Alcohol Beverage Consumption Distribution Policy

ABCD Policy

Preamble:

The George Washington University is committed to promoting the health and safety of its campus community through a program of alcohol education and the implementation of this Policy. The university is further obligated under the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 to enforce compliance with local District of Columbia alcoholic beverage laws on campus and at university-sponsored activities. The university therefore affirms its adherence to the following principles:

  • The misuse and abuse of alcoholic beverages, related behavior such as disorderly conduct, illness due to excessive consumption of alcohol, and destruction of property pose a danger to the individual members of the campus community and to the community at large.
  • The promotion of alcoholic beverage consumption as the primary focus of on- and off-campus activities invites members of the campus community to violate university regulations and District of Columbia law.
  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages should only be by persons of legal age and through personal choice.
  • Those who choose to consume alcoholic beverages should do so responsibly and in moderation.
  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages should not be the main focus of an event or the only means of refreshment at an event.
  • The responsibility for proper consumption of alcoholic beverages and for compliance with the laws of the District of Columbia rests with each individual member of the campus community, as well as the student organizations.

I. Definitions

A. "University" means the George Washington University and all of its undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools, divisions and programs.

B. "Student" means any currently enrolled person, full-time or part-time, or on continuous enrollment, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies, whether or not in pursuit of a degree or of any form of certificate of completion. 

C. "Student group" means a number of persons who are associated with each other, but who have not complied with formal university requirements for registration as a student organization.  

D. "Student organization" means any number of persons students who have complied with university requirements for registration with the Student Activities Center as a student organization.

E. "University premises" means buildings or grounds owned or leased by the university, including, but not limited to, buildings or grounds in which students reside and university food service facilities are located; Marvin Center facilities; Columbia Plaza; and facilities operated in the name of any officially registered student organization.  This definition is not limited to buildings or grounds owned or leased by the university at the Foggy Bottom campus.  

F. "University-sponsored activities" means events and activities initiated by a student, student organization, or university department, faculty member, or employee that :

1. Are expressly authorized, aided, conducted, or supervised by the university; or

2. Are funded in whole or in part by the university; or

3. Are initiated and conducted or promoted by an officially-registered student organization, university department, faculty member or employee; or

4. Take place on university premises.

G. "Sponsors" of a university-sponsored activity are the student organization(s) or university department(s), faculty member(s) or employee(s) initiating, conducting, directing, or supervising the activity.

H. The “bring-your-own-beverage” system approved by the university is defined as: Each person of legal age to consume may bring a maximum of six (6) twelve (12) ounce cans/plastic bottles of beer, wine coolers or malt beverages.  Upon entering event, the alcohol is put in one centralized location to be monitored by the sponsors of the event who are at least 21 years of age.  The person who brought the alcohol is given one ticket for each standard drink brought.  Anyone who wishes to acquire a beverage that he/she brought to the event must show their wristband and ticket or punch card and return the empty can if this is not the first request.  Only one alcoholic drink may be acquired at one time.  No cases, twelve packs, or other alcohol containers larger than 12 ounce beers or wine coolers are permitted.  No squeeze bottles, water bottles, pitchers, tumblers or other containers allowed.    

II. Regulations Pertaining to Possession and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages.

A. A student violates this Policy if he or she:

1. Is under the age of 21 and possesses or consumes alcoholic beverages;

2. Falsely represents his or her age and/or name for the purpose of procuring any alcoholic beverage;

3. Offers, gives, provides, or otherwise makes available any alcoholic beverage to any person under the age of 21;

4. Possesses an alcoholic beverage in an open container, unless he or she is of at least 21 years of age and:

a. Purchases the alcoholic beverage from, and consumes the beverage at, a university food service facility where alcoholic beverages are permitted to be served; or

b. Purchases and consumes the alcoholic beverage at a university-sponsored activity at which alcoholic beverages are served in accordance with Section III of this Policy, or if the sponsor has implemented an authorized "bring-your-own-beverage" system of alcoholic beverage distribution and the student brings the alcoholic beverage to and consumes the beverage at such an activity. For the purposes of this paragraph, students who obtain alcoholic beverages from the sponsor's servers in exchange for authorized tickets shall be deemed to have "purchased" the alcoholic beverage at the activity; or

c. Is a resident of a university residential community or apartment, or is a visitor or guest of a resident who is also at least 21 years of age, and complies with the regulations set forth in Section II (B) of this Policy.

5. Is intoxicated and/or otherwise endangers the safety of him/herself or others;

6. At any university-sponsored activity:

a. Brings an alcoholic beverage to or removes an alcoholic beverage from the area of activity, unless:

 i. The sponsor of the activity has implemented an authorized "bring-your-own-beverage" system of alcoholic distribution; and

 ii. The student is at least 21 years of age;

7. Engages in any form of "drinking contest and/or game;"

8. Unless expressly authorized by the university, except as provided for in Paragraph III.A.10 herein, possesses any kegs, "party-balls", "beer bongs" or other similar common-source containers, whether or not alcoholic beverages are present in such containers; or

9. Possesses any punch bowls, garbage cans, or other common-source containers, provided that alcoholic beverages are present in such containers. However, commercially packaged containers of alcoholic beverages that do not violate Paragraph II.A.8 above, such as multiple-serving bottles of alcoholic beverages, may be possessed by a person(s) who is at least 21 years of age.

B. A student violates this Section if he or she is a resident of a university residence hall, or is a visitor or guest of a resident, and:

1. Possesses, serves, or consumes alcohol in any public area of a residence hall (public areas include cafeterias, libraries, lounges, lobbies, hallways, stairways, roofs, and any other area regularly used by the residence hall community);

2. Is under the age of 21 and brings alcohol into or possesses or consumes alcohol in any University residence hall or room therein;

3. Is 21 years of age or older and offers, gives, provides, or otherwise makes alcohol available to underage visitors, guests, or roommates. Residents 21 years of age or older may possess and consume alcohol in their rooms, and visitors and guests at least 21 years of age, of a resident who is also at least 21 years of age, may bring alcohol to, and possess and consume alcohol in, the resident's room.

C. All documented violations of this Section shall be reported to the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities, which may investigate the matter for disciplinary action pursuant to the Code of Student Conduct and/or prosecution by District of Columbia law enforcement authorities.

III. Regulations pertaining to university-sponsored activities at which alcoholic beverages are served.

A. The following regulations are applicable to any university-sponsored activities at which alcoholic beverages are consumed, served, or sold:

1. Alcoholic beverages may be served at university-sponsored activities where a majority of the persons expected to attend the event will be at least 21 years of age.

2. Representatives of a D.C.-certified security agency must monitor all entrances to the activity at all times to identify persons who are 21 years of age or older and therefore eligible to be served alcoholic beverages. Only those over 21 shall be admitted, or a system such as wrist bands shall be used to identify those of legal drinking age.  

3. No person under the age of 21 may be served alcohol at any university-sponsored activity.

4. Unless otherwise specified by other published university policies, alcoholic beverages may be served and consumed at university-sponsored activities only during the following hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m.-11:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m.-1:30 a.m.  Student events with alcohol may not take place during reading days or final exam days.  

5. Food and non-alcoholic beverages must be available for consumption throughout the duration of the activity.

6. Unless otherwise specified by other published university policies, alcoholic beverages may only be served by University food service personnel. For activities occurring in the Marvin Center, all servers shall be under the supervision of a manager provided by the university food service contractor. The vendor/server must be certified/licensed to serve alcohol and must provide written acknowledgment of its understanding, compliance, and enforcement of the University Alcohol Policy and D.C. laws governing the service of alcohol or must follow the authorized BYOB system. 

7. Except as specifically provided for in Paragraph II.A.4.b of this Policy, individuals attending the activity may not bring alcoholic beverages to or remove alcoholic beverages from the area of the activity.

8. Drinking contests and/or games in any form are expressly prohibited at all university-sponsored activities.

9. Alcoholic beverages may not be offered as prizes or awards at any university-sponsored activity.

10. The following containers are prohibited at all university-sponsored activities:

a. Unless approved pursuant to Paragraph III.B.1 of this Policy, kegs, "party-balls", "beer bongs", or other similar common-source containers, whether or not alcoholic beverages are present in such containers; and

b. Punch bowls, garbage cans, or other such common-source containers, if alcoholic beverages are present in such containers. However, commercially-packaged containers of alcoholic beverages that do not violate Paragraph III.A.10 (a) above, such as multiple-serving bottles of alcoholic beverages purchased from a licensed liquor retailer, as permitted by law, are permitted at University-sponsored activities that comply with this Section.

11. Sponsors are responsible for ensuring the activity remains in compliance with applicable District of Columbia laws, this Policy, and other published university regulations and policies.

12. Serving alcohol at fund raisers for student organizations is prohibited.

13. Alcohol may not be free to invitees and may not be donated for the event.

B. Procedure for initiating university-sponsored activities at which alcoholic beverages are to be served:

1. Sponsors wishing to initiate a university-sponsored activity at which alcoholic beverages may be served must submit an application to the Health Promotion and Prevention Services offices at least five (5) business days prior to the activity. Approval of the service of alcohol at any University-sponsored activities may be granted after each application is reviewed by a member of Health Promotion and Prevention Services. Health Promotion and Prevention Services will recommend the approval of an application to serve alcoholic beverages at a University-sponsored event if it determines, in its sole discretion that the application complies with this Policy.

2. Health Promotion and Prevention Services facilitates Responsible Alcohol Management (RAM) Training.  Organizations who wish to register any events with alcohol throughout the year must have members who undergo this training to become Responsible Alcohol Managers.  Each organization is responsible for scheduling RAM Training for its members and must contact Health Promotion and Prevention Services for a listing of dates and times that RAM Training is offered. There must be a ratio of one (1) Responsible Alcohol Manager per every twenty (20) attendees at the event, and all Responsible Alcohol Managers must stay for the duration of the event.

3. A temporary District of Columbia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Class F license must be obtained if alcoholic beverages are being sold at the activity. For these activities, University approval will not be granted until a license is obtained.

4. Pursuant to university regulations governing student organizations entering into binding contracts with non-University companies (see the Student Organization Handbook, available at studentorgs.gwu.edu) contracts between alcoholic beverage distributors and student organizations for the provision of alcoholic beverages must be submitted to the assigned Student Advising Team Advisor by the Center for Student Engagement for review at least 6-8 weeks prior to the activity for which the alcohol is being purchased.  All contracts must abide by this ABCD Policy.

5. The presence of GW Police Department officers and/or other security personnel is required at university-sponsored activities at which alcoholic beverages are to be served. As a guide, Health Promotion and Prevention Services generally recommends one security officer per 100 attendees. The security personnel must be present for the duration of the event.  The sponsor is required to pay for the services of all such personnel. 

6. If the activity is to occur on university premises, the university office or department responsible for managing the property has the authority to supervise the delivery of alcoholic beverages to; the storage, service, and consumption of alcoholic beverages at; and the removal of alcoholic beverages from the location of the activity. If the sponsor violates this Section, or if public safety concerns so warrant, the office or department in question shall have the discretion to terminate the activity or the service of alcoholic beverages at the activity.

C. All documented violations of this Section shall be referred to the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities.

D. Student organizations that are determined to have violated this Section may face revocation of the organization's eligibility to sponsor activities and/or revocation of the organization’s official registration with the university. Individual members of the sponsoring group(s) or organizations(s) may be charged and sanctioned in accordance with procedures set forth in the Code of Student Conduct.

IV. Promotion and Publicity of Activities at which Alcoholic Beverages will be Served.

A.  All promotion and publicity of activities must follow the guidelines of the Posting Policy, published by the Center for Student Engagement, and the Distribution and Posting on DC Public Space policy.  Publicity in the residence halls must follow guidelines of the Poster Policy, published by GW Housing.