Info: Yale’s Policies

Below are Yale’s specific policies governing the use of alcohol by undergraduates as laid out in the Undergraduate Regulations.  If you are hosting an event, you should also read Yale’s event registration requirements.

Alcoholic Beverages

The Yale College Dean’s Office and the Council of Heads have issued the following statement; anyone who disregards it risks legal prosecution by the State of Connecticut and may face disciplinary action, either by the master and dean of a residential college or by the Yale College Executive Committee.
  1. General responsibilities of students

    Yale College recognizes its students to be responsible adults and believes that they should behave in a manner that does not endanger themselves or others and that is in compliance with state and local laws regarding the consumption, sale, and delivery of alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, students will be held fully responsible for their own behavior, even when acting under the influence of alcoholic beverages. Infractions of the alcohol regulations as well as any alcohol-related behavior that violates the Undergraduate Regulations will be subject to disciplinary action by the appropriate University officials. In such cases, the association of alcoholic beverages with problem behavior will not be seen as a mitigating factor and may be seen as an exacerbating factor.

    Students are strongly encouraged to call for medical assistance for themselves or for a friend who is dangerously intoxicated; such a call for emergency help does not in itself lead to disciplinary charges.

  2. Compliance with state statutes

    The legal drinking age in Connecticut is twenty-one. The law provides that anyone who delivers or gives an alcoholic beverage to a person under the legal drinking age or to any person who is intoxicated is in violation of the law and subject to the imposition of penalties as designated by statute. It is similarly a violation of the law for a person under the legal drinking age to possess alcohol or to misrepresent his or her age, through the use of a fraudulent identification card or otherwise, in order to be served alcoholic beverages illegally.

    Connecticut statutes explicitly forbid the sale of alcoholic beverages unless the seller holds a state liquor license. Yale University does not hold such a license for social functions on campus. No alcoholic beverages may be sold anywhere in the residential colleges or college annexes, the New Residence Hall (“Swing Space”), or anywhere on the Old Campus. Stratagems such as the sale of chits, potato chips, set-ups, or any article that may be redeemed for alcoholic beverages are the equivalent of paying money for alcoholic beverages and are prohibited. No admission may be charged or accepted for cocktail parties or other drinking parties no matter how named.

    All undergraduate social functions, organized and private, must be in compliance with state and local laws. It is the responsibility of the host (or host organization) to ensure compliance with state and local laws and with appropriate University regulations.1

    1 See Regulations on social function; for those pertaining to the service of alcohol, see section D below.
  3. Who may be served

    The categories of persons listed below may be served alcoholic beverages. Verification must be made by a University-approved bartender; responsibility may not be delegated to a student.

    1. Members of the faculty, administrative staff, alumni, and parents.
    2. Yale students of legal drinking age, whether undergraduate, graduate, or professional school students, as confirmed by the birthdate on their Yale University identification cards.
    3. Guests, either individuals accompanied by Yale hosts or students visiting Yale from another college or university, who can establish that they may be legally served alcoholic beverages by means of two forms of identification, such as a college identification card, a driver’s license, or a passport. At least one of the forms of identification must include a photograph.
  4. Service of alcoholic beverages

    Under no circumstances may alcoholic beverages be served, directly or indirectly, to anyone under the legal drinking age or to anyone who is intoxicated. Alcoholic beverages are to be served from a well-illuminated bar physically separated from places where other refreshments are served. Service will be only by authorized bartenders assigned to the event from a pool to be administered by Yale Dining Services.

  5. Provision of nonalcoholic beverages and food

    At any event at which alcoholic beverages are served, the host must also provide nonalcoholic beverages and food in adequate amounts. Service of alcoholic beverages must cease if the supply of nonalcoholic beverages is exhausted.

  6. Permissible alcoholic beverages

    Beer and wine may be served at organized social functions. Other alcoholic beverages, such as punch and mixed drinks, may be no more than 15% alcohol by volume. Grain alcohol is prohibited on campus.

  7. Privately obtained alcoholic beverages

    No privately obtained alcoholic beverages may be brought into an organized social function, including major campus events such as Spring Fling.

  8. Advertising

    There may be no advertising on the Web or elsewhere of alcoholic beverages at campus functions or at off-campus functions arranged by student organizations.

  9. Cessation of service

    Service of alcoholic beverages must cease one hour prior to the scheduled end of an organized social function.1

    1 See Regulations on Social Functions, section F, “Hours.”
  10. Old Campus and first-year areas

    Kegs of beer are strictly forbidden on the Old Campus and in first year suites in Silliman and Timothy Dwight Colleges. In addition, no alcoholic beverages may be served at organized or private functions on the Old Campus, except at functions confined to upperclass rooms or to entryways occupied solely by upper level students.

  11. Misuse of identification cards

    Misuse of the Yale identification card, as for example by allowing its use by someone else or by passing on alcoholic beverages obtained with its use to an underage person, is a violation of the Undergraduate Regulations and will lead to disciplinary action.

  12. Attempts to be served illegally

    Any attempt by a student who is under the legal drinking age to be served alcoholic beverages illegally at an organized social function, for example by using false or fraudulent identification documents in order to misrepresent his or her age, is a violation of the Undergraduate Regulations and will subject the student to disciplinary action by the appropriate University officials.

  13. Failure to comply

    Any individual or organization that fails to comply with these regulations will be subject to disciplinary action.