Alcohol Policy


Suffolk University requires the observance of all laws and regulations that pertain to alcoholic beverages and other controlled substances as outlined in the statutes and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts . It is the responsibility of all members of the University community to be familiar with and to comply with these laws.

This policy is intended to allow for the responsible use of alcoholic beverages while providing safeguards for the University and its faculty, staff and students.

University Regulations for Events with Alcohol

The regulations for use of alcoholic beverages at programs and events sponsored at the University and/or by University departments and organizations are designed to enable these activities to be monitored for compliance with state laws and to limit the use of alcohol to designated areas.

The free distribution of alcoholic beverages at any event is prohibited except at small receptions primarily designed for staff, faculty and guests or special student programs approved, in advance, by the Office of Risk Management, or the Office of the Dean of Students in the Law School for Law School student events.

All summer programs and conference guests should also contact the Office of Residential Life and Summer Programs, except those located in the Law School, who should contact the Law School Events Coordinator.

I. Registration of Events:

All events for the College of Arts and Sciences, Sawyer Business School, NESADSU, and non-Suffolk-affiliated functions with alcohol must be registered with the Office of Risk Management. In the Law School, the Office of the Dean of Students has the responsibility for registered events and will file a copy with Risk Management. To obtain this form, contact the Office of Risk Management for CAS, SBS and NESADSU events or the Law School events coordinator for Law School events.

Registration of events is required on the following schedule:

  1. University receptions where alcohol is served but not sold: 3 days in advance
  2. University events where alcohol is sold: 14 days in advance.

II. Staffing of Events:

All events where alcoholic beverages are served or sold must have a designated host who is considered the individual responsible for the event. In addition, all events must be staffed with monitors in a ratio of one monitor for every forty (40) persons expected to be present. The names of the designated host and monitors must be provided as a part of the registration.

A. Designated Host:

The designated host must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age. In the case of student clubs and organizations, the designated host will usually be the staff or faculty advisor to that student group. In the case of the Law School, the host will be the person so designated by the governing body of the organization. The designated host agrees to assume the following responsibilities:

    1. Act as the responsible overseer of the event in general.
    2. Supervise those serving the alcohol when it is sold.
    3. Deny alcohol to any individual who appears to be intoxicated.
    4. Make reasonable efforts to insure that those who appear to be intoxicated have a safe way to leave the function.
    5. Remain at the event for its duration.

B. Monitor/ Server:

Monitor/ Servers are those students, faculty, or staff members who are responsible for serving alcoholic beverages to their peers. It is required that servers be certified by TIPS or Safe Server. All groups that have 12 or more guests must include 1 Monitor/Server. Events with 40 guests or more must include an additional monitor for every 40 guests. The Office of Risk Management can approve servers for college wide events sponsored by conference groups, except those located in the Law School, which should be approved by the Law School Events Coordinator.

C. University Police:

University Police shall be assigned to all campus events where alcoholic beverages are sold. Based on a review of the event and expected attendance during the registration process, University Police may be assigned to other events at which alcohol is available.

University Restrictions for Events with Alcohol

  1. Use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited at all athletic events, both intercollegiate and intramural.
  2. If potential members are under 21 years of age, alcoholic beverages may not be served at recruitment events.
  3. Because student groups are funded, in total or in part, by student activity fees, special attention must be given to any use of those funds for the purchase of alcoholic beverages. Therefore, alcohol may not be served on campus at an event sponsored by a student organization in the Sawyer Business School, College of Arts and Sciences (including the Student Government Association, Graduate Student Association, and MPA Association), or by the Student Bar Association (SBA) of the Law School, as well as those student organizations the SBA funds, unless an exception is made for one or more of the following reasons:
    1. The event is specifically designed for a student population over 21 years of age; or
    2. The Office of Student Activities and Service Learning or Law School Dean of Students provides written approval of the event and its sponsor agrees to comply with the regulations in this document covering events with alcohol.

NOTE: Events on campus approved for alcoholic beverages (whether served or sold) must limit the alcoholic beverages to beer and wine.

Time Limits on Serving Alcohol:

Functions where alcoholic beverages are served at no charge are to have a serving time limit of two (2) hours. Exceptions to this apply in the following cases:
  1. Dinner functions may have a serving time of up to (4) hours;
  2. Law School functions designed to serve both day and evening students may have a serving time of four (4) hours to allow faculty and students of both divisions to attend.

    Functions where alcohol is sold are to have a serving time limit of four (4) hours.

Pricing and Purchase Limitations:

  At events where alcohol is sold, there will be a minimum price of $1.50 for beer and wine. An individual will only be allowed to purchase two alcoholic beverages at one time.


Quantity of Alcohol Available for Consumption:

At events where alcoholic beverages are served at no charge, available alcohol must be limited to 1 drink per hour per guest. Drink is defined as 12 ounce beer or 6 ounce wine.
    1. Events that have over 12 guests must have a TIPS server available.
    2. All alcohol in opened containers at the conclusion of the event must be disposed of.
    3. Event host takes responsibility for un-opened bottles of beer and wine at the close of event. Host must lock up alcohol in a predetermined location.
    4. Unopened alcohol must be removed from the University by an individual who is at least 21 years of age no sooner than 12 hours after the conclusion of the event and no later than 48 hours after the conclusion of an event.
    5. Under no circumstances may left over alcohol be removed at the conclusion of the event.

Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages:

    1. Non-alcoholic beverages must be available at the same place and for the same duration of time as the alcoholic beverages.
    2. If alcoholic beverages are available at no charge, non-alcoholic beverages must also be free.
    3. Food items such as snack food, hors d’oeuvres or full meals must be available for the entire time that alcoholic beverages are being served. If the alcoholic beverages are available at no charge, the food items must be free as well.

Advertisement and Promotion of Events with Alcohol

    1. Alcoholic beverages may not be used to promote or induce potential members to attend any membership programs of any club, organization, fraternity, sorority or other university group.
    2. Alcohol consumption contests are not permitted.
    3. Alcoholic beverages may not be given as a contest or competition prize.
    4. Advertisements shall not mention the availability of alcoholic beverages in such a way as to be an inducement to attend. Promotional materials shall not make references to the quantity of beverages (such as number of kegs of beer).
    5. Advertisements must mention non-alcoholic beverages and food as prominently as alcohol.

License Application Procedures for Events Selling Alcohol

A 24-hour temporary liquor license must be obtained for any on-campus event at which alcoholic beverages will be sold. Under terms of such a license, the closing hour of the function can be no later than 12 midnight.

The procedure for securing this license is as follows:

  1. Complete the required University registration process (See Section A, “Registration of Events,” above) two weeks in advance of the event.
  2. Obtain a special license application at Boston City Hall Licensing Board.
  3. Complete the application and secure three signatures – Risk Manager or Dean of Students in the Law School (Law School); Vice President/Treasurer; and University Police Lieutenant.
  4. Return the application to City Hall with licensing fee at least one week prior to the date of the event.
  5. Submit the original license and payment receipts to the Risk Management Office or the Dean of Students (Law School). Make copies of the license
  6. Post copies of the license at the event in the areas where the alcohol is distributed.

Establishing Proof of Age

Students who are twenty-one years of age and older who wish to consume alcoholic beverages at approved on-campus events must present proof of age by providing a valid driver’s license or a valid passport along with a current Suffolk University I.D. card. In the case of a duplicate license, a birth certificate can be provided and date of birth will be verified against records of the Registrar’s Office.

Following the establishment of drinking age, a wristband will be affixed to the individual’s wrist as identification for the purpose of consuming alcohol. Only those wearing a wristband will be allowed to enter the bar area where alcoholic beverages are being served or sold. In the Law School an acceptable form of identification will be used to designate that drinking age has been established.

Policy Revised January 2007
Policy Created October 1991.