CofC Logo

11. Procedures for the use of Alcohol on Campus or During College Sponsored Events



These Procedures describe the process that will be used by the College to review requests for allowing alcoholic beverages to be available during events that are either held on College Property or are sponsored by the College (each individually referred to as “an “Event”. When the term “Event” is used in these Procedures it means any College gathering where alcohol will be available).   The Procedures are not intended to change the existing substantive policies dealing with the permitted uses of alcohol on campus or on College owned or rented property (“College Property”).  Those policies are recited in the Employee Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy (for faculty and other employees) and in the Compass and other publications directed to students (for students and student organizations). 

1.1 Events include gatherings that are --

A. Sponsored by the College or an approved College organization to take place on or off College Property;

B. Advertised or promoted using the name and/or resources of the College;

C. Held off College Property, but using student fees or other College resources to finance the Event; or

D. Held on College Property by third-parties.


2.1 Categories
The purposes for an Event can be diverse and may include such matters as raising funds for the College, enhancing the College’s public image, hosting Alumni gatherings or other cultural, social or professional meetings, or merely providing a meeting place or performance space for third-parties not affiliated with the College.  In general, however, these Procedures recognize three different types of entities that may host an Event.   The types of entities that may host an Event are categorized as follows:

A. Affiliate or Third-Party Sponsored Events:  These Events could be hosted by the College Foundation, the College Alumni Association or non-affiliated third-parties such as a business, a non-profit organization or other legal entity.

B. Student Sponsored Events:  These Event would include those sponsored by an approved student organization, such as a sorority or a fraternity, as well as, any other approved group or organization of students. 

C. College Employee or College Sponsored Events: These Events would be hosted by the President, Board of Trustees, the Faculty Senate, a School or a department, a College manager, or any recognized academic or employee unit or organization.

2.2 Risk Assessment
 When determining the risk of alcohol abuse associated with an Event, College reviewing authorities will consider at least the following factors:

A. the location of the Event;

B. the number of underage students or other underage persons who are expected to be in attendance as guests;

C. the number of underage persons who will have access to the Event by, for example, working as servers or volunteers;

D. the sponsor of the Event;

E. the history of the Event and of the conduct of participants  during the Event;

F.  the estimated number of total guests to attend the Event;

G. the primary purpose of the Event; and

H. the publicity surrounding the Event and/or the public perception of the Event.

2.3 Standards
The considerations and standards used by the College to review an application for an Event shall include the following:               

A. The College will not approve an Event if, in the exercise of its sole discretion, it has determined that holding the Event will present an unreasonable risk to the health or safety of the College community and/or to the property of the College, or that the Event will be conducted in a way that would portray the College or the members of the College Community in a false light or otherwise subject it or them to public ridicule or disgrace.

B. The higher the risk assessment, the more stringent shall be the requirements of the Alcohol Management Plan (see 3.3).


3.1. All sponsors of Events must complete and submit the appropriate approval form to the College office having management responsibility of the College site. Sponsors of Affiliate or Third-Party Sponsored Events, Student Sponsored Events, or College Employee or College Sponsored Events utilizing College owned or rented property shall complete the form entitled Event Planning and Notification.

3.2. If any alcohol will be available at a student sponsored Event, there shall be a conclusive presumption that underage students will be in attendance. 

3.3. An Alcohol Management Plan attached to the Form described in section 3.1 shall be required for every Event where alcohol will be served.  Depending on the risk assessment made pursuant to Section 2.2, the alcohol management plan shall address the following issues with the specificity needed to adequately address the perceived risk:

A. how the organization will prevent underage persons from having access to alcohol;

B. the type and amount of alcohol that will be available at the Event;

C. the type and amount of food that will be served;

D. the starting time and ending time of the Event;

E. the Event security that will be provided by the organization members themselves;

F. the number of police requested from College Public Safety, or if the Event is to be held off campus, a description of the security available; and

G. if a Student Sponsored Event, appropriate acknowledgement that Public Safety will contact the Student Affairs staff member on-call if a police action is required or similar serious or exigent circumstance arises.

3.4. In addition to any other Form that may be required to rent or use a College facility or to rent or use a site not located on College Property (if any), the Event Planning and Notification Form, described in Section.3.1, where alcohol will be available must be pre-approved by the Department of Public Safety before the Event may be held.   In addition to the requirements of the preceding sentence,

A. all Forms for Student Sponsored Events, including  those prepared by recognized student organizations, must also be pre-approved by the Office of Student Life, The Graduate School or Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, as appropriate; and

B. all Forms for other than student Events where alcohol will be available shall also be pre-approved by the College’s Director of Events or Sponsoring Department.


Notwithstanding any other provision of these Procedures to the contrary, the College’s Director of Events is authorized to review the licensure of any alcohol service provider that is named for a particular Event.  The Director shall also issue such guidance as may be appropriate, from time to time, to promote the safe use of alcohol during approved Events including, but not limited to, the training of alcohol servers.  The Director will act for the Office of the President in all such matters.


1.  Advertising of student organization-sponsored events where alcoholic beverages will be consumed.

1. Advertising of student organization-sponsored events where alcoholic beverages will be consumed must be consistent with the educational philosophy of the College of Charleston and follow these conditions:

A. Advertisement for any event where alcoholic beverages are being served must note the availability of non-alcoholic beverages and food as prominently as the alcoholic beverages.

B. The message conveyed in the event promotion must not encourage the use of alcohol.

C. Publicity must not convey that consumption of alcohol is the purpose or reason for the event.

D. Promotion must not refer to the amount/quantity of alcohol to be present

E. Advertisements for events must not portray drinking as a solution to personal or academic problems or as necessary for social, sexual, or academic success.

F. Alcoholic beverages must not be provided as awards, door prizes, or giveaways to individuals or campus organizations.

2. Sanctions  

2.1. Violations of these policies on or off-campus will be subject to the following responses for student organizations:

A. First Violation - Sanctions may include, but not limited to:

                    i. Group is on social/event suspension for minimum of one month. The exact time period
                       is to be determined by
                       the Director of Student Life or Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

                    ii. Group executive board must schedule and attend a meeting with the
                       Campus Substance Abuse Prevention
                       Coordinator to develop a risk reduction plan.

                    iii. Social/event suspension remains in place until meeting and
                         plan are completed.

                    iv. Failure to comply with sanctions for the first offense may result in sanctioning as
                         imposed under a second violation.

B. Second Violation - Sanctions may include, but not limited to:

                     i. Loss of campus privileges including access to the organization account for
                        a minimum of three months, excluding summer months.

                    ii. Entire organization must attend a 6-hour alcohol risk reduction seminar
                       (deadline to be set by the disciplinary administrator).

                   iii. Must pay a $500.00 fine to the Office of Student Life or Fraternity and Sorority Life
                        or plan an alcohol-free social event for the
                        entire student body on a weekend.

                    iv. Letter of notification to be sent to the national organization, sponsoring agency
                         or academic department.

                     v. Failure to comply with sanctions for the second offense may result in sanctioning
                         as imposed under a third violation.

C. Third Violation   

                             i. The sanction for a third violation is suspension of recognition by the College for a
                                time period consistent with the level of infraction up to a permanent suspension from the
                                College of Charleston campus. This will be determined by the Director of Student Life
                                or Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life in conjunction with the Dean of Students
                                and/or Executive Vice President for Student Affairs.