Event Regulations

Serving Alcohol at Events


All on-campus Institute events where alcohol will be served must be registered through the event registration process (please refer to the chapter on "Event Registration" for more details). Step 3 of Event Registration requires that groups interested in serving alcohol at their event obtain permission to do so. If alcohol will be served, we encourage you to allow an extra week of planning time to obtain the proper approvals.

Note: Policies and procedures related to serving alcohol continue to change. Student groups should check with staff in the Student Activities Office or on the website at studentlife.mit.edu/sao/event-planning and departments should work with the Events and Information Center for the most up-to-date information.

For student groups to obtain approval to serve alcohol, they MUST first submit an Alcohol Proposal Form (please refer to the "Alcohol Proposal" section on the following page).

At any event where alcohol is available, non-alcoholic beverages and food or snacks must also be provided.

Alcohol Guidelines

(Adherence to these guidelines is required in order to host an event)

The guidelines listed below must be reviewed and agreed upon by all groups interested in serving alcohol as part of the Event Registration process. By signing the Guidelines Form, the Event Host also confirms that the Guidelines will be reviewed with all purchasers/servers/monitors of alcohol.

  1. Event Hosts must understand the responsibilities for and of a Liquor License (please see the "Entertainment and Alcohol Licenses" section of this chapter) including agreeing not to consume alcohol at the event.

  2. Procedures every server of alcohol MUST know:

    1. All servers at an event must not consume alcohol during the event.
    2. The event must be confined to the assigned room or facility. Alcohol must remain within the event facility.
    3. Student-sponsored or student group-sponsored events must use a 3rd party vendor cash bar.
    4. Only beer and wine may be served at student-sponsored or student group-sponsored events.
    5. At all events, a a bartender or TIPS trained server(s) is required to monitor the distribution and consumption of the alcohol. Alcohol must be attended at all times. Host must monitor the distribution of alcohol throughout the event.
    6. Proof of age must be checked at all entrances to an event. Guests must wear a wristband or other non-duplicable proof of legal drinking age. Proof of age should be checked when alcohol is served. Hosts are required to attach the bands for the guests. Hosts of events in Graduate Residences with fewer than 50 guests should meet with a member of the RLP staff to create a plan to confirm age of invite guests.
    7. Any MIT group, charging admission at the door and having alcohol, must have a cash bar and liquor license. Massachusetts General laws prohibit free drinks at licensed events.
    8. A server may not serve more than one drink to one person at any one time.
    9. No kegs or other common source containers may be used. Pitchers may not be served. Kegs are permitted at on-campus licensed facilities and at registered events when provided and served by an insured, third-party vendor.
    10. Alcohol may not be served to any individual who is under 21 years of age. Violation of this section may result in a fine of $1000, 6 months imprisonment, or both (M.G.L. c138, 34).
    11. Alcohol may not be served to any individual who is intoxicated.
    12. Non-alcoholic beverages and food must be available at all events at which alcohol is served.
    13. "Last call" must be made at least one half hour prior to the end time (events must end by 1AM).
    14. MIT strongly suggests that host/servers receive responsible beverage service training. For details contact the Community Development and Substance Abuse Center for Prevention, Policy and Research, W20-507, 253-7848.
  3. MIT's Restrictions on the Use of Institute Funds

    It is prohibited to use Institute Funds to purchase alcohol. In the case of events sponsored by academic departments, labs, and centers, or by administrative units, this prohibition may be waived with the approval of the relevant dean, vice president, or other senior officer, based on a determination that the requirements for serving alcohol at events are understood and will be observed. The prohibition may not be waived when the sponsoring organization is student run, however, moneys from student-run organizations may be used to hire bonded bartenders and/or party monitors.
  4. Advertising an Event Where Alcohol Will Be Served:

    Advertising must focus on the event, not the alcohol. Phrases such as "Beverages Available" and "Positive ID Required" are acceptable, while phrases such as "Wine &Cheese Party" and "Beer Bash" are not. Advertising may not offer free alcohol, provide information regarding the type or brand of alcohol to be served, or include phrases such as "All You Can Drink." Student Event Hosts may not extend an open invitation via an email distribution list. Individual guests may be invited via email.
  5. In addition, Event Hosts are responsible for applicable state laws and other MIT policies and procedures governing events and alcohol. For more information regarding procedures for serving alcohol at events and applicable state laws, please contact the staff of SAO or the MIT Events and Information Center.