Alcohol and Drug Policies

Section I. Statement on Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs by Students at the University of St. Thomas


It is illegal in Minnesota for persons under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcohol. The University of St. Thomas takes very seriously its legal and moral responsibilities to members of its communities. While most students make responsible choices regarding use of alcohol, the University retains the right to discipline individuals for inappropriate behaviors that occur on and off the college campus. But ultimately, the responsibility lies within each individual to be responsible and broadly respectful with regard to the use of alcohol.

Rights, Responsibilities, & Respect

Policies related to the consumption and service of alcohol at the University of St. Thomas are guided by an overarching philosophy built upon the rights of individuals, the responsibilities of individuals who consume and serve alcohol, and respect for one's own well-being, respect for our laws, and above all, respect for the rights of others. Also within this framework is the recognition of the reality of chemical dependence and alcoholism. St. Thomas remains committed to the well-being of all individuals in the community.


Individuals have the right to participate in an environment in which they feel safe from harassment, dangerous behavior, or destruction of personal property. Individuals also have the right to respect for their spiritual and personal beliefs, many of which may relate, in some way, to alcohol use. Above all, individuals have the absolute right to abstain from consumption of alcohol, and feel free from pressures to the contrary.


Individuals must be responsible for their behavior. This responsibility is not dismissed when one's judgment is impaired by the presence of alcohol and or drugs in the body. There is another responsibility that holds as much importance to members of the St. Thomas community as responsibility for one another. We are our brothers' and sisters' keepers in every sense of the word. We must extend a caring spirit in both thought and action to those with whom we live, work, and learn. Keeping others safe from harm, safe from abuse, and free to achieve the greatest possible sense of well-being is a responsibility held by all members of the community.


Respect for the laws of the United States, the State of Minnesota, and the policies of the University of St. Thomas are fundamental. Individuals must also respect the choices made by others, especially those who choose to abstain from using alcohol. Finally, and perhaps most significantly, is a respect for self. The opportunity presented to students, staff, and faculty to learn, live, and celebrate in community is a gift. Life itself is precious and should be regarded with reverence and respect. Honoring one's existence through respect for self, charity toward others, and thanks for the gift of life is proper and important. To knowingly and intentionally diminish any aspect of one's life through irresponsible or disrespectful use of alcohol is wholly outside the mission of the University of St. Thomas, the teachings of the Church, and any standards of community decency.

Section II. Policies Regarding Alcohol and Other Drugs

Individual Use Policy

Use of drugs or alcohol by students, staff or faculty must abide by the laws pertaining to the possession and use of alcohol and other drugs as defined by the local municipality, and state of Minnesota.

  1. Students of legal drinking age may possess and participate in responsible consumption in university residence halls, in accordance with Residence Life policies.
  2. Students living in off-campus housing may participate in responsible consumption in accordance with city and state laws and ordinances. Abuse of these privileges may result in formal disciplinary proceedings by the University.

Policy for Those Not Voluntarily Seeking Help

If the university has a reason to believe that a particular student has a problem with alcohol or drugs and the individual refuses to admit that he or she has such a problem, the university may require that the individual seek assistance of a counselor in the Personal Counseling and Testing Department. After an alcohol/drug assessment, the counselor may recommend participation in an appropriate treatment program. Continued behavior that is inconsistent with the above stated policies will be formally addressed by the University's student conduct process.

Policy on Illegal Drugs

The University of St. Thomas does not tolerate the use, possession, or trafficking of illegal drugs. Students who violate University policies pertaining to illegal drugs are subject to the processes and procedures of the University student conduct process.

The University reserves the right to report illegal drug use. In certain cases, especially with regards to trafficking or intent to distribute illegal drugs, a student may be referred to criminal or civil authorities for prosecution. It must be understood that consequences will result from illegal activity with regard to illegal drugs.

Alcoholic Beverage Service Policy at Campus Sponsored Events

  1. Campus departments and some off-campus groups will be given approval for alcoholic beverage service. Groups sponsoring events are responsible for the safety and behavior of people attending these events. Should any violent, disruptive or destructive behavior occur in any university or event facility as a result of a University sponsored function, the sponsoring group, either individually or collectively, will be subject to disciplinary action by the Dean of Students. The sponsoring group may be financially responsible for damages incurred and pay for repair or replacement costs. The sponsoring group may be held responsible for injuries to their guests as a result of consumption of alcoholic beverages. Also, the group could be prohibited from sponsoring the event or other events in the future.
  2. The Request to Serve/Use Alcoholic Beverages form, including a distribution plan, must accompany the request. This plan must address details regarding security, control of sales, a description of non-alcoholic beverages and food to be served, and the amount of alcohol to be served.
  3. The Request to Serve Alcoholic Beverages Form must be turned in at least fourteen (14) days prior to the date of the activity.
  4. Events involving students are limited to enrolled St. Thomas students and possibly up to one invited guest per student. All St. Thomas students must have a valid university ID and driver's license or official state ID card in their possession when in attendance. Guests must have a driver's license or official state ID card in their possession. The total number permitted to attend is subject to state and local fire codes and the discretion of the Dean of Students (or designee).
  5. Only wine and beer may be served at university sponsored events. Exceptions for liquor other than beer or wine must be approved by the Executive Vice President (or designee). The maximum quantity of alcoholic beverages approved is subject to approval of the authorizing university official.
  6. A city license to sell alcohol is required if alcohol is served and any type of charge is levied pursuant to the sale or distribution of alcohol (e.g., admission charges). Additional liability insurance may also be required.
  7. In accordance with state law, an individual must have reached his/her 21st birthday to be legally served, possess, distribute or consume alcohol.
  8. The primary purpose of any function must appropriate to the mission of the University of St. Thomas. No social event shall include any form of "drinking contest" in its activities or promotion.
  9. A bartender(s) is required when alcoholic beverages are sold or distributed by the glass and may be required at the discretion of the authorizing university official at other events.
  10. Alcoholic beverages cannot be served after 12:00 midnight. All alcoholic beverage service must conclude 30 minutes prior to the conclusion of the event.
  11. Adequate security personnel will be required, dependent on the size and purpose of the activity, as determined by Public Safety and Parking Services. Event security guidelines are available from the Department of Public Safety and Parking Services.
  12. A designated responsible person (as noted on the "Request to Serve/Use Alcoholic Beverages" Form) must be 21 year of age or older and must be present throughout the entire function. The individual(s) responsible for the activity and a faculty or staff member must attend the entire approved activity. Both must sign Request to Serve/Use Alcoholic Beverages form as responsible for the event.
  13. Sponsors of events with over 100 participants are required to submit a layout diagram of the event site. It must include the location of the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage service, food, restrooms, entrances and exits, approved alcohol consumption areas and security detail.

Individuals or groups responsible for university-affiliated events will be subject to formal disciplinary proceedings if there are any infractions of the above guidelines. Disciplinary sanctions for such infractions include probation or suspension of a sponsoring group, restitution of fines levied, and action taken against individuals held responsible.

Alcohol Advertising Policy

No liquor or beer logos, advertisements or advertisements from businesses where the sale of alcohol is a primary purpose of the business may appear in publications, which are funded by the university or sponsored by a university department or organization.

No posters or flyers may advertise to University of St. Thomas students the availability of alcohol at on- or off-campus events.

Section III. Assistance Provided by the University

Assistance for those Voluntarily Seeking Help

It is the primary intent of this policy to encourage members of the St. Thomas community who want or need help to seek such assistance. Students seeking help for problems relating to drug and alcohol use may avail themselves of services offered by the University, including the Personal Counseling and Testing Department, Student Health Services, and Health Promotion, Resilience and Violence Prevention.

Assistance for Others Affected by Alcohol or Drug Abuse

The university recognizes that alcohol abuse often affects others besides the abuser. However, due to the variety of professional or academic relationships that alcohol or drug abuse can affect, no succinct policy statement can adequately address each individual case. Instead, the university vigorously encourages any member of the St. Thomas community who is affected by or concerned for another's alcohol or drug abuse to seek confidential assistance at the Personal Counseling & Testing Department, Student Health Services, and Health Promotion, Resilience and Violence Prevention. Professional staff in these offices can help the concerned individual plan a strategy to address the specific problem.

Policy Details

Pertains to: All students

Effective: December 20, 2002