I. General Policy
Texas law and Rice University policy prohibit persons under age 21 from consuming or possessing alcohol; and no individual may sell, serve, provide, or make available alcoholic beverages to anyone under 21. Whenever alcohol is consumed or served within the Rice community, the University expects that community members will follow the law and policy and maintain safe, responsible, and legal behavior relating to alcohol use. The University requires that all individuals take personal responsibility for their own behavior, and exercise care and safety toward fellow students, faculty, and staff.
This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, vendors, visitors, and alumni participating in any event that involves alcohol and is paid for with Rice University funds, occurs on Rice University property, or that is sponsored by a Rice University organization or club. However, this policy is not intended to apply to casual gatherings of faculty, staff or graduate students involving alcohol consumption by persons who are all at least 21 years of age and which do not involve University funding or support, such as small groups consuming alcohol at Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) licensed facilities (see III c below) on campus that serve alcohol. Regardless of coverage by this policy, the University expects that all individuals take personal responsibility for their behavior if consuming alcohol on campus.
Additionally, events where alcohol is served or consumed and that are likely to be attended by students must register and will be subject to additional student alcohol policies for Undergraduate Students, Jones School Students, or Graduate Students (see III.C).
An “event,” as used in this policy, is any gathering where alcohol will be served or consumed, and that either 1) uses Rice University funds, 2) occurs on Rice University property, or 3) is sponsored by a Rice University organization or club. Any event where alcohol will be served or consumed must be reviewed and conducted in accordance with this policy.
III. Elaboration of Policy
- Consumption of Alcohol
Texas law and Rice University policy prohibit persons under age 21 from consuming or possessing alcohol and prohibits selling, serving, providing, or making available alcoholic beverages to anyone under 21. These prohibitions apply on the Rice campus and other Rice owned property at all times.
Individuals on campus shall not consume alcohol to the point of intoxication, and those driving motor vehicles shall not consume alcohol beyond the statutory limit for intoxication. Further, individuals who appear intoxicated at an event covered by this policy shall not be served alcohol.
When traveling outside of Texas, it is acceptable to follow local laws regarding the legal consumption age or limits on alcohol intoxication, though anyone participating in a Rice function must nonetheless maintain responsible behavior.
- Events where Alcohol will be Served or Consumed
Each event covered by this policy where alcohol will be served or consumed must have a designated responsible individual (or “Host”) who has agreed to take responsibility to ensure that this policy is followed. Agreeing to take responsibly means taking reasonable and effective steps to: 1) ensure that persons under 21 are not served or do not consume alcohol; 2) generally monitor the event to ensure that person under 21 are not consuming alcohol and that visibly intoxicated individuals are not served and do not consume alcohol; and 3) remain present for the duration of any alcohol service at the event.
Larger or more complicated events may require additional security measures or emergency planning. The organizer or Host (e.g., department, club, school) is responsible for the additional cost of any necessary security or emergency services, and any clean up or remediation due to an event.
To comply with Texas law, a TABC license or permit must be obtained whenever alcohol will be sold or will be served “free” at any function where there is an admission charge. In such case, the Director of Risk Management must be notified sufficiently in advance of the event.
- Additional Policy and Possible Registration for Events with Students
Events where there is an expectation or intention that students will participate must be reviewed by the appropriate office (as shown in the chart below), and may be subject to additional alcohol policies related to students. There is an “expectation or intention” that an event is a student event if the organizer or Host should reasonably expect that students will likely make up more than 10% of the attendees. Events organized or hosted by students are also subject to the specific policies that pertain to that student population and are not supplanted by this policy.
Registration is not required for events that are held at TABC licensed vendors on campus (e.g., Willy’s, Valhalla, Brochstein, Cohen House or NCAA competitions) if the expectation is that the total student attendance will be less than 50.
The review process is as follows:
- Policy Administration
Event organizers or Hosts are responsible for conducting their events in a safe and responsible manner. Further, it is expected that individuals will act in accordance with applicable Rice University policies, and the law. The failure to do so may subject an individual to disciplinary action.
The Provost’s Office is responsible for the implementation of the Rice University Alcohol Policy, and has delegated administration of the Graduate Student Alcohol Policy to the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, administration of the Undergraduate Alcohol Policy to the Dean of Undergraduates, and administration of the Jones School Alcohol Policy to the Dean of Jones Graduate School of Business.
IV. Cross References to Related Policies
Rice University Policy 323, Drug Free University
V. Responsible Official and Key Offices to Contact Regarding the Policy and its Implementation
Responsible Official: Provost
Other Key Offices: Dean of Undergraduates; Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies; Dean of Jones Graduate School of Business; Risk Management; Office of General Counsel
VI. Links to Additional Information
For student alcohol policies, registration, training, or contact information see https://alcoholpolicy.rice.edu/
David W. Leebron, President
April 6, 2018