Date Adopted: 8/26/1988
Date Revised: 6/13/2019
References: BOR Policy 503.1, UMW Policy 600.3
Issuing Office: Dean of Students
Approved By: Beth Weatherby
Consumption of alcoholic beverages on property belonging to the Montana University System is prohibited except as expressly permitted (Board of Regents Policy 503.1). Specifically, the use or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited: 1) in University of Montana Western buildings, grounds, and athletic fields, 2) at on-or-off campus University-sponsored events, and 3) at on- or off-campus University-recognized student club events, except in limited approved circumstances.
Except for the limited exceptions listed below, no event involving the service of alcoholic beverages may take place without the prior written approval of the Chancellor or his/her designee. Alcoholic beverages may be limited to beer and wine.
The purpose of this policy is to provide regulations governing the use and possession of alcoholic beverages on University-owned or controlled property, for University-sponsored events, and for events by University-recognized student clubs.
It is the University’s intent to comply with applicable laws pertaining to the sale, possession, and consumption of alcoholic beverages and to foster responsible attitudes toward alcohol among members of the University community, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors
University clubs, organizations, and campus events include, but are not limited to, sports groups, academic honoraries, athletic teams, service organizations, sponsored parties, tailgate parties, dances, picnics, banquets, field trips, sponsored recreational events, and social functions.
“Alcoholic beverage” means any beverage subject to the “Montana Alcoholic Beverages Code.”
The consumption of alcoholic beverages at University-recognized events is allowed with advance written approval by the Chancellor or his/her designee providing certain stipulations are met. Guidelines, procedures and Alcohol Registration Forms are available from the Conference & Event Services Office (see UMW Policy 600.3). Alcoholic beverages may be consumed in the privacy of a Family Housing apartment, the Chancellor’s residence, and University rental houses, in accordance with local, state, and federal laws and existing University student conduct regulations.
Residence Hall Alcohol Policy
The University of Montana Western follows all state and federal statutes. In accordance with state law, students under the age of 21 cannot consume or possess alcohol. When both residents of the room are under the age of 21, neither they nor their guests/visitors may possess or consume alcohol. This includes shot glasses, alcohol decorations (trophy bottles), empty alcohol containers, etc.
For rooms in which one roommate is 21 or older while the other roommate is not of legal drinking age, the resident who is of legal drinking age may not consume alcohol in his/her room. Rooms where both or all roommates are of legal drinking age may consume alcohol inside their room and must keep their behavior from being disruptive. No guests under the age of 21 may be present in the room while the of-age roommate/guests are consuming alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol is not allowed in any public areas of the building or in rooms occupied by underage residents. Most alcohol situations are brought to attention because of disruptive behavior. This behavior is addressed through student conduct and may require attendance at a behavioral Health Options (Options). The cost of the Options program is the responsibility of the student.
Alcohol violations carry with them the prospect of a Minor In Possession (MIP) and other criminal charges, and more severe consequences are dependent on the behavior displayed at the time of documentation.
Alcoholic beverages on University property shall conform to the following conditions:
- All events held on University property that involve service of alcoholic beverages, except those in Family Housing apartments, the Chancellor’s residence, and University rental houses, must be scheduled with the UMW Conference & Event Services Office.
- Consumption shall be in connection with a substantive event, such as a banquet, official entertainment, reception, or approved tailgate party.
- Food and nonalcoholic beverages shall be available.
- The event shall be monitored to prevent consumption by persons not of legal age.
- All events involving alcoholic beverages must have appropriate licenses and permits.
- The sale of alcoholic beverages or any indirect means of collecting money to pay for alcoholic beverages is prohibited unless a licensed alcohol vendor caters the event or a temporary alcohol permit is obtained from the State. The vendor must possess a current Montana all-beverage license and an annually renewable catering permit.
- University or student club funds may not be used to buy alcoholic beverages.
- Each club or organization sponsoring an event shall adhere to the risk management guidelines contained in this policy.
- Unreasonable or irresponsible conduct or violation of any regulation or noncompliance with any limitation outlined herein will justify discontinuance of the event and subsequent denial of University service and facilities.
- UMW Foundation events serving alcoholic beverages on campus are not subject to this policy unless co-sponsored by a student club. Events are approved through the catering policy.
University-sponsored events must meet the same requirements that apply to on-campus events.
Any University-recognized student club that sponsors any gathering, meeting, or other activity off-campus that involves alcoholic beverages must meet the same requirements that apply to on-campus events, with the exception of the following privileges and restrictions:
- Student officers or officials must meet with the club’s advisor to ensure their risk management plan adheres to University alcohol policies and risk management guidelines and have the event approved by the Chancellor.
- A University-recognized student club that sponsors an event involving alcoholic beverages off University property must have the event catered by a licensed vendor, if fifteen (15) or more persons attend the event. Vendor approval by Conference & Event Services is not required.
- A University-recognized student club that sponsors an event involving alcoholic beverages off University property is not required to have the event catered by a licensed vendor if fourteen (14) or fewer persons attend the event. However, the sale of alcohol is prohibited unless a licensed vendor caters the event. Event participants may contribute personal funds to purchase alcoholic beverages for the event. Students who organize and participate in this type of event assume the responsibility for serving alcohol and monitoring its use in accordance with local ordinances, state, and federal laws, and Board of Regents and UMW policies.
- University-recognized student clubs may not apply for a special permit from the State of Montana Liquor Division.
- Violations of University alcohol regulations are also violations of the UMW Student Conduct Code. Violators are subject to disciplinary action pursuant to the Code. The University, including ASUMW, may deny privileges to a student club or impose other sanctions for alcohol violations.
Alcohol Risk Management Guidelines
Risk Management guidelines are intended to help safeguard the University community against potential harm and exposure to legal liability. Therefore, it is imperative that policies are consistently enforced and the following strategies be incorporated into planning and implementing any event.
- Alcohol-free events should be promoted.
- Reasonable amounts of food and nonalcoholic beverages must be available at the same place and featured as prominently as alcoholic beverages.
- Alcoholic beverages must not be served to minors. Adults risk criminal liability, as well as civil liability, when minors consume alcoholic beverages.
- At social functions where alcoholic beverages are provided by the sponsoring organization, direct access should be limited to designated servers and consumption permitted only within designated and monitored areas.
- Drinking competitions are prohibited.
- Activities promoting forced consumption of alcohol are not allowed and could subject those individuals providing alcohol to liability.
- Service and consumption of alcoholic beverages must not exceed four (4) hours. Exceptions may apply.
- Service must be refused to anyone who appears to be intoxicated.
- A plan must be implemented for controlling and limiting the quantity of alcohol served.
- Access to the event must be controlled.
- Assistance should be provided to individuals who are abusing alcohol.
- Safe transportation to and from events should be encouraged and/or provided, including a designated driver program.
- Alcohol consumption at tailgate parties may begin no earlier than two (2) hours before the scheduled start of the game, and may continue no later than the start of the second half of the game.
- Ongoing education should be provided by the University to inform individuals about the potential risks associated with excessive use of alcohol.
- Alcohol may not be the focus of the event.
- The amount of alcohol may not be used as an inducement to attend or participate in an event, and event promotional material may not make reference to the amount of alcohol available for consumption, such as number of beer kegs.
- Event advertisements should mention the availability of nonalcoholic beverages as prominently as alcohol.
- Alcoholic beverages are not to be provided as free awards to individual students or campus groups.
Advertising and Promotion Involving Alcohol
For any University-related event or activity, The University of Montana Western will not:
- Use beer, wine, or liquor products (name, trademark, or logo) in advertisements and promotions for, or as sponsors of, any University event or activity, regardless of location.
- Use any University logo, trademark, or name in conjunction with alcoholic beverage products or symbols.
- Make alcohol the focus of any University event, or use availability of beer or other alcoholic beverages to promote any University event.
Authority and References
Board of Regents Policy 503.1, UMW Policy 600.3
Chancellor, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, Dean of Students, Conference and Event Services