Social Events with Alcohol

It is the goal of the College to support a campus culture where alcohol is responsibly used and that students are mindful of potential safety risks. Any recognized student organization must register any social events with alcohol with the Office of Student Engagement. For the purpose of this policy, social events with alcohol are defined as events sponsored by student organizations that are registered with the Office of Student Engagement and will take place in designated, reservable spaces on campus or take place in any privately owned off campus properties with OSE approval. Organizations reported to be in violation of this policy will be placed into inactive status until an investigation is concluded.  Events without alcohol should follow the guidelines found in the Kenyon Reservations Policy

No matter the location, all social events with alcohol must have a group of students that serve as a team to oversee the event. This team will include hosts, door workers, floaters, and servers. It is the goal of Kenyon to provide an environment in which safe social events with alcohol may be hosted by registered student organizations in good standing with the College and the Office of Student Engagement.  It is expected that those who agree to host social events with alcohol also agree to ensure the safety of those in attendance. 

The following outlines responsibilities and procedures in addition to those required by the Kenyon College Student Handbook’s Prohibited and Restricted Conduct, the Kenyon Reservations policy, as well as federal, state, and local law. Violations of College policies or applicable laws/ordinances that are brought to the attention of the College will result in an investigation. In the event that law enforcement officials confront students for alleged unlawful behavior, the College will cooperate fully with their investigation. 

Attendance at social events with alcohol is limited to guests who are 18 years of age or older and full-time, currently enrolled Kenyon students under the age of 18 with parental permission.  Attendees at social events with alcohol are required to present a College issued ID card. Non-Kenyon student guests must be accompanied by their Kenyon student host and must present legal proof of age with a state issued ID card.  The hands of all attendees will be marked to designate attendees who are 21 or over, and also for attendees who are under the age of 21. Occupancy limits for the space may not be exceeded at any time of the event, or it will be closed by Campus Safety. 

Expectations of Social Event Host Organization

  • Hosts and students assisting the hosts in the form of bartenders, door workers, and floaters, comprise a “social event team” and must complete social host training prior to submission of the social event registration form. 

  • Social event hosts shall monitor and comply with established safety expectations and rely on Campus Safety Officers for guidance and support.

  • Hosts must post the approved social events form near the entrance. 

  • Hosts must permit unrestricted access to Campus Safety Officers and other College officials to any social event and surrounding public spaces.

  • Social event hosts accept responsibility for the actions of themselves and their guests both during and after the event.

  • Hosts agree to host their event in compliance with federal, state, and local laws in addition to College policies. 

  • Advertising for social events with alcohol must not mention, reference, or include pictures of alcohol.

  • Social event host organizations are responsible for all damage to the social event space as well as areas around the space and could be fined accordingly.

  • Hosts must have contingency plans for meeting Social Event Team obligations if a team member becomes unavailable.  (Failure to meet minimum staffing requirements will result in closure of the event.)

Authorized Locations and Times

  • Social events with alcohol may occur between 4 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Fridays and between 1 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Saturdays; no event may exceed four hours.
  • Only four (4) social events with alcohol can be hosted each available weekend; two (2) on Friday, two (2) on Saturday during the approved times.
  • These two (2) events per approved night can be any combination of closed or open. (Ex. open & open, closed & closed, open & closed)
  • Approved social events with alcohol may not occur at the same time and/or location as another event with alcohol. There must be a staggered minimum of thirty (30) minutes  between the closing and opening of parties if being held on the same approved day. (Ex. Group A: 9 p.m.-1 a.m., Group B: 9:30 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.)
  • Patio usage for approved spaces on campus must be reserved at least ten (10) business days in advance of the event. Failure to submit the reservation in time will result in the patio not being available.
  • Noise from events will be kept to a minimum in consideration of others in surrounding areas.
  • Outdoor social events with alcohol must end no later than 10 p.m.  No amplified sound will be played outdoors after 10 p.m. without prior approval from the Office of Student Engagement and the Village of Gambier.
  • Social events with alcohol may only occur during the regular academic year.
  • No social events with alcohol may occur during the first week of classes of each semester, campus breaks, finals week, reading days, or on the date of Summer Sendoff.
  • Requests for social events with alcohol will be reviewed in the order they are received. If there are multiple requests for the same authorized time, the hosting organization who submitted the registration first will be given priority. 
  • The Office of Student Engagement reserves the right to deny a request for or cancel an event if it conflicts with the educational mission of the College, the organization has insufficient funding, does not meet minimum registration requirements (such as training or adherence to deadlines), has sanctions imposed from the Student Rights & Responsibilities Office or becomes inactive, among other reasons.
  • Social events with alcohol may take place in reservable spaces and must be properly reserved through the Kenyon Reservations System. Space restrictions may apply, such as: 
    • Not permitted in spaces designated as alcohol-free or with specialized usage requirements.
    • Not permitted in residence halls with the exception of the Old Kenyon lower level lounges.
    • Patios must be reserved at least ten (10) business days in advance of the event. Failure to submit the reservation in time will result in the patio not being available for the event. 

Food and Beverage Expectations

Hosts of social events with alcohol are responsible for providing non-alcoholic beverages, food and event supplies. All beverages at social events (including BYOB events) must be in provided clear cups. Serving water at any social function where alcoholic beverages are served is required. Alternative non-alcoholic beverages, such as sparkling water, non-alcoholic cider and soda, are suggested in addition to water. Non-alcoholic beverages should be equally prominent as alcoholic beverages and be available at the same location for the duration of the event. Additionally, substantial food options that do not require heating or refrigeration must also be served for the duration of the event. When planning food items, it is important to be mindful of food safety concerns (Food Safety Guide). Last call for alcohol must be 15 minutes prior to the event end time. No alcohol may be served after that point. If non-alcoholic beverages or food run out during the course of the event, alcoholic beverages may no longer be served until replenishment. Campus Safety officers have full discretion to determine whether there is enough food and non-alcoholic beverages for attendees.


The maximum allotment of alcohol will be calculated based on the expected attendance, length of event, capacity of event space, and safe drinking habits. Only beer, hard cider, malt seltzers and wine may be served at social events. No hard liquor may be served, and no outside alcohol may be brought into the event (with the exception of registered BYOB events). Alcohol quantities can be calculated utilizing the approach of one drink per hour of event per anticipated attendee 21 years of age or older:

  • Beginning of fall semester through fall break: 32%
  • Fall break through end of fall semester: 33%
  • Beginning of spring semester through spring break: 37%
  • After spring break through end of spring semester: 43%

Example: Anticipated 75 attendees for a three-hour event in September: 75 x 3 = 225 225 x 32% = 72 servings permitted.