As part of the University’s community care efforts, all student groups must register social events they would like to host on campus, at an off-campus residence, or at a third-party venue. This includes all events where alcohol will be served as well as dry events. All Penn community members are expected to review The University Alcohol and Other Drug Policy.
Registering events with alcohol
All members of the Penn student community, undergraduate, graduate, or professional, are expected to follow University policies and local, state, and federal laws at all times. These expectations extend to all event hosting, whether in on-campus spaces (such as fraternity houses or Houston Hall), off-campus residences, or third-party venues (such as restaurants or clubs).
All student organizations are required to register social events with alcohol, regardless of where the event will be held. Registration helps student groups manage risk, since registered events require hosts to provide bartenders and security. Student group leaders should submit the registration materials and await response from University Life and/or an advisor (if applicable). Student groups should not publicize any event until they have received formal confirmation from University Life.
Drinking contests or games of any sort are expressly prohibited.
Many University undergraduate student organizations are subject to policies regarding the possession and consumption of alcohol imposed by a parent organization. If the policies governing an individual organization impose more restrictive regulations regarding alcohol possession and consumption it will be necessary for that organization to follow its parent organization’s policies or risk sanctions. If, however, the parent organization permits the possession or consumption of alcohol where otherwise prohibited by University policy, the organization must comply with the University’s policy, notwithstanding its parent organization’s rules.
Costs associated with hosting events with alcohol
Student groups hosting events where alcohol is served must have professional bartenders serving at the bar and professional security checking IDs at the front door. Funding is available to all undergraduate and graduate student groups to assist with the cost of these services. All student groups will have these costs automatically subsidized for up to four (4) events per semester. There is no separate application process to receive funds; University Life will book and pay for these services for events cleared to move forward.
After those four events, student groups are responsible for the costs of bartenders and security where applicable. Hosting a registered event with alcohol can range in cost from approximately $500 – $850 (some events could cost less; others might cost more). This depends upon various factors such as the length of the event, the time of day, the number of staff, etc. Please contact Emily Giffin, Program Coordinator for Community Care, with any questions.
Registering events without alcohol
Student organizations wishing to hold social events without alcohol are required to register with University Life, regardless of whether the event will be held in an on-campus fraternity house, off-campus residence, or third-party venue. Registration of these events helps Event Observers and Penn Police identify and differentiate between activity each weekend. Student group leaders should submit the registration materials and await response from University Life and/or an advisor (if applicable). Student groups should not publicize any event until they have received formal confirmation from University Life.
Keep in mind…
- No registered events may be held in basements, whether in on-campus or off-campus residences. Organizations may hold chapter-based activities and internal house gatherings in basement spaces, but for safety concerns, events must be held on the first floor if a larger group made up of non-members are attending.
- Organizations such as athletic teams or performing arts groups may be subject to additional expectations by coaches, advisors, or sponsors.
- Organizations that live in, and host events at, private off-campus residences are subject to additional expectations set forth in rental agreements/leases and in personal communications with landlords.
- Social fraternities at Penn belong to the IGC and IFC Councils. All NIC (North American Interfraternity Conference) and/or IFC-member fraternities follow the NIC Standard Operating Procedures to enhance safety measures at events. Some of these include:
- The presence of alcohol products above 15% alcohol by volume (ABV) (“hard alcohol”) is prohibited on any chapter/organization premises or at any event, except served by a licensed and insured third-party venue
- Events with alcohol are limited to a 3:1 maximum guest-to-member ratio, meaning the total attendance must not be greater than three times the chapter’s total active membership. For all events, attendance must not exceed the local fire or building code capacity of the host venue.
- Attendance by non-members at any event where alcohol is present must be by invitation only, and the organization must utilize a guest list system.
Register your event
UPDATE (5/11/22): Event registration is closed until the 2022 fall term. Thank you!
- If you are Penn staff/faculty and are in need of bartending services for an upcoming event, please email Emily Giffin directly, and she can provide assistance.
Beginning in Fall 2022, please submit the appropriate event registration form based upon where you plan to host your social event—on campus or at an off-campus residence (blue button) or at a third-party venue (red button). If you’ll be hosting a dry social event with no alcohol, access the appropriate form via the gray button. Note: dry events taking place at third-party venues should still register by clicking the red button and completing our third-party venue form.
Groups should submit their registration for an event with alcohol two weeks prior to the event date. For dry events, registration should be submitted one week before the event date.