Social Functions

Social functions, such as dances, parties, and receptions, are a valuable part of student life. To make a positive contribution, however, they must be conducted with consideration for others. This entails, in addition to the requirements set forth below, keeping the sound level within reasonable limits and leaving the area used neat and clean. Violation of these regulations may result in disciplinary action by the head of a student’s college or by the Yale College Executive Committee.

A. Organized social functions

Social functions shall be deemed organized if they are financed, even in part, by funds administered by the Undergraduate Organizations Committee (UOC) or the University or if they are held in general access areas such as the common rooms, lounges, dining halls, courtyards, or entryways of residential colleges and the Old Campus, or other University buildings or common areas.

B. Advance approval

Approval of the head of college must be obtained no later than two days in advance of any organized social function anywhere in a college or in its annexes or in an affiliated entry on the Old Campus. If a college dining hall is to be used, permission must also be obtained in advance from the dining hall manager. Use of any other University premises for an organized social function requires advance approval of the appropriate authority including the Yale Police Department, the Fire Code Compliance Service, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, and the Office of Risk Management. If alcoholic beverages will be served, approval must be obtained at least one week prior to the event.

Private social functions in students’ rooms in the residential colleges, in the college annexes, and on the Old Campus at which more than twenty participants are expected require advance approval by the head of college. These private social functions may not make use of the general access areas listed in section A above and may not have more than fifty participants at any one time.

C. Responsibility of hosts

For each organized or private social function in a residential college, in a college annex, or on the Old Campus that requires the approval of the head of college, a host or sponsoring organization must be designated to the head of college in advance. That individual or organization assumes responsibility for the orderly conduct and prompt conclusion of the event, as well as for cleaning the area used and returning furnishings to their proper places. In addition, the host or sponsoring organization will be liable for any expenses arising from damage to University premises or property or injuries to people. If alcoholic beverages are to be served, the host, who must be of legal drinking age, assumes responsibility for adherence to the state law that prohibits the service of alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of twenty-one or to anyone who is intoxicated (CT General Statute, Section 30-89a). If at a private function the number of participants unexpectedly exceeds fifty, the host must reduce the number of guests or end the function.

D. Presence of police

If fifty or more persons are expected to attend an organized social function on campus where alcoholic beverages are served, an off-duty campus police officer 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 at least two weeks prior to the event. The chief of the Yale Police Department, or his or her 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 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 his or her 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 geography makes gate attendance and general surveillance difficult for a single officer. At the discretion of the head of college or the chief of the Yale Police Department, it may also be prudent and appropriate to engage an off-duty officer for events where there are no alcoholic beverages served.

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. At the time these arrangements are made, the student hosts must reach agreement with the dining hall manager and the head of college 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. 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. Hours

All social functions, organized or private, that take place on University property must end no later than 11 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday nights and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. With the head of college's approval, a college social committee may each term sponsor one organized function that extends until 2 a.m. on a Friday or Saturday night.

G. Admission charges

Admission charges may be levied for organized social functions only in the event of substantial entertainment costs and never to cover the purchase of alcoholic beverages. No admission charge or any other fee may be levied for private social functions on or off campus.

H. Service of alcoholic beverages

Any service of alcoholic beverages at a social function, whether organized or private, must be in full compliance with the laws of the State of Connecticut and the Yale College regulations on alcoholic beverages. heads of college, deans, dining hall personnel, and the Yale Police Department are authorized to request a student’s identification card in order to confirm that he or she has reached legal drinking age.

I. Nonalcoholic beverages and food

At any event on or off campus at which alcoholic beverages are served, there must also be available nonalcoholic beverages and food in adequate amounts.

J. Advertisements

Posters or other announcements of campus functions must be approved by the head of college or designated department or office representative before they are posted or circulated. They must comply with University policy on posters. (See Student Activities and Extracurricular Activities, section J, “Posters and Publicity.”) All notices of such events, including those on social media, may contain no advertising of the availability of alcoholic beverages.

K. Record keeping

All student organizations that receive funds from the University must keep precise financial records of those funds. They must provide details of the amount expended for social functions within three weeks of the event, including the return of unused funds and a full account reconciliation. Those records must be accessible at all times to appropriate University officials.

L. 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 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.

M. Tailgating

Yale is committed to providing an environment that is both fun and safe at all athletic events. Rules governing tailgating may be found at

N. Social functions off campus

As of September 2018, registration for off-campus events has been suspended.

Organizations or students planning events can find programs, training, and guidance for safe hosting practices through AODHRI (Alcohol and Other Drugs Harm Reduction Initiative).