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Alcohol guidelines updated in policy guide

The section of "MIT Policies and Procedures: A Guide for Faculty and Staff Members" which concerns alcohol has been updated on the web.

The updated Section 9.3.2 of Policies and Procedures, which was recently reaffirmed by the Academic Council, does not reflect a change in policy. It does bring together in one place the alcohol policy as previously expressed in Policies and Procedures and the guidelines that have been in place for the last year with respect to using Institute funds for purchasing alcohol and to the events registration process. The document should make the policy and procedures clearer.

Section 9.3.2 is reprinted below:

"MIT observes all laws and regulations governing the sale, purchase, and serving of alcoholic beverages by all members of its community and expects that these laws will be adhered to at all events associated with the Institute. This includes activities on the MIT campus, in MIT independent living groups, and at off-campus functions sponsored and supported by MIT or any of its affiliated groups.

"The Institute does not intend through its guidelines or policies to restrict the responsible use of alcohol by members of the MIT community who are at or above the legal drinking age. Efforts to observe existing laws and regulations in an environment in which the majority of the undergraduate student body is not of drinking age will, however, almost certainly impose some constraints on those who are of age.

"No alcoholic beverages may be served or consumed in any work area of the Institute at any time, except in Institute dining areas or at official Institute functions when expressly authorized by a member of the Academic Council.

"Institute funds may not be used by student-run organizations to purchase alcohol. This includes both graduate and undergraduate groups and residence halls. As a result, 'house taxes' and student activities funds may not be used to purchase alcohol; however, they may be used to hire bonded bartenders and/or party monitors.

"MIT departments, including academic departments, laboratories and centers, and administrative units, may not use Institute funds to purchase alcohol for events where persons under the age of 21 are present. This prohibition may be waived with the approval of the relevant dean, vice president, or other member of the Academic Council, based on a determination that the requirements for serving alcohol at events are understood and will be observed.

"All nonstudent-sponsored events where alcohol is served must be registered through the Conference Services Office, after being authorized by a member of the Academic Council. All student-sponsored events where alcohol is served must be registered through the Residential Life and Student Life Programs Office, after being authorized by the appropriate dean in the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education.

"Violations of this policy may be grounds for serious disciplinary action, up to and including discharge."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 3, 1999.

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