Events with Alcohol

Guidelines for Events with Alcohol

Any student group that plans an event on-campus or off-campus and intends to serve alcohol (whether as a third party cash bar or an open bar) must register their event on Atlas and attach a completed "Alcohol Proposal Form" to their online registration form.

MIT Sloan School of Management is a school within the MIT system and is therefore held to the MIT alcohol policies. MIT students found to be in violation of the Institute's alcohol and prohibited substances policies should expect to receive sanctions for those violations through the Office of Student Citizenship, via the Committee on Discipline (COD).

The MIT Alcohol Policy is intended to provide for the legal, safe, and responsible consumption of alcohol beverages at student-sponsored events. We recognize and respect the right of students over the age of 21 to organize and attend such events; at the same time, we strongly urge event sponsors to avoid encouraging or reinforcing irresponsible behavior. The Student Life Office can advice you on how to navigate the alcohol policy during the planning process. Contact Student Life as early as possible to discuss your event, and read on for guidelines and additoinal tips.

What you NEED to know about the MIT Alcohol Policy

  • Student funds (clubs and conference accounts) cannot pay for alcohol directly or indirectly.
  • All events where alcohol is available must be registered.
  • If alcohol is paid for by a non-MIT source then the event must be wholly owned and planned by that group, and not branded as an MIT event.
  • Alcohol cannot be referred to (even implicitly) in event advertising; you can mention that positive ID is required to attend the event.
  • Only beer and wine may be served at student-sponsored or student group-sponsored events.
  • Student-sponsored or student group-sponsored events must use a 3rd party vendor cash bar.

Alcohol Guidelines

Remember, adherence to these guidelines is required in order to host an event. The guidelines listed must be reviewed and agreed upon by all groups organizing events with 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 purchases/servers/monitors of alcohol.

  1. Event Hosts must understand the responsibilities for and of a Liquor License including agreeing not to consume alcohol at the event.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 "Happy Hour" 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. Unofficial "After Parties" should not be advertised on SloanGroups.
  4. 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.
  5. Procedures every server of alcohol MUST know:
    a. All Servers at an event must not consume alcohol during the event. 
    b. The event must be confined to the assigned room or facility. Alcohol must remain within the event facility. 
    c. Student-sponsored or student group-sponsored events must use a 3rd party vendor cash bar. 
    d. Only beer and wine may be served at student-sponsored or student group-sponsored events. 
    e. At all events, 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.
    f. 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 invited guests.
    g. Any MIT group, charging admission at the door and having alcohol, must have a cash bar and liquor license. Massachusetts General Law prohibit free drinks at licensed events.
    h. A server may not serve more than one drink to one person at any one time. 
    i. 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. 
    j. 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, section 34). 
    k. Alcohol may not be served to any individual who is intoxicated. 
    l. Non-alcoholic beverages and food must be available at all events at which alcohol is served. 
    m. "Last call" must be made at least one half hour prior to the end time (events must end by 1AM). 
    n. 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.

What to Know About Serving Alcohol on Campus

  1. Police Detail: The MIT Police must review and sign off on any on-campus event that includes alcohol. This is part of the event registration process, and as such must take place more than two weeks in advance. On the day of the event, one of the planners plus the Event Host must meet with the police at the event site to brief them on the event. Event organizers must meet with the police detail before the event to outline how drinkers are identified and when the bar will close.
  2. Events with a hosted bar (rather than a cash bar) must be owned/sponsored by an MIT department.
  3. You must use TIPPS certified servers from the Muddy Charles or from Aramark (in building E62) – you may not pour the alcohol yourself.
  4. Alcohol must be poured into cups and cannot be given out in bottles.
  5. ID must be checked at the entrance to the event and wristbands given to identify those who can drink alcohol. Wristbands can be obtained from Student Life.
  6. Alcohol cannot be taken from the event.
  7. You may serve alcohol during C-Functions and Community Mixers in Walker Memorial and the Sloan Buildings because they are on campus and co-sponsored by the Student Life Office. They are managed as department (vs. student) events.
  8. Recommended Vendors: The Muddy Charles Pub, The Thirsty Ear Pub, and MIT Faculty Club

Tips for Serving Alcohol at Off-Campus Events

REMEMBER: You MUST register your event if alcohol will be available for purchase.

  • Discuss how IDs will be checked and excessive drinking controlled with the venue.
  • You cannot offer free alcohol, i.e., the vendor must charge for it.
  • You may not supply drink tickets.
  • You cannot purchase alcohol with club funds. It will not be reimbursed.
  • Provision of food to event attendees is greatly encouraged.