Event and Risk Management for Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) Hosting Events with Alcohol

Registered Student Organizations (RSOs), including fraternities and sororities, are permitted to host events with alcohol; they must comply with federal and state laws, University policies and the Standards of Student Conduct. In addition, RSOs that are affiliated with a national or international organization must comply with all guidelines for their individual councils and organizations.

Hosting an event with alcohol is a significant responsibility that should be carefully considered by members and leaders within the RSO.

Required Education and Training

Registered student organizations (RSOs) that want to host events with alcohol are required to attend a “TIPS and Risk Management Training” session, hosted by the Center for Student Involvement (CSI). All executive board members of the RSO are required to attend, in addition to all members of the RSO serving in the capacity of Risk Manager or Risk Team members.

TIPS and Risk Management Trainings are held each semester, are listed in Presence, and members must sign-up to attend a training. Members will be required to swipe the SpiderCard upon arrival to the training to prove attendance.

RSOs are expected to host internal trainings for their members to provide specific information so that all members are aware of policies and procedures.

An event with alcohol will not be approved if the training is not completed by both executive board members, as well as the Risk Manager and all Risk Team members.

Event Registration

Any event, including events with alcohol, must be registered through Presence and EMS:

Events must be registered through Presence and EMS at least 14 days prior to the event.

Events with Alcohol Hosted Off-Campus

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  • Third Party Vendor

    RSOs hosting events with alcohol off-campus must do so through a third-party vendor or establishment (e.g. an event space, restaurant, etc.). RSOs may not host off-campus with alcohol at private residences.

    If the RSO enters into a written agreement with a third-party vendor or establishment, a copy of that agreement must be provided to the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) prior to the event.

    While the third-party vendor or establishment can be held accountable for the conduct of the organization, members, and guests, any incidents that bring disrepute to the organization or University may result in University sanctions and/or criminal charges to individuals.

  • Registering Event in Presence

    Off-campus events must also be registered in Presence at least 14 days prior to the event. A guest list must also be submitted for any off-campus event with alcohol through Presence.

  • Risk Team

    Risk Teams are required for any event  with alcohol hosted by an RSO (including off-campus). The number of Risk Team members will be determined by the number of attendees expected at the event, the layout of the event location, and in accordance with any national or international organization’s risk management guidelines.

  • Transportation

    If RSOs are providing transportation to off-campus events:

    • Use University approved third-party transportation companies
    • The transportation company is permitted to pick-up or drop-off at approved on-campus locations
    • Risk Team members shall be present at the pick-up location on-campus to check guests in, pursuant to their guest list, and to ensure anyone boarding the bus is not too intoxicated to attend the event
    • Risk Team members should check-in with URPD when they are present

Events with Alcohol Hosted On-Campus

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  • Insurance Requirement

    RSOs are required to have liability insurance in order to host an event with alcohol on-campus.

    Fraternities and sororities are required to submit copies of their insurance to the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) prior to their first event annually to keep on file.

    Other RSOs are required to purchase insurance through the Tenants User Liability Insurance Program (TULIP) and provide CSI a copy prior to the event. Funds are available through CSI to support RSOs purchasing liability insurance.

    RSOs, including fraternities and sororities, cannot charge a cover, an entry fee, or sell alcohol during the event, including philanthropic efforts or donations. No money (physically or virtually) can be exchanged for the privilege of drinking alcohol.

  • Approved Locations & Capacity

    There are approved locations on-campus that RSOs can host events with alcohol:

    • The Student Activity Complex (The Web)
    • The Student Organization Lodge (The Cave)
    • Fraternity Lodges (only recognized fraternities with an assigned lodge) 

    RSOs may not host an event with alcohol in their residence hall room or on-campus apartment.

    If a RSO wishes to host an event in a location not listed above (including any outdoor location), they should contact the Center for Student Involvement at least one month prior to their event, as the approval process may take more time and planning.

    The capacity for an event will be determined by Public Safety and CSI based on the event setup within an event space. The RSO president and Risk Manager are responsible to ensure that the capacity is not exceeded during the event.

  • Event Times

    No event with alcohol can be longer than 4 hours. There are established times that events with alcohol can occur at the approved locations listed above:

    • Thursdays, between 4pm – 8pm
    • Friday and Saturdays, between 10pm – 2am
    • Home football games, four hours prior to kickoff, and no events can occur during the game 

    If a RSO wishes to register an event for the last day of classes, they should contact the Center for Student Involvement at least one month prior. Without special permission, no event with alcohol can occur after 5:00 p.m. on the last day of classes each semester or during an exam period (including any reading day).

    CSI will determine the first day an event with alcohol may occur at the beginning of each semester and communicate that date to all RSOs.

  • Event Staffing by URPD and University

    The Center for Student Involvement (CSI) and the University of Richmond Police Department (URPD) work collaboratively to determine the appropriate level of staffing required at an event with alcohol.

    Staffing (and how much staffing) may be required to appropriately manage guests and address emergencies or critical incidents. Events may be staffed by RMC personnel at the discretion of the URPD and CSI. 

    Staffing is not meant to be intrusive and does not generally occur inside the event space during the event. However, CSI staff and URPD officers may access any event space (including individual fraternity lodges) at any time if needed.

  • Risk Teams

    Risk Teams are required for any event with alcohol hosted by an RSO. The number of Risk Team members will be determined by the number of attendees expected at the event, the layout of the event location, and in accordance with any national or international organization’s risk management guidelines.

    Risk Teams and the Manager must be present 30 minutes prior to the start of an event with alcohol to ensure proper setup and speak to any URPD or CSI staff.

    Every event with alcohol must have a Risk Manager. This individual, along with the organization’s president, are to remain sober prior to and during the event. The Risk Manager is to ensure that Risk Team members know and fulfill their responsibilities. The Risk Manager and organization president are the point of contact to URPD, RMC, or CSI staff prior to, during, and after the event.

    Risk Team members are responsible for implementing and ensuring policies and procedures are being followed. Risk Team members are to remain sober prior to and during the event. There are a variety of tasks that risk team members may have to perform prior to, during, or after the event (including but not limited to):

    • Checking in guests and wristbanding anyone who is at least 21 years old
    • Serving alcohol during the event
    • Monitoring entrances/exits to ensure no one is entering the event that is not on the guest list
    • Ensuring food is available and replenished during the event
    • Assist with shutting down the event
    • Cleaning up and properly securing the event space at the end of the event
  • Guest Lists and Wristbands

    Any event with alcohol must submit a guest list five days in advance through Presence. Only individuals on the guest list are permitted to attend the event

    At the event, there should be a clear check-in table that is properly lit where Risk Team members will be stationed to check-in guests. University of Richmond guests must check-in using their SpiderCard and Risk Team members must use a Presence swipe card reader to check them in.

    Guests who do not attend the University of Richmond, can attend events with alcohol but must have a government issued ID to present at check-in. A legible handwritten or electronic guest list record should be kept for any guests who do not attend the University of Richmond. After the event, that record needs to be submitted to CSI within 48 hours by the RSO. 

    If there are technical glitches with Presence swipe card readers, University of Richmond guests can be checked in using a legible handwritten or electronic guest list record and submitted to CSI within 48 hours.

    Guests who are at least 21 years old should have a wristband placed around their wrist by the person checking them in. Wristbands will be distributed to the Risk Manager 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time by either URPD or CSI staff. The number of wristbands will be determined by the number of guests who are at least 21 years old on the submitted guest list.

    Guest lists are maintained by the Center for Student Involvement after an event, and may be shared with the Richmond or Westhampton College Deans’ Offices, the University of Richmond Police Department, Risk Management, or Office of Title IX upon request.

  • Pre-Event Procedures

    URPD and CSI staff will meet the Risk Team Manager 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of the event. They will distribute wristbands and discuss the event plan and any concerns.

    When CSI staff is present, a pre-event inspection of the event space will occur 30 minutes prior to the event. The CSI staff member will inspect the event space with the Risk Team Manager and the organization president to ensure that there are no safety concerns, the amount of alcohol present is within the established guidelines, ample food is present, and that Risk Team members are present and sober. If any of the guidelines are not followed or able to be immediately remedied, the CSI staff member may cancel the event.

  • Alcohol

    The RSO must provide all of the alcohol to be consumed during the event. Only beer, wine, and hard seltzer style alcohol is permitted.

    RSOs may not purchase alcohol using SOBAC funds, use a University purchasing card, or seek reimbursement for alcohol.

    The following are not permitted:

    • Open sources of alcohol, including kegs
    • Liquor
    • Glass containers

    For each guest who is at least 21 years old, the ratio of alcohol is one standard drink per hour. A standard drink is defined as:

    • 12 oz of beer or hard seltzer
    • 4 oz of wine

    For example, for a four-hour event, four standard drinks per person who is at least 21 years old is allowed to be placed into the event space before the event.

    All alcohol must be placed into the event space no later than 30 minutes prior to the event start time. No alcohol may be brought into the event space 30 minutes prior to the event or during the event. 

    All alcohol must be served by Risk Team members and should only be served to guests wearing the approved wristband for the event. Risk team members should not serve any guest that is overly intoxicated, in accordance with their TIPS and Risk Management training.

    Alcohol may not be consumed outdoors unless it is in an enclosed space (e.g. a backyard to a building with a fence enclosing it). The patio at the Student Organization Lodge (The Cave) is not enclosed and therefore alcohol may not be consumed on it.

    Any alcohol not consumed during the event, needs to be secured inside the event space after the event, and should be removed the next day from the event space.

  • Noise

    Most of the University of Richmond, including the approved locations above, are located in the City of Richmond. In the City of Richmond (Ordinance 14-11) between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. noise should not exceed 50 dBA. 50dBA is equivalent to a dishwasher in the next room.

    In Henrico County (Article III. Secs.10-58—10-66), a gathering of people cannot produce noise that is plainly audible 100 or more feet from the gathering between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Music, during those same hours, should not be heard 50 or more feet from the sound-producing device.

    If a noise complaint is received, the URPD officer staffing the event will check the area of the complaint. If the complaint is valid, the Risk Manager will be notified and the Risk Manager will need to remedy the noise complaint. Additional noise complaints during the same event that are valid may result in the event ending immediately at the discretion of the URPD officer working the event and/or disciplinary action after the event.

  • Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages

    Food is required in sufficient quantity for the duration of the event. Food items should be substantial (i.e., pizza, cheese, meats, bagels, etc.) and not just heavily salted items such as chips, nuts and pretzels.

    Non-alcoholic beverages are required in sufficient quantity for the duration of the event. Bottled water or bulk water with cups is preferred.

    Food and non-alcoholic beverages items are to be as visible and accessible as are the alcoholic beverages being served.

  • Event Closing and Post-Event Procedures

    Alcohol service must stop 30 minutes prior to the end of the event. Any music must be turned off and lights must come on 15 minutes prior to the end of the event. At the scheduled end time of the party, all organization members and guests must leave the premises.

    Any alcohol not consumed during the event, needs to be secured inside the event space after the event, and should be removed the next day from the event space.

    The event space should be cleaned up immediately after the event and any trash taken to the appropriate dumpster outside of the facility. Trash cans inside the event space should not be left overflowing. All counters, tables, and surfaces used for alcohol, non-alcoholic beverages, or food should be wiped down at the end of the event prior to leaving the event space.

  • Policy Adherence and Accountability

    It is the responsibility of the RSO to ensure that guests are adhering to University policy and procedures. RSOs should seek assistance from URPD or CSI staff when they have concerns during an event, if someone requires medical attention, a guest has become a danger to themselves or others, or a guest is not adhering to University policy after being warned by the Risk Manager.

    If an event is becoming out of control, the RSO is encouraged to end the event early. If the RSO is instructed to end the event early by URPD or CSI staff, the RSO is responsible for clearing out the event immediately.

    While individuals may be held accountable for individual actions they make at an event with alcohol, the RSO will also be held accountable. Please refer to the conduct process for RSOs in the RSO Handbook for more details. 

    Fraternities, sororities, or RSOs affiliated with a national or international organization may also be held accountable by their national or international organization.