Alcohol

The Yale College Dean’s Office and the Council of Heads of College have issued points A through M below; anyone who disregards them risks legal prosecution by the State of Connecticut and may face disciplinary action, either by the head and dean of a residential college or by the Yale College Executive Committee.

A. General responsibilities of students

Yale College recognizes its students to be responsible adults and believes that they should behave in a manner that does not endanger themselves or others and that is in compliance with state and local laws regarding the consumption, sale, and delivery of alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, students will be held fully responsible for their own behavior, even when acting under the influence of alcoholic beverages. Infractions of the alcohol regulations as well as any alcohol-related behavior that violates the Undergraduate Regulations will be subject to disciplinary action by the appropriate University officials. In such cases, the association of alcoholic beverages with problem behavior will not be seen as a mitigating factor and may be seen as an exacerbating factor.

Students are strongly encouraged to call for medical assistance for themselves or for any student who is dangerously intoxicated; such a call for emergency help does not in itself lead to disciplinary charges.

B. Compliance with state statutes

The legal drinking age in Connecticut is twenty-one. The law provides that anyone who delivers or gives an alcoholic beverage to a person under the legal drinking age or to any person who is intoxicated is in violation of the law and subject to the imposition of penalties as designated by statute (CT General Statute, Section 30-86(b)). It is similarly a violation of the law for a person under the legal drinking age to possess alcohol or to misrepresent their age, through the use of a fraudulent identification card or otherwise, in order to be served alcoholic beverages illegally (CT General Statute, Section 30-88a).

Connecticut statutes explicitly forbid the sale of alcoholic beverages unless the seller holds a state liquor license (CT General Statute, Section 30-74). Yale University does not hold such a license for social functions on campus. No alcoholic beverages may be sold anywhere in the residential colleges or college annexes, or anywhere on the Old Campus. Stratagems such as the sale of chits, potato chips, set-ups, or any article that may be redeemed for alcoholic beverages are the equivalent of paying money for alcoholic beverages and are prohibited. No admission may be charged or accepted for cocktail parties or other drinking parties no matter how named.

All undergraduate social functions, organized and private, must be in compliance with state and local laws. It is the responsibility of the host (or host organization) to ensure compliance with state and local laws and with appropriate University regulations. (See Responsibility of Hosts; for regulations pertaining to the service of alcohol, see section D below.)

C. Who may be served

The categories of persons listed below may be served alcoholic beverages. Verification must be made by a TIPS-certified bartender, including students trained in the certification course offered by the Alcohol and Other Drugs Harm Reduction Initiative (AODHRI) in the Yale College Dean’s Office.

  1. Members of the faculty, administrative staff, alumni, and parents.

  2. Yale students of legal drinking age, whether undergraduate, graduate, or professional school students, as confirmed by the birthdate on their Yale University identification cards and government issued identification cards.

  3. Guests, either individuals accompanied by Yale hosts or students visiting Yale from another college or university, who can establish that they may be legally served alcoholic beverages by means of two forms of identification, such as a college identification card, a driver’s license, or a passport. At least one of the forms of identification must include a photograph.

D. Service of alcoholic beverages

Under no circumstances may alcoholic beverages be served, directly or indirectly, to anyone under the legal drinking age or to anyone who is intoxicated. Alcoholic beverages are to be served from a well-illuminated bar physically separated from places where other refreshments are served. Service will be only by authorized bartenders assigned to the event from a pool to be administered by Yale Dining.

E. Bartenders

For organized events on campus at which alcoholic beverages are to be served, arrangements must be made at least a week in advance with Yale Dining for bartending service by off-duty dining services personnel. Off-campus events utilizing Yale funds must ensure the venue is providing certified bartenders for the duration of the event. At the time these arrangements are made, the student hosts must reach agreement with the dining hall manager and the head of college, or external vendor, regarding the procedures for checking identification cards, the number of bartenders needed, and other preparations. The number of bartenders needed will depend upon the expected attendance and the procedures to be used for checking identification cards, both Yale ID and government issued ID. In all cases, bartenders must be provided with adequate student help for moving supplies and necessary tasks other than actual serving of alcoholic beverages.

F. Presence of police, security, and medical personnel

If fifty or more persons are expected to attend an organized social function on campus, or an off-campus event that utilizes YCDO funds, where alcoholic beverages are served, an off-duty campus police officer, security personnel, and American Medical Response or other EMT must be engaged by the sponsoring organization and must be present throughout the event. The person or organization sponsoring such an organized social function must notify the Yale Police Department, the Office of Risk Management, and Yale Security at least two weeks prior to the event. The chief of the Yale Police Department or designee will determine whether police services are needed and the number of police appropriate for the event. The sponsor of the event will be financially responsible for police, security, and emergency medical services. If the actual number of people attending an organized social function unexpectedly exceeds fifty, it is the obligation of the host to telephone the Yale Police Department at once. A head of college or the chief of the Yale Police Department or designee may require that more than one police officer be present if attendance at a function is expected to be large or if the college’s or off-campus venue's geography makes entrance/exit attendance and general surveillance difficult for a single officer. At the discretion of the head of college, the Office of Risk Management, or the chief of the Yale Police Department, it may also be prudent and appropriate to engage an off-duty officer and security and emergency medical personnel for events where there are no alcoholic beverages served.

G. Abuses

In the event of abuses, such as the passing of alcoholic beverages to persons other than those who receive them at the bar, or verbal abuse of bartenders or police, the police will warn that service is being jeopardized. If that warning is not heeded, the police or venue management may close the bar. It is the responsibility of the host (or host organization) to monitor the behavior of students or other guests and to maintain the general decorum of the event.

H. Provision of non-alcoholic beverages and food

At any event at which alcoholic beverages are served, the host must also provide non-alcoholic beverages and food in adequate amounts. Service of alcoholic beverages must cease if the supply of non-alcoholic beverages is exhausted. No alcohol can be served before service of non-alcoholic beverages or food.  

I. Permissible alcoholic beverages

Beer and wine may be served at organized social functions. Other alcoholic beverages, such as punch and mixed drinks, may be no more than 15% alcohol by volume. Grain alcohol is prohibited on campus.

In the budget allocation for beverages at an event the amount spent on alcoholic beverages must not exceed the percentage of expected attendees who will be of legal drinking age.

J. Privately obtained alcoholic beverages

No privately obtained alcoholic beverages may be brought into an organized social function, including major campus events such as Spring Fling, First-Year Formal, or Senior Masquerade.  Privately obtained beverages will be confiscated and failure to comply will result in dismissal of student from the event. 

K. Advertising

There may be no advertising on the Web or elsewhere of alcoholic beverages, including mention of open bars, at campus functions or at off-campus functions arranged by student organizations.

L. Cessation of service

Service of alcoholic beverages must cease one hour prior to the scheduled end of an organized social function. (See Activities and Events, section E, Hours.)

M. Old Campus and areas for first-year students 

Kegs of beer are strictly forbidden on the Old Campus and in first-year suites in Benjamin Franklin, Pauli Murray, Silliman, and Timothy Dwight Colleges. In addition, no alcoholic beverages may be served at organized or private functions on the Old Campus, except at functions confined to rooms or to entryways occupied solely by upper-level students or when authorized by the Yale College Dean’s Office.

N. Misuse of identification cards

Misuse of the Yale identification card, as for example by allowing its use by someone else or by passing on alcoholic beverages obtained with its use to an underage person, is a violation of the Undergraduate Regulations and will lead to disciplinary action.

O. Attempts to be served illegally

Any attempt by a student who is under the legal drinking age to be served alcoholic beverages illegally at an organized social function, for example by using false or fraudulent identification documents in order to misrepresent their age, is a violation of the Undergraduate Regulations and will subject the student to disciplinary action by the appropriate University officials.

P. Failure to comply

Any individual or student organization that fails to comply with these regulations will be subject to disciplinary action.