Graduate Student Alcohol Policy

This policy applies to any event that is intended for graduate students where alcohol will be served or consumed, and graduate student attendance is likely to be more than incidental, unless:

  • there will also be a significant undergraduate population, in which case the Rice University Undergraduate Alcohol Policy should be followed, OR
  • more than half of the expected graduate students attendees will be Jones School students, in which case the Jones School Alcohol Policy should be followed.

This policy is based on the understanding that all individuals will act in accordance with the law and the Rice University Alcohol Policy, which prohibits persons under age 21 from drinking alcohol and makes it illegal to buy alcohol for, or serve alcohol to, those under 21.

An “event,” as used in this policy, is any gathering where alcohol will be served or consumed, and that either 1) uses Rice University funds, 2) occurs on Rice University property, or 3) is sponsored by a Rice University organization or club. Any event where alcohol will be served or consumed must be reviewed and conducted in accordance with this policy.

For any event subject to this policy, please take the following steps:

  1. Event Planning – All Events Must Have a Plan

    All events involving students must have a plan. It is advisable to begin planning as early as practical, given the size and complexity of a particular event, but at least 1 to 2 weeks prior to the event.

    An adequate plan includes reasonable assurances that persons under 21 will not be served, and that individuals will not be served to the point of intoxication. Additionally, a plan must consider the number of people, who will be serving, the location, any need for transportation to and from the event, monitoring during the event, security and potential medical needs, how an event might affect others on campus (e.g. noise, traffic flow, classes), the type and quantity of alcohol served, cleaning up and remediation, and any risks to personal safety or property. It also includes adequate budgeting to ensure that the plan can be carried out successfully.

    The plan must be approved in writing, in accordance with this policy.

  2. Specific Requirements for Graduate Student Events
    1. There must be a designated responsible individual (“host”) who has agreed to take responsibility for the safety and well-being of all participants and for seeing that the event goes according to the approved plan. The host must remain at the event for the duration of any alcohol service or consumption.
    2. If an event will involve a contract with a third party vendor (e.g. caterer, service company, any type of rental) then the contract must be reviewed by Risk Management prior to signing it.
    3. If an event will have over 50 people, the event registration will notify Risk Management, RUPD and REMS.
      • For events with between 50-500 people, additional security or emergency support may be required, as determined by RUPD or REMS.
      • For events with over 500 people, additional security and emergency support is required.
      • Sponsoring organizations or departments are responsible for the cost of additional security or emergency support, including the cost of responding to incidents
    4. Events must be registered through the following form at least five business days before the event date:
    5. Any individual who will be serving alcohol must either take the Rice University Alcohol Training, or be certified by TABC to serve alcohol (which can be obtained online).

  3. Event Approval

    If an event requires registration or notification to Risk Management, RUPD, or REMS, submit the plan to at least five business days prior to the event date.

    For an event with students to be approved, either the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies or his/her approved designee must review the plan and affirmatively respond in writing prior to the event. Further, the approver may seek additional information, clarification, and may consult with other parties.

    For recurring events that are very similar in nature (e.g. weekly gathering with the same people, place, and time), it is possible for one approval to cover an entire semester. Each individual event must be listed with the date, time, and the name of the designated responsible individual (who must attend).

  4. Event Management, Oversight, and Responsibility

    Event organizers are responsible for ensuring that their event is conducted in a safe and responsible manner, and in accordance with the approved event plan. The organizing entity (e.g. department, program, club, school) is responsible to the university for the additional cost of any security or emergency services required or utilized, and any clean up or remediation due to an event.

    It is expected that students will act in accordance with Code of Student Conduct, Rice University policies, and the law. The failure to do so may subject an individual to disciplinary action.

    Questions about this policy or its implementation should be directed to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Concerns about the execution of a particular event should be directed to either the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, or to the Chief Compliance Officer.

  5. Current Contact Information for Questions

    For event Registration and Approval (which notifies the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Rice University Police Department (RUPD), Rice Emergency Management Services (REMS), and Risk Management):

    Other helpful numbers:

    • Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies 713-348-4002
    • Chief Compliance Officer 713-348-2287
    • Risk Management 713-348-5082
    • RUPD Events 713-348-4593
    • REMS Events 713-348-6056
    • For TABC Questions, Risk Management 713-348-5082

    For emergencies during the event

    • On Campus Call: RUPD 713-348-6000 (or extension 6000) or 911
    • Off Campus Call: 911