Gettysburg College Social Event Policy


The Social Event Policy reflects the social climate that the Gettysburg College community strives to establish and maintain regarding campus social life, including the appropriate role of the use of alcoholic beverages by community members. Its success depends upon the cooperative efforts of students, faculty, administration and alumni in both understanding and upholding the spirit of personal responsibility and respect for self and others that is embodied in this Policy. Any exceptions to this Policy must be approved in advance by the College's Alcohol Policy Review and Advisory Board (APRAB).

Responsible Decisions Regarding The Use Of Alcohol


The College supports the choice not to drink alcohol and actively discourages and sanctions the irresponsible use of alcohol. In compliance with Pennsylvania laws and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, the College does not approve of the consumption of alcohol by students (or their guests) who are under the age of 21, on or off the campus. The College will establish reasonable procedures to assure that students are aware of their legal obligations. Inappropriate behavior involving the furnishing or consumption of alcoholic beverages will result in appropriate disciplinary proceedings and penalties. The College recognizes and cooperates with law enforcement authorities in their enforcement efforts pertaining to alcohol, and will seek to educate students about laws pertaining to alcohol, as well as about the use and abuse of alcohol.

Social Event Policy Goals


Social gatherings at Gettysburg College are an important part of our community life.

We affirm the following goals as appropriate for such social gatherings:

  1. Respect for the rights of all individuals and respect for the property of others.
  2. The health and safety of community members.
  3. When alcohol is included at Social Events: to empower and encourage students to assume an active role in the planning and management of Social Events that model responsible alcohol use.
  4. An enjoyable atmosphere conducive to positive social interaction.

Options For Hosting Social Events With Alcohol

There are two options for hosting events with alcohol at Gettysburg College:

  1. Host Provider events: The Host provides the alcohol for those of legal drinking age at the Social Event. At these events, no Guest is permitted to bring alcohol.
  2. BYOB events: Guests of legal drinking age may bring alcohol with them to the Social Event.

Procedures for Social Events


Irresponsible alcohol consumption can often interfere with the educational purposes and social climate of the College. All students and student organizations have a responsibility to follow the Social Event Policy Procedures outlined below. In addition, Hosts of Social Events will be held accountable for the implementation of the procedures described in this Policy.

Procedures for Hosting Social Events


1. Definitions: The terms defined in this section are intended to be used in the context of Social Events which are registered, or should have been registered, with the College.

Host: Any Gettysburg College student, group of students, organization, or living group that -

  1. Any Gettysburg College student, group of students, organization, or living group that
  2. pays for or provides alcohol, directly or indirectly, to Guests, and/or registers a Social Event in any College space (residence hall, fraternity, indoor or outdoor social space.)

Guest: Any person present at a Social Event, other than a Host or a member of the Host organization.
Social Event: Any event on campus with 30 or more Guests and Hosts combined. All Social Events must be registered with the College.

  1. -Social Events with less than 30 Guests and Hosts combined may be registered, at the option of the Host. Such registration enables the Host to gain the benefit of the support of Party Patrol, Safety and Security, etc. in helping to assure that their event is safe and responsible.

Social Event with Alcohol ("SEA"): A Social Event at which alcohol will be present. Only Social Events registered as SEAs may have alcohol present.


    A Social Event at which alcohol will be present. Only Social Events registered as SEAs may have alcohol present.

2. Social Event Registration:

  1. Social Events with 30 or more Guests and Hosts combined must be registered with the College. Other events with less than 30 Guests and Hosts combined may also be registered at the option of the Host. Registration of a Social Event does not constitute College approval of such Social Event.
  2. The person registering a Social Event at which alcohol will be present must be at least 21 years old.
  3. SEAs may take place only between 5:00 p.m. Friday and 11:00 p.m. Sunday.
  4. Social Event Registration Forms must be submitted to the Office of Student Development (CUB 250) by 1:00 p.m. on the Thursday prior to the event.
  5. There may be no alcohol present at any Social Event that is not registered as an SEA.
  6. Forms must contain all requested information and proper signatures before a Social Event can be approved. Co-sponsored Social Events require a signature from a representative of each sponsoring Host
  7. Hosts will be charged a Registration Fee when registering a Social Event.

3. Host Training:

  1. All Hosts of SEAs are required to complete a Host Training Course sponsored by the College. This course will focus on how to run a safe and responsible SEA.
  2. Student servers at SEAs are required to complete the TIPS training course. Only TIPS trained servers may serve alcohol during the SEA. TIPS training focuses on serving alcohol safely and responsibly. At least two TIPS trained servers must be present at all times during the SEA. Student servers at SEAs must abstain from consuming alcohol and must remain sober during the SEA. Details on these training courses can be obtained from the Office of Student Development.

4. Host Responsibility:

  1. The Host is responsible for the safety and behavior of all Guests, and for compliance with all applicable laws and College rules of conduct.
  2. Gettysburg College students who bring non-college Guests to a Social Event must inform their non-college Guests of Gettysburg College's standards of behavior and Pennsylvania state law.
  3. Non-college Guests must be accompanied by a Gettysburg College student at all times during the Social Event. The accompanying Gettysburg College student will be held responsible, under the Gettysburg College Code of Student Conduct, for any violation of Gettysburg College's standards of behavior committed by the non-college Guest.
  4. Hosts are expected to maintain a level of social behavior from all in attendance that supports the goals of the College Social Event Policy.
  5. If a Guest is acting inappropriately, and the health or safety of a Guest or others appears to be at risk: the Host is responsible for contacting Safety and Security to assist the Guest in leaving the Social Event in a safe and responsible manner. See the College's "Good Samaritan" policy for more details on assisting students in need of medical attention.
  6. If a Guest is acting inappropriately, and the health or safety of the Guest or others does not appear to be at risk: the Host is responsible for asking the Guest to leave the Social Event. If the Guest refuses such a request, the Host should contact Safety and Security to assist in removing the Guest from the Social Event.
  7. The Host is responsible for ensuring that the Social Event policy is followed and that no one under 21 is furnished with, possesses or consumes alcohol at any Social Event.
  8. Only those individuals who show proof of being 21 years of age or older may consume alcoholic beverages at SEAs.
  9. Hosts of SEAs must issue to Guests who are 21 years of age or older and plan to consume alcoholic beverages a wristband, stamp or other distinctive marking, which must be worn by the individuals at all times during the event. No one without the distinctive marking may consume alcohol at an SEA.
  10. The Host must insure that no person age 21 or above provides or furnishes alcohol to a Guest under the age of 21.
  11. The Host must insure that no visibly intoxicated person is served alcohol.
  12. Each SEA must have one designated bar area from which all alcohol will be distributed only to those of legal drinking age. Alcohol may not be distributed from anywhere else other than from behind the designated bar area.
  13. No alcohol may be placed in a location where Guests may serve themselves. All alcohol brought to a BYOB SEA must be delivered immediately by the Guest to the Host and provided to an authorized server.
  14. The Host will be held accountable for any violations of College policies or Pennsylvania law that occur at their Social Event. Individual violators will also be held accountable for their actions.
  15. Hosts are expected to contact Safety and Security for assistance in managing any serious problems that occur during a Social Event. Examples of serious problems include, but are not limited to:
  • A Guest refusing to leave the Social Event upon the request of the Host
  • Dangerous or violent behavior
  • Any health or safety concern
  • Inability of the Host to successfully comply with the Procedures outlined in this Policy.
  1. Hosts are responsible for setting up, cleaning up, and maintaining order at their Social Event and for any damage resulting from the event.
  2. Hosts are strongly encouraged to provide accessible, separate, and clearly marked receptacles for glass bottles and aluminum cans, and to take the appropriate steps, after the event, to have these containers recycled.

5. Irresponsible consumption and distribution of alcohol is prohibited: For all students, Hosts and Guests, regardless of age, the irresponsible distribution and consumption of alcohol is prohibited. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Drinking games, funnels, chugging contests, etc.
  2. Putting pressure on Guests to consume alcohol, or maintaining the expectation that they will or should.
  3. Serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals
  4. Serving or possessing ethyl (grain) alcohol.

6. Quantity of Alcohol: The amount of alcohol permitted at an SEA shall be limited by the number of persons of legal age expected to be present at the SEA. A permitted amount of alcohol is that quantity sufficient to serve each person of legal age one drink (12 oz beer, 6 oz wine, 1 oz. hard liquor) per hour of the SEA. The quantity of alcohol permitted at each SEA will be reviewed during the SEA registration process.

  1. Kegs: In residence facilities and fraternities, serving alcohol from kegs or any other alcohol-dispensing device requiring a tap is prohibited. Students under the age of 21 are prohibited from being in possession of tap systems.

7. Social Event Safety and Security:

  1. In addition to the responsibilities of the Host(s) set out in number 4 above, The Party Patrol (made up of members of the College Community) may visit each registered Social Event to check on compliance with these Procedures. Any problems identified by Party Patrol will be brought to the attention of the Host for correction. Any violations/problems that Party Patrol believes cannot be addressed by the Host(s) will be reported to Safety and Security, who will then intervene to resolve and report on the problem.
  2. For all Social Events, the Host must designate a minimum of four individuals to maintain order and compliance with this Social Event Policy and its Procedures during the entire Social Event. If the Social Event is being hosted by a student organization, these individuals must be members of the hosting organization.
  3. For Social Events with over 200 Guests: Hosts must have a minimum of two security guards that must be present for the entire social event. One additional security guard must be present for each additional 100 participants beyond 200. The College may also have Safety and Security Officers do walk-throughs of Social Events with over 200 Guests to check on Host compliance with these Procedures.

8. Non-alcoholic beverages and food/snacks: must be as easily and readily available as alcoholic beverages throughout the Social Event, in amounts sufficient to serve the expected number of Guests.

9. Use of College Funds: College funds may be used to purchase alcohol only with the prior approval of APRAB. Approval will depend upon the appropriateness of the SEA relative to the purpose of the sponsoring organization; frequency of requests from the sponsoring organization, and evidence of a plan to ensure that all Social Event Policy Procedures will be followed during the Social Event.

10. Charging for the Sale of Alcohol/Charging Admission to Social Events: No Host, Host organization, or other person may ever charge, sell, or receive any form of consideration from Guests or for their SEAs unless they obtain the appropriate liquor license from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

11. Non students: Each non-student must be accompanied by a Gettysburg College student and must show proof of age in order to consume alcoholic beverages.

12. Greek organizations: These organizations are subject to additional rules imposed by their national organizations and insurance carriers. Individual organization and IFC/Panhellenic rules should be consulted prior to planning an event with alcohol.

Approved by Student Life Council

May 3, 2000