Alcoholic Beverages - Comprehensive University Policy Regarding Use of

Month/Year Posted: 
March, 2011
Policy Number: 

(Supersedes UML 96-6, 94-1, 92-1, And P89-3, P87-1, P76-16, P74-11)

Mission Statement

The faculty, staff and administration of Humboldt State University are dedicated to creating an environment that allows students to achieve their educational goals. Humboldt State University believes that awareness through education is necessary to promote a healthy lifestyle for our campus, and that every member of the campus community should be encouraged to assume responsibility for his/her behavior.

Humboldt State University subscribes to a drug-free campus and workplace. (Drug-Free Workplace Act, 1988; Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment, 1989, PL101-226.) When alcohol use is permitted, the University ensures that abstinence is accepted and excessive use is strongly discouraged. The University recognizes that the use of alcohol can lead to dependency, which is treatable and preventable.

Policy Purpose

The Alcohol Policy is intended to promote prevention of alcohol abuse at Humboldt State University and establish the rules for the approval of alcohol use. This policy is developed with the expectation that when alcohol is served it will be under conditions that complement the orderly functioning of the University. Off-campus groups are subject to these regulations when contracting with the University for the use of its facilities.

This policy is intended to provide general guidelines that set a minimal standard for all areas. Each area may have more stringent policies.

Legal Requirements

In the state of California, only individuals twenty-one years of age or older can legally possess, consume, and purchase alcoholic beverages. All state laws are applicable to Humboldt State University and to all individuals on the properties of the University.

The Business and Professions Code and related statutes control the sale, consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages. Copies of this University Alcohol Policy are available in the HSU library and in the offices of the President; the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs; the Provost; the Vice President for Administrative Affairs; and the Vice President for University Advancement.

The State Board of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is responsible for interpretation and enforcement of the laws regarding the consumption, sale or possession of alcoholic beverages in/on any licensed premises. The Department of Public Safety is also responsible for exercising normal police powers in enforcing laws relating to alcohol. The University Code of Rules and Regulations, Section 5203, states:

The consumption of alcoholic beverages or possession of any open container . . . is prohibited on the streets and grounds, in any campus building, or in any public place . . . except with the expressed permission of the President or the President’s designee upon prior notification of the Director of Public Safety. However, beer is authorized for sale in the Depot after 3:00 p.m.

Employees of the University may not consume alcoholic beverages while at their work-stations. Further, employees are not to be under the influence of alcohol while on duty.

Requests to serve alcohol at a University event shall be submitted for approval to the President or his designee (as follows) not later than five days prior to the event. Permits may be obtained in the office of the Vice President affiliated with the requestor.

Requests to serve alcoholic beverages shall be submitted for approval to the appropriate Vice President. However, when a majority of student participants are anticipated, the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs must grant approval.

When considering requests for the serving of alcohol, each Vice President (and the President) will approve only those requests where the serving of alcohol is, in the judgment of each, "appropriate" to the event. For example, the serving of alcohol at business or instructional meetings or for gatherings where a majority of the attendees are minors, would be inappropriate.

NOTE: Permits for student clubs and/or organizations will only be issued to staff/faculty advisors, not to students.

University Requirements

This policy shall govern all activities relating to the use of alcoholic beverages at University sponsored events on the campus. For purposes of this policy, on-campus University activities will include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following: clubs and organizations (on campus and off campus), Housing and Dining Services, cultural events, athletics, intramural sports sponsorship, advertising in University publications, contracting groups and organizations, and sale of alcoholic beverages.

The use of alcoholic beverages is limited to the following situations:

Sale of Alcoholic Beverages

The public sale of alcohol is prohibited except as specified in Section IV, below. Licenses for sale at private events must be obtained from the Office of Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC).

General Guidelines to be Used When Alcohol is Served

When alcohol is to be served as part of an activity of a University recognized group or student organization, it is the responsibility of the designated sponsors to ensure that individuals under age 21 do not consume alcohol. Where appropriate controls cannot be satisfactorily established, authorization will not be given for the serving of alcohol.

At any event at which alcohol is available, non-alcoholic beverages and foods also will be available. Such offerings will be as prominently displayed as any alcoholic beverage.

When events are held on University premises and alcoholic beverages are made available as part of the event, the following requirements will be met by the individuals or groups sponsoring the event:

  • Individuals or groups sponsoring the event shall ensure that alcoholic beverages are not accessible or served to persons under age 21 or to persons who appear intoxicated.
  • Only invited guests may attend.
  • If alcohol is being sold at a public event, all sponsoring agencies must hire a server insured for $1,000,000.00 minimum general liability and $1,000,000.00 minimum liquor liability, $2,000,000.00 aggregate. Servers employed by a licensed organization may not consume alcohol. (Private events at which alcohol is not sold are exempt from the requirement of a server.)
  • No event will include any form of alcoholic "drinking contest" in its activities or promotion.

Clubs and Organizations

An officially recognized campus organization (student, staff, faculty, administrative) may sponsor a function on campus at which alcoholic beverages might be served. In sponsoring such a function, the organization and its officers accept the following:

  • Provision of non-alcoholic beverages and snacks;
  • Acceptance of all damages incurred during the activity;
  • Any clean-up necessary to restore the facility to its original condition;
  • Maintenance of decorum appropriate to the University setting;
  • Approval of the Building/Facility Coordinator;
  • Proof of age as determined by valid identification (driver’s license, etc.);
  • The use of a licensed server employed by an organization which has a minimum of $1,000,000.00 of liquor liability insurance (for example, University Center, Dining Services.)
  • This policy is designed for use only on special occasions by the sponsoring group. Alcohol permits are issued for one day only.

The above functions are to be open only to the membership of the sponsoring entity and others who can reasonably be considered guests. This policy is not intended to apply to events that are open to the public, such as cultural events, athletic events, concerts, or dances.

Housing and Dining Services

The University Center, Dining Services, under a license issued by the State Board of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is authorized to serve/sell beer in the Depot after 3 p.m. This authorization is subject to the provisions of the license.

When University Center, Dining Services caters an event at which alcohol is served, a permit must be obtained from the ABC. As a condition for this permit, prior approval will be obtained from the Vice President for Administrative Affairs and the Director of Public Safety.

Students living in the residence halls who are 21 years of age or older may possess and consume alcoholic beverages in the privacy of their room, but only in accordance with regulations adopted by the Department of Housing. Alcoholic beverages may not be consumed in public areas of the residence halls. Open containers of alcohol may not be transported through the residence halls.

The complete residence hall policy relating to alcohol can be found in the "Reslife & You" handbook which is a contractual supplement to the Housing License.


Athletic and Recreation Contests. Alcoholic beverages may not be served at athletic contests or in any athletics or recreation venue.

Athletics Code of Honor. Athletes sign a code of honor acknowledging their understanding of University policies, including those related to alcohol. No alcohol possession/consumption is permitted at any time for athletes at athletic events on or off campus. Alcohol infractions outside of team events are those acts that are infractions of University, city, county and state laws. In addition, athletes comply with rules on the consumption of alcohol designed by their respective coaches. These rules range from requiring complete abstinence, to permitting alcohol use on special occasions, to permitting use when there is adherence to county, city and state laws.

Intramural Sports

Sports Events. Participants (students, staff and faculty) in intramural sports are subject to the same policies as other students at the University. No alcohol possession/consumption is permitted at team events on or off campus.

Sponsorship of Athletic, Intramural and Other Sports Events

Sponsorship of athletic, intramural and other sports events by alcohol companies is not allowed when those companies’ advertisement of the alcohol products is required in eturn (e.g. beer logos on t-shirts, caps, banners, etc.). This policy does not preclude the underwriting of events by these companies. This same prohibition applies to other similar events such as the Sustainable Living Arts & Music Festival.

Advertising in University Publications

The marketing, advertising and promotion of alcoholic beverages in University publications will avoid promoting the excessive consumption of alcohol.

Off-campus Groups and Organizations

Off-campus groups and organizations contracting with the University for use of facilities are subject to the same regulations that apply to officially recognized campus organizations. (See Section II and III)


Enforcement of matters of law is the responsibility of the Department of Public Safety. Violations involving students, student organizations, staff, and faculty will be referred to the appropriate Vice President.

The institution may impose penalties for violations of standards of conduct up to and including expulsion, termination of employment, and criminal prosecution. Penalties will be handled by the appropriate administrator. Additional penalties may be imposed by those areas which have jurisdiction over specific events.