Alcohol Policy


The goal of this alcohol policy is to ensure prudent and safe use of alcoholic beverages in compliance with State laws and UC policy, in keeping with the University's Code of Conduct principles of respectful behavior and civility as well as the educational mission to promote responsible behavior regarding the service and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

The intent of the policy is that those who consume alcohol appreciate the potential consequences and those who serve alcoholic beverages at University functions or in University facilities understand their responsibilities and the liability issues attendant to alcohol use.

This policy governs consumption of alcoholic beverages for events on University properties (owned or leased), overseen or supervised by the University of California, San Francisco, regardless of the source of funding for the event. In every instance where alcohol is made available, the individuals and organizations involved are responsible for compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws, this policy, and other applicable University policies, procedures, and regulations. The policy does not apply to parties in private residences.

This policy also applies to all events sponsored by non-UC affiliated groups held on University properties (owned or leased).

This policy applies to all events held on University property or premises regardless of the source of funds, and events sponsored by individuals or non-UC affiliated groups held in University facilities.

A. General Conditions

  1. Only beer, wine and sparkling wine may be served on University premises. No hard liquor, spirits or beer kegs are permitted.
  2. Consumption of alcoholic beverages shall occur only in areas approved for such events.
  3. Federal and State funds may not be used to purchase alcoholic beverages:
    UC Office of the President Business and Finance Bulletin 79 (BUS-79) Expenditures for Business Meetings, Entertainment, and Other Occasions
  4. Event organizers are encouraged to employ practices that will promote responsible behavior at all events where alcohol is served. Refer to the Risk Management and Insurance Services Guidelines for Alcohol at University Events for additional tips and recommendations.
  5. While alcoholic beverages may be served by members of University staff at uncatered events, the sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited except by individuals or organizations in possession of a valid license or permit issued by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. (See Appendix 2). Individuals are prohibited from bringing their own alcoholic beverages to any function.

B. Sponsorship of Events

  1. Faculty and Staff Events: On-campus events where alcoholic beverages are being served must be sponsored by a UCSF campus department or UCSF Foundation/Alumni Association/Support Group. Events may also be sponsored by non-University groups and may require approval by Risk Management. Events at the Mission Bay Conference Center are handled by a vendor and are not subject to Risk Management approval.
  2. Student Events: On-campus events where alcoholic beverages are being served must follow Student Life policy:
  3. University event sponsors must be clearly identified as the primary sponsor of the event. Manufacturers and/or distributors of alcoholic beverages may not be primary sponsors of campus events. Any recognition of the manufacturer and/or distributor shall be secondary to the University event sponsor. This distinction must be maintained in event advertising, displays and announcements. The alcohol manufacturer and/or distributor's name or logo may not be connected directly to the event or program name. The University's seal and/or logo shall not be used on any material containing reference to an alcohol manufacturer/distributor.

C. University Sponsored and Non-University Events

  1. University sponsored events are defined as events that are paid for or managed by UCSF schools, departments, student governments, Registered Clubs and Organizations (RCOs), or other University affiliated groups and held in spaces on University property (owned or leased). These require that an event request form be submitted. If sponsored by RCOs or Foundation/Alumni/Support Groups, the event must be insured (see Request Forms and Procedures, below).
  2. Events held by non-University affiliated organizations, if held on University premises, are subject to the terms of the facility use contract with UCSF, and must be insured (see Request Forms and Procedures, below).

D. Advertising

  1. Serving and consuming alcohol should always be complementary or secondary to the event, not the primary focus of the event.
  2. Advertising shall not contain statements or references such as "Unlimited Spirits," "Open Bar," "All You Can Drink," "Beer Hour," "Beer Fest," or "Beer Garden," etc.

E. Liability

Individuals and sponsoring organizations can best protect themselves from adverse consequences through the use of a licensed bartender/caterer. In the absence of a licensed bartender, personal liability and legal consequences could result:

  1. If there is a violation of the University process for approving alcohol service, University policy or federal, state or local laws, or,
  2. Should an attendee consume alcoholic beverages provided at the event and be involved in an accident resulting in property damage, personal injury and/or death. (See Appendix 1)

F. Disciplinary Action and University Sanctions

Individuals and organizations in violation of the UCSF Alcohol Policy will be subject to University sanctions.

  1. Students found in violation of the UCSF Alcohol Policy will be referred to their Dean in accordance with UC and UCSF policies on student conduct and discipline
  2. Staff employees found in violation of the UCSF Alcohol Policy may be subject to corrective action up to and including dismissal, under the applicable personnel policies and/or collective bargaining agreements.
  3. Faculty and Academic Employees who violate the UCSF Alcohol Policy may be subject to disciplinary hearings in accordance with the procedures established by the Academic Senate. The administration of discipline shall be in accordance with procedures established by the University California, San Francisco in consultation with the Academic Senate.
  4. Non-UC Affiliated Organizations will be subject to the sanctions appropriate under University policies and applicable law, which may include future exclusion from campus functions and/or resources.
  5. Students, staff, faculty and campus visitors also may be cited by UCSF Police for violations of State law.

Event sponsors are responsible for:

  1. Being present at all times during the event and establishing adequate controls to ensure that all persons being served alcoholic beverages are at least 21 years of age, whether or not a licensed bartender, server or caterer is on site.
  2. Ensuring compliance with the Event Sponsor Guidelines and Responsibilities and information provided on the event request form.
  3. Informing all caterers/servers operating and serving alcohol at the University of the campus alcohol policy.
  4. Anticipating any special circumstances which may warrant extra security. The UCSF Police Department is responsible for evaluating, recommending, and providing security services for all organized events on campus.

Request Forms and Procedures

  1. Student event sponsors are required to complete an event request in accordance with the Student Life policy: Registered Club and Organization events also require event liability insurance coverage (including an alcohol rider):
  2. University-affiliated event sponsors are required to complete an event request form and submit it to the site events coordinator: For sites that do not have an event coordinator, the Administrative Director of the sponsoring department must approve the event if alcohol is being served without the use of a licensed bartender/caterer.
  3. UCSF Foundation, Alumni, or Chancellor's Support Groups events must secure liability coverage (including an alcohol rider):
  4. Non-University affiliated organizations or entities wishing to hold events on University premises must provide a current certificate of general liability insurance or purchase a Tenant User Event Liability (including an alcohol rider) policy:
    They must also secure approval for alcohol service from the appropriate site coordinator for the space they are renting.
  5. Please discuss any special event arrangements with the events coordinator for the space being reserved. Risk Management and Insurance Services can also provide information and assistance in planning and insuring events:
  6. For questions about student/RCO events, please contact Student Life:
  7. For questions about staff/faculty, foundation/support groups, or third party events, please contact Risk Management and Insurance Services: