Alcohol Policy and Guidelines

Effective Date: June 10, 2019
Responsible Official: Vice President of Student Affairs
Responsible University Offices: Office of Student Affairs, Dean of Students Office
Review Period: 5 years
Relates to: Faculty, Staff, & Students

Summary of Policy and Guidelines

All federal and state regulations regarding alcohol use apply on campus and to all Case Western Reserve University events. It is illegal in Ohio for alcoholic beverages to be made available by sale or otherwise to anyone under the age of 21.

Failure to adhere to federal and state laws and/or campus policies will result in individuals or organizations being referred to the appropriate disciplinary or oversight process for review.

Unacceptable alcohol-related behavior includes, but is not limited to the following:

  1. Use of alcohol by an individual under the legal drinking age
  2. Possession of alcohol by an individual under the legal drinking age
  3. Distribution of alcohol to any individual under the legal drinking age
  4. Public intoxication by any individual
  5. Use or possession of alcohol in a public space
  6. Use of alcohol leading to illness or injury
  7. Use of possession of bulk quantity or common sources of alcohol including but not limited to kegs, large open containers, or a large number of individual servings likely for use as a common source
  8. Participating in drinking games or other high risk behavior including funneling or other binge-drinking activities
  9. Use or possession of alcohol in the residential colleges (first or second year student housing) unless all assigned residents of the room are of legal drinking age
  10. Violation of other University alcohol policy
  11. Use or possession of alcohol by any individual in substance-free University housing.

Alcohol Transports

University community members are encouraged to seek assistance for students due to over-consumption of alcohol. While on campus, contact CWRU Public Safety. While off campus, contact local emergency services.

Case Western Reserve University’s Medical Amnesty Policy eliminates judicial consequences for students and/or organizations seeking assistance, for the assisted individual and others involved.

Alcohol at Events

The Alcohol Policy and Guidelines is applicable to any events sponsored by University recognized departments or organizations where alcohol service is a part of the event and students are present.

The university conforms to all state and local laws controlling the sale and use of alcoholic beverages. It is illegal to sell, provide, or serve beer, wine, or liquor to anyone who is under the legal age of 21. Servers of alcohol and sponsors of social events must be aware of and comply with all state statutes and with Case Western Reserve University policies and procedures.

The university expects responsible behavior of students who choose to drink alcoholic beverages and requires an environment free of coercion for those who choose to abstain. Therefore, students must adhere to guidelines provided by the university for responsible and legal consumption of alcoholic beverages. Individual students must accept responsibility for their own behavior and should demonstrate a concern for the safety and well-being of others in the university community.

The following regulations apply:

  1. The sponsors of events where alcohol is served must file an Alcohol Use Report (AUR) on CampusGroups.
    • Student organizations must complete the AUR at least seven (7) days prior to the event, allowing time to meet with the appropriate office (Student Activities & Leadership, Multicultural Affairs, Greek Life, Residence Life, Graduate Student Life, or Law School Student Services) and receive final approval from the Office of Student Affairs.
    • Campus departments must complete the AUR at least seven (7) days prior to the event, allowing time to communicate with and receive final approval from a representative in the Office of Student Affairs.
    • A copy of the approved form, which can be downloaded as a PDF from the submitter's CampusGroups user area must be posted at approved on-campus events.
    • The approved form must be provided to the key person or people on campus responsible for the event space or building staff.
  2. Open containers of alcoholic beverages are generally prohibited in public places according to state law and are specifically restricted in some university areas including Harkness and Amasa Stone Chapels. Restrictions for alcohol inside other facilities may vary. When alcohol is present at an outdoor public space, the space must be clearly defined by roping off the area and posting appropriate signage.
  3. At all events where alcohol is served, including BYOB and events with 3rd party vendors, an effective identification system (e.g. wristbands, stamps) must be established and adhered to for certifying those legally of age to drink. To obtain alcoholic beverages, a valid driver's license or other approved legal or University document showing proof of age and photo must be presented.
  4. The amount of alcohol beverages provided should reflect the proportion of those attending the event who are legally eligible to drink. Therefore, the quantity of alcohol will be determined by using the following formula: number of standard servings (e.g. 12oz beer, 5oz wine, 1.5oz liquor) = number of legal drinkers in attendance x hours of event. Individuals should not consume more than one alcoholic beverage per hour.
  5. When alcohol is sold, temporary F or F-2 permits will be required in accordance with state laws. The sale of alcohol is defined to include such methods for defraying the cost of the beverage or event as sale by the glass or container, advance ticket sales, and cover charges at the door. Please contact the Office of General Counsel for more information.
  6. At all events where alcohol is served, the sponsor of the event must provide an equal or greater amount of non-alcoholic beverages. The amount of non-alcoholic beverage provided should be sufficient to serve the number of people attending the event who are too young to drink alcohol or choose not to drink alcohol.
  7. No one should be coerced, even subtly, to drink or overindulge, and the rights of those who choose to abstain must be respected. To that end, drinking games are not allowed at any university or student group-sponsored events.
  8. When alcohol is served, a sufficient amount of food must be provided by the sponsor of the event throughout in adequate amounts to last through the event. At least half of the food available should be a non-salty offerings, to help slow the absorption of alcohol. Non-salty offerings should be substantive, include no or very low sodium, and not increase dehydration. If food runs out, alcohol service must cease.
  9. The kind and amount of security required for an on-campus event will be determined according to the Office of Public Safety guidelines. Factors to be used in determining the kind and amount of security are: the nature of the event, the number of people attending the event, whether alcoholic beverages are being served, and whether cash will be on hand. At an off-campus event the kind and amount of security shall be determined by the third party vendor providing the alcohol.
  10. Advertising and marketing for events which encourage drinking or drunkenness as themes and the advertisement of such events are considered inappropriate and will not be permitted. Be aware that neither the cost nor brand of an alcoholic beverage may be advertised in Ohio on marketing materials.The availability of non-alcoholic beverages at the event should be featured as prominently as alcoholic beverages in all marketing. Marketing should include that proper ID will be required.
  11. When beer or malt-based beverages are provided, it must be served to individuals in single serving containers of 16 ounces or less. When wine or liquor is provided, it must also be served in appropriately sized glasses, no greater than six ounces for wine and two ounces of liquor per drink.
  12. The serving of alcohol must cease at least one-half hour before the scheduled end of the event.
  13. When entertainment is included in the event, the type of entertainment and the duration must be listed on the Alcohol Use Report.
  14. The gift of alcohol as a reward for any student activity or contest is prohibited.
  15. Individuals or groups violating state law or the university student alcohol policy will be subject to disciplinary action.
  16. The designees within the Offices of Student Affairs and Dean of Students have the discretion to approve, deny or otherwise modify the AUR; to limit the amount of alcohol purchased, to restrict the location of the event, and to restrict the time and/or manner in which alcohol is served.
  17. Review the procedures for purchasing alcohol and other considerations; not following the proper procedures could result in the order or reimbursement being denied per the University Catering policy.

Last Updated: May 30, 2023