsible contact from the planning group must remain at this location throughout the event to monitor compliance with these guidelines. 


When alcohol is present at an event, attendees are not permitted to drive themselves. Arrangements for transportation are to be made after consulting a Student Involvement and Leadership representative to determine the appropriate mode of transportation to and from the event. It is expected that attendees avail themselves of transportation, when provided, both to and from the event.  For information on the bus policies, please refer to bus.wustl.edu. Events with alcohol should be held at approved venues only. For a list of approved venues please go to getinvolved.wustl.edu or contact Student Involvement & Leadership.

Guest Policy/Sign-In

At events where guests are permitted, each Washington University student is allowed to bring one guest and is responsible for the conduct of his or her guest. Guests must enter with their hosts. Guest misconduct could lead to a referral to the University Judicial Administrator for the Washington University student, and the guest could be subject to prosecution off campus. Verification of age and identity will be required of all attendees at the entrance to the event (driver's license or state/federal issued identification card) and guests, along with their student hosts, must sign in. The sponsoring group must develop a system for identifying and tracking guests. The process of signing in guests must be managed by a Responsible Contact.  The completed guest list must be turned in to Student Involvement and Leadership administrator the first working day following the event.

Guests Under 18 and Prospective Freshmen (PFs)

Guests under 18 years of age are not permitted at events where alcohol is present. PFs, regardless of their age, are not permitted to attend events where alcohol is served.

Expectations of Responsible Contacts

Responsible Contacts are required to introduce themselves to the security guards, venue representative and Washington University Police. One Responsible Contact should serve as the primary liaison with these individuals/agencies. A Responsible Contact should be stationed at the following locations: the entrance to the event, where buses are being boarded by event participants, and on each bus going to the venue or returning to the University. The Responsible Contacts agree to end an event where these guidelines are not being followed or other significant problems arise jeopardizing the security of the event or safety of students.  Security staff should be available to assist in closing down an event per the contacts' request. When events take place on campus, University Police are also available to assist with closing down an event. University staff may close an event at any time if the security of event is jeopardized or the safety of students is at risk. A University staff/faculty/advisor may be required to attend large scale events. 


Trained security staff is required at all undergraduate events with alcohol. For events on campus this staff will come from a licensed and bonded security company; however, some off campus venues may prefer to have their own staff serve in this capacity.  Responsible contacts agree to ensure that security staff is in place to serve in the capacities as outlined below.

For all events requiring security, a minimum ratio of one guard for every 50 attendees is required.  Three additional guards are required at events where alcohol is served.  The sponsoring group is responsible for contacting and arranging for guards or ensuring the venue provides appropriate security staff.  The stationing of guards must be determined prior to the event, and the plan must be submitted to Student Involvement and Leadership for approval.

At least one guard is to be stationed at the main entrance of the event to check for WU student identification, monitor guest policy, and help determine if anyone appearing to be intoxicated should be refused entry.  A second guard will be assigned to the point of alcohol distribution to check identification for proof of legal age, and the third guard will serve as a roamer and will be responsible for monitoring legal drinking. 

Sponsoring groups are responsible for providing security staff to monitor all entrances. Additional guards may be required based on the nature of the event and expected attendance.  Security costs are the responsibility of the sponsoring group.

As a condition for engagement of security services at student events, security companies are required to submit to the  University a Security Event Evaluation within 2 business days of the event.  Completed forms should be dropped off at the Student Involvement and Leadership receptionist desk in the DUC Suite 270 or mailed to Student Involvement and Leadership, Washington University in St. Louis, One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1068, St. Louis, MO 63130.                     

Washington University Police Department

By way of the Undergraduate Events with Alcohol Registration Form University Police will be notified at least 15 working days in advance of all on campus programs where alcohol has been requested and may require the presence of Officers, or will schedule random patrols as deemed necessary.  Washington University Police may be brought in for consultation during the planning process.  Additional costs associated with Washington University Police may be incurred and will be the responsibility of the sponsoring group.

Emergency Service Team (EST)/Clayton Emergency Medical Team

Some large events may require EST and/or Clayton Emergency Medical Team.  It is the responsibility of the sponsoring group to make arrangements and cover all expenses.  EST must be contacted 10 working days in advance.  EST will require a space to set up their operation and will need to be in radio contact with the Responsible Contacts and security.

Clean-Up of the Event with Alcohol

For any event on campus where alcohol is being served, Responsible Contacts must make arrangements for the services of Aramark (custodial  services), Top Care (for events outdoors), or Quadrangle (for events on the South 40) when the room reservation is made.  Service requests should include additional trash cans and recycling bins.  Large events must have cleaning staff during the hours of the event to remove trash and clean restroom facilities. All expenses are the responsibility of the sponsoring group.


A post event evaluation must be completed by the Responsible Contacts and turned into Student Involvement and Leadership representative within two working days following the event.  A debriefing meeting following large events is required. 

Updated as of Feb. 1, 2013