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Alcoholic Beverage Policy for Students

(Approved by President's Cabinet, August­ 20, 2013)

Section I

Excessive alcohol consumption is an unfortunate part of the student social culture on campuses today. The principles expressed in this policy are intended to guide the DePauw community in all matters regarding the use, misuse, and abuse of alcohol. This policy is intended to serve as a basis for institutional rules and regulations, as a guide for individual and group decision-making, and as a community standard for behavior. Our primary objective is to help our students make responsible decisions to reduce the harms associated with alcohol use. We commit ourselves to promoting a community that values, teaches, and models healthy life choices and to creating conditions that provide a safe environment for living and learning. We expect our students to follow Indiana law regarding alcohol consumption and direct our greatest educational efforts toward curbing high-risk alcohol use. Members of the DePauw community who are 21 or over and decide to use alcohol are expected to do so responsibly and may be charged through University Community Standards for behavior that places them or others at risk or otherwise violates this policy.

We work to help our students become responsible citizens and make informed decisions by: educating students on the behaviors that define high-risk drinking; developing a culture on campus that challenges high-risk alcohol use; reducing secondary effects of alcohol use that impact student success; empowering students who serve as advocates for reducing high-risk drinking on campus; reaching the majority of first-year students during the first two weeks of the semester with accurate information about the risks of alcohol use as well as University policy; identifying high-risk populations and developing specific interventions for these populations; sponsoring non-alcoholic social events and programs; offering substance-free housing so that students who choose to not use alcohol can live in an environment where their lifestyle is supported by their peers; teaching students and staff intervention skills and focusing on their responsibility to intervene when others are engaging in high-risk behaviors; building relationships with student organizations and their leadership relative to their engagement of alcohol issues on campus; providing resources that will assist students who have alcohol abuse issues; using technology and creative strategies to reach our students; holding students accountable to their choices and behaviors; and engaging faculty, staff, alumni, and parents in these efforts.

Alcohol and other chemical dependency problems can be treated successfully if they are identified as early as possible and if appropriate treatment or prevention programs are promptly instituted. Students or organizations who request help in addressing these issues before any Community Standards actions are instituted will not face judicial charges. Student Life staff will address students' behavior when policy violations occur and will act to correct the situation. University Community Standards charges will result from policy violations.

Section II:  Safe Community Clause

The health and safety of DePauw students should always be of the highest priority. We recognize that students may be reluctant to get immediate medical attention for their peers who have been consuming alcohol because of concern that their own drinking may be a violation of University policy, or in the case of a student organization, that their organization could be found responsible for their guest’s consumption of alcohol. In order to keep the emphasis on student safety, a student or organization who calls for help for a peer will not be held accountable through the Community Standards process for policy violations connected to that specific situation. 

Section III:  Laws of the State of Indiana

Any violation of the laws of the State of Indiana regarding alcohol is grounds for University judicial action. It is important for members of the community to understand that while we operate under standards that best serve our community, we are not exempt from state law. Under the laws of the state of Indiana, it is illegal to:

  1. Possess, consume, or transport any alcoholic beverage if under the age of 21;
  2. Provide an alcoholic beverage to a person under the age of 21;
  3. Operate a vehicle while intoxicated or with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher;
  4. Become publicly intoxicated;
  5. Provide alcohol to an intoxicated person;
  6. Sell any alcoholic beverage without a license;
  7. Possess a false identification or in any other way make a false statement about one's age, if under 21, for the purpose of procuring an alcoholic beverage;
  8. Furnish false or fraudulent evidence of identification to a minor (under 21 years of age) for use in procuring an alcoholic beverage;
  9. Refuse to be chemically tested for blood alcohol level if stopped for suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated; and
  10. Be present in a bar or liquor store where the primary purpose of business is to sell alcohol if you are under the age of 21.

The above information on state laws is intended only to provide a brief summary of some relevant Indiana statutes. Students are personally responsible for awareness of the law.

In addition to criminal penalties, civil liability may be incurred by one's behavior under the influence of alcohol or by the behavior of another person to whom one provided alcohol. Members of the University and local police forces have the power of arrest and can, and do, arrest students for violations of Indiana law.

Section IV:  Responsible Management of Events Involving Alcohol

We are a campus that strives to provide a safe and healthy environment that allows for a positive experience in a vibrant social scene.  To this end the University expects that:

  • Students take responsibility for their actions in a community where alcohol is served responsibly.
  • Students do not drink to excess and the serving of hard alcohol use is decreased on campus.
  • Students and organizations intervene with others when signs of potentially problematic behaviors appear and excessively intoxicated students are not allowed into parties or served alcohol.
  • Students call Public Safety if concerned about the safety of others and hosts embrace responsibility for their guests.
  • Students exhibit civility and responsibility in social settings and show respect for the physical environment.
  1. Parties, events and other situations where alcohol is served or where students are consuming may not be held during times at which regularly scheduled classes are in session, on the evening before a day on which classes are regularly scheduled to meet or during new student Orientation, including the early arrival period.
  2. Parties or events hosted by student organizations where alcohol is served or consumed must be registered in advance. Greek organizations and students living in University-owned housing register with the Campus Living and Community Development office in Anderson Street Hall; other student groups register with the Campus Life Office in UB 210. Any occasion deemed to be an event with alcohol that has not been registered with CLCD or the Campus Life Office will be considered an unregistered social event and will be subject to Community Standards action.  Any unregistered event that has the appearance of a party or results in negative consequences from high risk drinking will be considered a violation of the event registration policy.
  3. In Greek living units, any party or event involving alcohol at an open, closed or off-campus event must be registered in advance. An open event is defined as one which is open to all DePauw students and not limited to a guest list. A closed event has a specified guest list, submitted in advance. In University-owned living units, any event involving alcohol at which 10 or more non-residents of the unit will be present must be registered.
  4. Greek living units are limited to three (3) open events per semester.  Dates will be requested and registered with CLCD at the beginning of each semester.  All registered open events must have outsourced event security utilizing a DePauw approved vendor, and follow event security expectations outlined by DePauw Public Safety.
  5. Neither University funds or fees collected by the University, chapter funds or fees, or living unit funds or fees may be used to purchase alcoholic beverages for an event. Pooling of funds to purchase alcoholic beverages on behalf of the organization is not permitted. The possession, sale, use or consumption of alcoholic beverages, while on chapter premises or during a fraternity or sorority event, in any situation sponsored or endorsed by the chapter, or in any event an observer would associate with a fraternity or a sorority, must be in compliance with any and all applicable laws of the State of Indiana, Putnam County, and the City of Greencastle and are encouraged to follow either BYOB or Third Party Vendor guidelines available from CLCD.
  6. Public advertising of alcohol for a party or event is not permitted. This includes flyers, emails, internet sites, sheet signs, etc.
  7. University policy and regulations govern all events, regardless of whether or not the event takes place during the academic year. Because students maintain their status when school is not in session if they are officially enrolled at the University, students may be held accountable for violations of University policy and regulations occurring outside the academic year.
  8. Participation in or sponsorship of drinking games or drinking contests is prohibited.
  9. Hard alcohol is prohibited at all registered open events.  Living units hosting an open registered event may not have any hard alcohol present in common areas, nor may it be served from anywhere in the living unit.  Any hard alcohol present must be stored out-of-sight and be inaccessible to all guests.  In addition, kegs of beer and other common containers are prohibited.
  10. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in any nonresidential University-owned and operated property and must not be consumed outdoors in the vicinity of any University-owned property or Greek living unit. The only exception to this policy is the Inn at DePauw and events that have gone through the appropriate approval process. Tailgating is allowed at home football games and must adhere to all guidelines outlined by the Athletic Department Tailgating Policy.
  11. Hiring a third party vendor to serve alcohol and/or security agencies to check IDs does not release a student organization from its responsibility to ensure compliance with the University’s Alcoholic Beverage Policy for Students. Appropriate risk management procedures approved by the Campus Living and Community Development Office apply even when organizations hire a third party vendor.
  12. Individual and group responsibilities are not mutually exclusive. If violations occur, Community Standards action may result for individuals and organizations for the same incident or event.  Individuals are responsible for their own alcohol consumption and any associated behavior.  Hosting social events assumes a degree of responsibility taken on by hosts as well as those distributing alcohol at an event.   Students are responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of others.  In addition to hosts (individuals or organizations), others such as servers, social chairs, etc. may also be subject to Community Standards action.
  13. Students are responsible for ensuring that their behavior and that of their guests does not violate policies, laws, or rights of others. Because the actions of guests also impact members of the DePauw community, students assume responsibility for those they host in the community.