Alcoholic Beverages Policy

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Effective Date: May, 2015
Signature/Position: Vice-President (Finance, Administration and Risk)

Table of Contents

  1. Application Legislation:
  2. Purpose
  3. Implementation:
  4. Service Policy:
  5. Advertising and Sponsorship
  6. Student Housing Services
  7. Special Events
  8. Certification
  9. Appendix A
    1. Section A:
  10. Appendix B
    1. Definition of High-Risk
    2. Risk Level Criteria
    3. Authority for Determining if an Event is High Risk
    4. Security Procedure for High Risk Events
    5. Monitoring of High Risk Events

Application Legislation:

Liquor Licence Act (Ontario, Canada)


To encourage the responsible use of alcohol on campus. The University of Guelph is committed to providing and maintaining an environment that minimizes the extent to which the consumption of alcohol on campus harms members of the University community and/or disrupts the teaching, learning, and living environment.

The University recognizes the unique social needs of a campus community and is committed to providing an environment where a social culture can reasonably be cultivated. In this regard, provision for the sale and service of alcoholic beverages on campus is a privilege accorded only to the extent that there is compliance with all internal regulations and statutory requirements.

The University's goals with respect to alcohol use proceed from its commitment to the development of self-responsibility and respect for others. While the University is concerned for the welfare of its members, alcohol use is primarily the responsibility of individuals. All members of the University community have an obligation to use alcohol responsibly and legally.

The University will:

  1. promote self-responsibility and responsible consumption of alcohol;
  2. discourage high-risk alcohol related practices through appropriate policies and procedures in the areas of prevention, education, training, intervention, and discipline;
  3. respect non-drinkers or underage members;
  4. support the law in the administration of and access to alcohol on campus; and
  5. help to minimize dependence on alcohol-related sales or sponsorship by all University groups.


The authority and responsibility for the administration and implementation of this policy is assigned to holders of the liquor licences, and ultimately to the University's Liquor Licence Administrator. The present on-campus liquor licence holders include: the Graduate Lounge (Graduate Students' Association); the Brass Taps (University Centre); the Bullring (Central Student Association); and Hospitality Services (the University of Guelph). This policy will be reviewed no less than once every five years by the Alcohol Safety Committee.

Service Policy:

Service practices in licensed venues in the Province of Ontario are prescribed in the regulations set out in the Liquor Licence Act of Ontario, which can be reviewed by visiting the Liquor Licence Act, R.S.O. All licensed facilities will serve alcohol in a manner that does not violate these regulations.

In addition, the University, in an attempt to reduce risk and create responsible drinking practices has prescribed certain service practices for its facilities serving alcohol on campus that go beyond the limits imposed by the Liquor Licence Act . The following is an outline of on-campus service practices:

  1. Facilities designated with high-risk times will be controlled by licensed security door staff equipped with counters during high-risk times.
  2. Where appropriate, hosts will be asked to sign in guests; there will be a maximum of two guests per host.
  3. Table service is restricted to one drink per patron per order.  Bar Service - two drinks per person per order.
  4. No drink will be served in containers that hold only 1 ounce of product (i.e., Shooters).
  5. No drink of spirits will contain more than 2 ounce of alcohol.
  6. No service of pitchers of beer to less than two patrons.
  7. No sale of liquor by the bottle (i.e., bottle service).
  8. No admittance to facilities after the point in time which is 1/2 hour before scheduled hours of closing.
  9. No last call.
  10. A list of banned individuals to be shared and enforced by all on campus venues and campus Security Services.
  11. Discipline Guidelines (Appendix A) - form part of the operating policy for on campus licensed facilities.

Advertising and Sponsorship:

The distribution of any advertising materials on University property is prohibited unless approved in advance by the University Solicitations Committee. Specific regulations can be reviewed by visiting the On Campus Advertising, Promotion, Sales and Solicitations Policy. In addition, all advertising in licensed establishments must conform to the regulations contained within the Liquor Licence Act of Ontario - Liquor Advertising Guidelines.

Advertising of alcohol can be seen as occurring in three distinct segments of the University environment: licensed establishments, nonlicensed areas, and Student Housing Services.

3.1. Licensed Establishments:

All advertising in licensed establishments must conform to the regulations set out in the Liquor Licence Act of Ontario, and within applicable University policies.

3.2. Nonlicensed Areas:

Manufacturer sponsorship with respect to the announcement of events via materials or mediums that promote the event will not be permitted. Manufacturer sponsorship of activities such as, but not limited to, player of the game will not be allowed. Promotion at events must be responsible, in good taste, and will not promote alcohol as the focus of the event.

Promotion of alcohol beverages in any medium will not be allowed outside of licensed establishments or events. The blatant promotion of alcohol as the focus of an event is prohibited (Bash, Drunk, etc.) in any medium.

Promotion in any medium reflecting manufacturer branding, logo or other advertising will not be allowed outside of licensed establishments and/or events.

Student Housing Services

The policies of Student Housing Services must meet the standards described in this policy, and it is within its authority to introduce additional policies unique to the residential environment. Alcohol practices in student housing are prescribed in the regulations set out in its policy, which can be reviewed by visiting the Student Housing Alcohol Policy - PDF.

Special Events

Special events are held in various locations on campus including but not restricted to, Peter Clark Hall, Creelman Hall, the Athletic Centre, Twin Pad Arena and Johnston Green. These activities may fall into a riskier classification because of size, or nature of the venue and must adhere to the following policies:

  1. Special events that are determined high-risk will require policing. The number of police will be determined in consultation with the Director of Campus Community Police and/or the City of Guelph Police. Please visit Appendix B - High-Risk Alcoholic Beverages Events On Campus and the need for Security Services.
  2. The bar-service method of operation at special events will be limited to two drinks per customer per order.
  3. All serving practices for licensed facilities on campus will apply to special events, with the exception of single drinks per order.
  4. All staff will be hired by either the University Centre Administration or Hospitality Services. Volunteers may only be employed in low-risk situation positions and must be Smart Serve trained.
  5. A 1:30 ratio of Smart Serve trained staff to attendees must be maintained at all special events.
  6. Promotional material will be limited to advertising of a specific function with no mention or suggestion of it being oriented to alcohol.  References such as, bashes, wipe-outs, etc. is not allowed.
  7. A guest sign-in procedure must be maintained for all high-risk events.
  8. The Executive Director of Hospitality Services or the Director of the University Centre Administration, in consultation with the Director of Campus Community Police, Fire Prevention and Parking Services, will determine final requirements for high risk special events to be held in their respective areas of responsibility. An appeal may be made to the holder of the University liquor licence if deemed necessary.


All University of Guelph staff involved in the service of alcoholic beverages must be Smart Serve trained as per the Liquor Licence Act

All University of Guelph staff involved in security in licensed areas must have a licensed security certification.

Appendix A

Disciplinary Guidelines for Facilities Operated On the University of Guelph Campus

Guidelines have been established and disciplinary action will be taken against persons contravening the Liquor Licence Act or University of Guelph Liquor Policies while present or attempting to gain access to any licensed establishments on campus.

The sound judgement of management and staff will be honoured and each behavioural problem, while in the facility, will be dealt with on an individual basis.

Section A outlines the various infractions a patron might commit and the suggested action facility managers should consider.  

These are broken into three distinct situations:

  1. Upon entering the facility
  2. While in a facility
  3. While leaving a licensed facility


The following is a list of actions by patrons that might expose the patron to disciplinary action.

1)    Upon entering facility or licensed facility, a patron:

  1. uses non designated entrances
  2. is improperly attired (shirt and shoes are required)
  3. inappropriately advances in a line-up
  4. is impaired and/or intoxicated before entering
  5. uses profanity or is troublesome to staff or other patrons
  6. tries to enter establishment with any type of beverage
  7. tries to enter establishment with sharp, dangerous, or bulky objects

Appropriate responses by facility management based on the situation and the severity of the infraction (not restricted to one):

  1. refuse admittance
  2. call campus police
  3. suspend individual for one full semester past 19th birthday if trying to enter with tampered or falsified identification
  4. tampered or falsified documentation should be forwarded to the Campus Police for appropriate action

2)    While in a licensed facility, a patron:

  1. fails to provide appropriate identification when requested
  2. appears to be intoxicated
  3. is intoxicated in a place where the general public is permitted access
  4. is unlawfully on the premise or on the premise for an unlawful purpose and/or contravening the law
    • on the premise
  5. is in danger or in danger of causing injury to him/herself or injury or damage to another person or
    • property of another person
  6. enters behind the bar area or other staff designated area
  7. is intoxicated, riotous, quarrelsome, violent, disorderly, uses profanity, verbally and/or physically harasses
    • or intimidates staff or other patrons regardless of the aggressor
  8. does not cooperate in the event of a fire
  9. is selling, distributing or consuming a narcotic (as defined by the Narcotics Control Act)
  10. possess alcoholic beverages not purchased from the licensed facility
  11. does not take responsibility for the action and consequences of any guest “sign in” under his/her University
    •  I.D.
  12. does stand on tables or put feet on chairs or throws objects
  13. intentionally damages property
  14. is soliciting or distributing unauthorized advertising material

Appropriate responses by facility management based on the situation and the severity of the infraction (not restricted to one):

  1.  warn individual of policy
  2.  not serve, or allowed individual to consume, more alcohol
  3.  remove individual(s) from facility
  4.  call police
  5.  suspend individual from all venues, 4 month minimum, severe infraction may result in indefinite suspension
  6. confiscate beverage (j. above)
  7. ask to remove advertising and confiscate material, notify police (n. above)

3)    While leaving a licensed facility, a patron:

  1. does not use designated exits
  2.  fails to leave premises immediately when requested
  3.  re-enters the premises on the same day he/she is requested to leave
  4. attempts to remove liquor from the premise
  5. is troublesome or uses profanity toward staff or other patron
  6. attempts to remove any property of the facility
  7. consumes liquor in a public area

Appropriate response by facility management based on the situation and severity of the action (not limited to one):

  1. directed to appropriate exit
  2. remove from the facility
  3. confiscate beverage
  4. call campus police
  5. suspend from all venues for a minimum of 4 months, severe infraction may result in an indefinite suspension


Appendix B

High-Risk Alcoholic Beverages Events on campus and the need for Security Services

Definition of High-Risk

The Alcoholic Beverages Policy stipulates the following: all special events that are determined high-risk require additional security. The following information is to be used as a guide to determine the level of risk associated with an on campus event that includes the services of alcoholic beverages.

Risk Level Criteria

The following criteria are used for determining the riskiness of an event;

  1. Venue: The following venues are considered high-risk areas:
    • Arena
    • Field House Gymnasium
    • Any event held outside
  2. Beverage: The serving of alcohol adds to the risk, with a self-service event being of greater risk than a wait service.
  3. Attendance: The larger the number, the greater the risk.
  4. Previous History:: Actions of a previous group can be a predictor of future risk.
  5. Participants: Events that include non-community members may be deemed higher risk.

Events that occur in a high-risk venue, with any of the above-listed risk characteristics, must be reviewed to determine if it is deemed “high-risk”.  Event planners or hosts can ask for a review of an event, which is not in a high-risk venue but which presents some concerns.

Authority for Determining if an Event is High-Risk

The Operators Group will review events and determine if it is assessed as High-Risk. The Operators Group consists of the Director of Campus Community Police, Fire Prevention and Parking Services, the Director of the University Centre, the Executive Director of Hospitality Services.  In this way, all events will be assessed by the same group of individuals, and treated in a similar manner. 

Security Procedure for High-Risk Events

As per the Alcohol Policy, all special events that are determined high-risk will require additional security. The Director of Campus Community Police, Fire Prevention and Parking Services, in consultation with the City of Guelph Police, will determine the security requirements.

Monitoring of High-Risk Events

While one event in itself may not be deemed high risk, if a number of events are occurring on campus the same night, there could be security concerns for Campus Community Police, Fire Prevention and Parking Services.  It is recommended that Campus Community Police, Fire Prevention and Parking Services  receive copies of all events that are being planned on-campus.