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Students > Alcohol Policy
Thiel College Statement on Alcohol
Thiel College does not encourage the use of alcoholic beverages by students. The Thiel College Alcohol Policy and related educational programs are, as far as possible, educational in nature and designed to promote responsible decision-making concerning the use of alcohol in this community. All members of the Thiel College community are subject to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania governing the use and distribution of alcohol. Thiel College does not approve of the use of alcohol by any student, employee, or guest that is under the age of 21, on or off campus.
The Thiel College Student and Employee Handbooks include copies of the College Alcohol Policy. In addition, the Office of Student Life and Student Handbook have more information about the rules and regulations for student-sponsored social events with alcohol and other information associated with our policy. For College sponsored social events with alcohol, the President’s Office determines the policy concerning the serving of alcoholic beverages.
Student Alcohol Policy
Good Samaritan & Medical Amnesty Policy
Frequently Asked Questions
Policies at Other Institutions
Student Alcohol Policy
The Thiel College Alcohol Policy and related educational programs are, as far as possible, educational in nature and designed to promote responsible decision-making concerning the use of alcohol in this community. The goals of this policy are: to create an environment dedicated to student success, to help educate our students about the effects of alcohol and laws associated with alcohol, to ensure compliance with the law, and to maintain an informed community where the effects of alcohol abuse and the behavioral problems associated, are minimized. The College expects all members of the community to be respectful of the right of others in order to contribute to an environment conducive to educational and personal development.
This policy reflects local and state laws governing the use and distribution of alcohol and recognizes the rights of individuals who are 21 years of age or older to consume alcohol in a legal and responsible manner. The College expects community members to abide by the laws of the State of Pennsylvania and the policies of the College. Any member of the community, including Residence Life and Campus Police personnel, may confront and report individuals whose behavior is in violation of these policies. Sanctions will be imposed upon students who violate this policy, or other policies of the College. Intoxication is not justification for violating any College policy.
All students and students’ guests within the Thiel community are expected to observe the College Alcohol Policy, which includes the following rules and regulations:
- Persons 21 years of age and older may possess and consume alcohol in west campus residence hall rooms, suites and apartments upon applying for and receiving Over-21 Status from the Department of Residence Life (see Over-21 Status Policy).
- Since our first year residence halls are all located on east campus, and it is fair to assume that the majority of first year students living in those halls are under the legal age to consume alcohol. So no alcohol is permitted in east campus housing unless authorized by the Dean of Students and/or President’s Office.
- Possession of Alcohol Paraphernalia by individuals under 21, including, but not limited to, cans, bottles, “beer bongs”, drinking game materials, cups containing alcohol, etc. are prohibited.
- Open containers of alcohol are not permitted in common areas unless given prior approval by the Dean of Students or his/her designee. Common areas include, but are not limited to, academic and office buildings, residence hall lounges, bathrooms and hallways, athletic facilities, and outdoors. For the purpose of this policy, individual apartment and/or townhouse common spaces are not included unless the apartment/townhouse is occupied by individuals under 21 or has not received Over-21 Status.
- Gatherings with bulk alcohol (defined as any quantity of beer in excess of two cases (48 twelve oz. cans) or the alcohol equivalent of wine) are not permitted in the residential facilities (except where noted in the Thiel College Student-Sponsored Social Events with Alcohol Policy found below). Kegs (with or without alcohol), beer balls and/or taps are not permitted in residential facilities (except where noted in the Student-Sponsored Social Events with Alcohol Policy).
- Gatherings with bulk alcohol may be permitted in College designated social spaces. Social hosts are required to comply with the Student-Sponsored Social Events with Alcohol Policy, published here and in a Guide to Social Programming with Alcohol available in the Office of Student Activities.
- Spirits (i.e. hard liquor or drinks with more than 14% alcohol content) are not permitted anywhere on campus unless authorized by the President.
- The College reserves the right to notify the parents or guardian of a student who is transported to the hospital for an alcohol overdose or cited by Campus Police for alcohol related behavior, and to require that the student participate in an educational program on alcohol and/or other drugs at his/her own expense. The College may also choose to notify parents or guardian of any alcohol or drug related violation.
- No drinking games or contests of any kind are permitted on campus (i.e. beer-pong, flip-cup, waterfall, etc.).
Students of legal drinking age that live on campus and meet the prerequisites established by the College may be accorded Over-21 Status for their individual apartments and/or room by the Department of Residence Life. Over-21 Status is a privilege granted to students and can be rescinded should students fail to use alcohol responsibly and in accordance with College policy. Students living in spaces that have been designated and approved as Over-21 Status must comply with the following rules:
- The Over-21 Status Card must be placed on the inside of the entrance door to the room, apartment, and/or townhouse. This status will only be given to rooms and/or apartments where all residents are over 21 years of age.
- No residence hall, theme house, apartment, or townhouse room may have more than one case of beer, wine coolers, or similar drink (24 twelve ounce cans) or 4 (750ml) bottles of wine, unless given approval by the Dean of Students or his/her designee.
- No open containers of alcoholic beverages are permitted if minors (individuals under the legal age to consume alcohol) are in the room and/or apartment.
- Occupancy rates must be upheld in each residential facility (see Maximum Number of People in a Room/Apartment Policy).
- Residents may not consume or possess open containers of alcohol in common areas, as defined previously in the College Alcohol Policy.
- The door to the apartment, residence hall, or theme house room must be closed when alcohol is being consumed.
Student-Sponsored Social Events with Alcohol
Students over 21 years of age who have attended the Social Host Preparation Workshop and TIPS Training may be permitted to host social events with alcohol in College approved areas provided the events are conducted in accordance with the following policies:
- Events must be registered, approved and implemented in accordance with the regulations set forth by the Student Activities Office.
- All Student-Sponsored Social Events with Alcohol require the use of a third party vendor. Regulations, requirements, and third party vendor contract information can be obtained in the Office of Student Activities.
- Provision and consumption of alcohol must comply with Thiel College policy and Pennsylvania State law, which prohibit dispensing alcohol to anyone under the age of 21, or to any visibly intoxicated person. The social host(s) will be held personally and individually accountable for ensuring that the event is conducted in a safe, responsible, and legal manner, in accordance with these regulations. Social hosts who violate these regulations will be subject to disciplinary action through the College disciplinary process, which may include suspension from the College. Social hosts may also be subject to criminal sanctions and/or civil liability if a person to whom alcohol is served injures him/herself or a third party. In addition, organizations may also be held accountable for events that violate these regulations.
- The hosts of student-sponsored events with alcohol are responsible for the actions of their guests, whether invited or uninvited, and may be held responsible for any damages to the area where the event is held, as well as entries, exits, common areas and bathrooms used by guests. All events must be conducted in a safe, responsible, and legal manner that is not disruptive to the surrounding area. Campus Police may close any gathering that fails to meet this requirement and disciplinary action will follow.
- The yellow copy of the Social Host Responsibility Form (SHRF) must be prominently displayed throughout the duration of the event. Failure to do so may result in termination of the event.
- The social host(s) must be present at all times while alcohol is available and/or served.
- The social host(s) will refrain from consuming alcohol and remain sober for the duration of the event.
- The social host(s) will not exceed the amount of alcohol approved on the Social Host Responsibility Form (SHRF).
- The social host(s) and sponsoring organization are responsible for enforcing the NO SMOKING policy and all other College policies throughout the duration of the event.
- Members of the sponsoring organization must staff the entrance, maintain an occupancy list, and monitor the event throughout its duration.
- Proper identification indicating that a guest is 21 years of age must be presented before alcohol is served. A State Driver’s Licenses or State Identification Card are the preferred forms of identification.
- Hosts must identify students of legal drinking age with bracelets provided by the Student Activities Office.
- Non-alcoholic beverages and low sodium/solid food must be easily accessible and provided in quantities appropriate for the number in attendance.
- The sale of alcohol, including charging admission at the door of an event where alcohol is distributed free of charge, IS PROHIBITED. It is illegal to sell alcohol without a Liquor License from the State of Pennsylvania.
- College funds may not be used to purchase alcohol at any student-sponsored event.
- Student-sponsored social events with alcohol may not be scheduled during New Student Orientation, study days, or exam periods.
- Alcohol may not be served after 2AM.
- Cleanup of the area must be completed by 7AM the morning after the event.
- Public advertising (including announcements through email, mass mailings, and/or internet sites) for student sponsored events may not mention alcohol or display alcohol related content (i.e. brand names and logos, photos or pictures of paraphernalia, etc.).
- Greek Letter Organizations will be responsible for following the Risk Management rules and regulations established by their national organizations.
Thiel College Good Samaritan & Medical Amnesty Policy
The health and safety of our students is of principal concern to Thiel College. In cases of extreme intoxication or other medical emergency due to the use of alcohol or drugs, the College encourages individuals to seek medical assistance for themselves or others. If an individual seeks such medical attention, the Student Life Office will not pursue disciplinary sanctions against the student for violations of the Alcohol and/or Drug Policy found in the Thiel College Student Code of Conduct.
Further, those students who assist in obtaining medical attention for others will not receive disciplinary sanctions from the College for violations of the Alcohol and/or Drug Policy. However this policy does not grant amnesty for all actions, including, but not limited to, possession with the intent to sell.
In lieu of sanctions under the Student Code of Conduct, the student receiving medical attention, as well as the referring student(s), will be required to meet with a member of the Student Life Staff and may be issued educational requirements that could include, but are not limited to, alcohol and/or drug education, counseling, and/or a substance abuse assessment. Serious or repeated incidents will prompt a higher degree of concern/response. Failure to complete educational assignments or treatment recommendations issued under this policy normally will result in disciplinary action. Also the student will be responsible for any costs associated with drug or alcohol education interventions.
The Medical Amnesty Policy does not preclude sanctions due to any other violations of the Code of Conduct. Also this policy does not prevent action by police or other law enforcement personnel and does not excuse or protect students who repeatedly violate the College’s Alcohol and/or Drug Policies. In cases where repetitive violations occur, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
Application to Student Organizations:
In circumstances where an organization is found to be hosting an event where medical assistance is sought for a member or guest, the organization (depending upon the circumstances) may be held responsible for violations of the Alcohol or Drug Policy. However, the organization’s willingness to seek medical assistance for a member or guest will be considered in determining sanction(s) for violations of the Thiel College Code of Conduct.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why did the College decide to make this change to the alcohol policy?
A: The policy has been been changed due to several reasons, but some of those include some negative underlying issues and inconsistencies with the status and enforcement of the previous policy, research and trends related to college drinking, better consistency with state law, and the additional educational and safety opportunities built into the new policy.
Q: Who will be allowed to possess and consume alcohol on campus?
A: Only individuals that are of the legal drinking age, and that have gone through the proper steps for gaining approval with be allowed to possess and consume limited quantities of alcohol on campus.
Q: In what facilities and/or campus spaces is alcohol permitted?
A: In most cases, only residential rooms that have been granted Over-21 Status will be permitted to have alcohol. However, there is opportunity to for individuals and groups to host social events with alcohol through the use of a third party vendor.
Q: The policy allows for “limited quantities and types of alcohol”, how much and what kind of alcohol is permitted?
A: The only alcohol that will be permitted on campus will be beverages containing 14% or less alcohol content. This would include most beers, wines, and wine coolers. The policy does not allow for “hard” liquor or spirits with more than 14% alcohol content. In addition, students may only possess one case of beer, wine coolers, or similar drink (24 twelve ounce cans) or 4 (750ml) bottles of wine, unless given approval by the Dean of Students or his/her designee.
Q: The College makes references to additional educational opportunities, what are those additional educational opportunities?
A: Through this policy, any student or organization wishing to host a social activity with alcohol will be required to attend educational programming prior to approval. The programming will focus on safety issues, legal liabilities, and other factors associated with alcohol consumption. In addition, the College will continue to provide alcohol education workshops and programs.
Q: What are the benefits of this policy change?
A: Some of the benefits related to the new policy include, but are not limited to, incentives for students that are of the legal age to drink to refrain from providing to minors, better and more realistic ability to enforce the policy, more consistency with state law, additional educational programs for students, and promotion of social responsibility.
Q: Why must a student group hire a third party vendor for Student Sponsored Events with Alcohol?
A: Groups must hire a third party vendor for events with alcohol due to liability issues. The third party vendor is hired to monitor consumption, prevent underage drinking, and ensure safety among other things.
It is important to mention that this component of the policy will also be followed by employees and guests of the College.
Q: Why can’t a student organization charge for admittance to a Student Sponsored Event with Alcohol?
A: Student organizations cannot collect any fee for individuals to gain access to an event where alcohol is being served. This rule has been identified because charging a fee to offset the costs of providing alcohol to guests is the same as selling the alcohol yourself. In Pennsylvania you must have a liquor license to sell alcohol.
Q: Doesn’t the Medical Amnesty and Good Samaritan Policy promote alcohol consumption?
A: Some argue that medical amnesty and good samaritan policies promote alcohol consumption. That is not the message we intend to send to our students. These types of policies have proven to save lives.
The College will continue apply specific interventions for students that fall under this policy (i.e. drug/acohol counseling, education, and/or treatment). However, we do not want our students spending time worrying about what disciplinary actions are going to be taken if they find help for someone in need. Every moment of time wasted on this type of thought process, is more time that a student will wait for help.
The Medical Amnesty and Good Samaritan Policy has been developed to empower students to call for help when an idividual is in trouble, rather than hesitate for fear of personal sanctions through the campus disciplinary process.
Policies at other Institutions