SA00120 Alcohol Policy

UT Health Science Center: SA00120 Alcohol Policy

Version 1

Publication Date: 03/13/2023

Alcohol Policy


To provide guidance to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center campus on the possession, use and purchase of alcohol on campus and the purchase of alcohol off campus.

General Policy

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center allows lawful, responsible service, possession, and consumption of alcoholic beverages in compliance with federal, state, and local law, and in compliance with University policies, including this policy.


  1. Event Registration Procedure: The procedure by which UTHSC approves events with alcoholic beverages hosted by UTHSC units or registered student organizations on University-Controlled Property, or by registered student organizations off University-Controlled Property. The event must be submitted by the sponsor or host of the event to the appropriate University office: the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor for non-students or the Office of Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs (or designee) for registered student organizations. The Executive Vice Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor for Academic, Faculty and Students Affairs, or their designees, as appropriate, may adopt event registration procedures that include specific requirements for and restrictions on the service, possession, and consumption of alcoholic beverages at their discretion.
  2. University-Affiliated Activity: An activity on or off university-controlled property that is initiated, aided, authorized, sponsored, or supervised by the University.
  3. University-Controlled Property: All land, grounds, structures, or any other property owned, controlled, or operated by the University.

Procedures: University-Controlled Property and University-Affiliated Activities

  1. No alcoholic beverages of any kind may be served, possessed, or consumed on University- Controlled Property or at University-Affiliated Activities by persons under the legal drinking age (minimum age of 21 years in the State of Tennessee or the minimum age prescribed by the laws of foreign countries).
  2. University units and registered student organizations holding events at which alcoholic beverages are served, possessed, or consumed on University-Controlled Property must comply with the Event Registration Procedure.
  3. Alcoholic beverages at registered events may only be served by vendors who have been approved by the University. Approved vendors must be properly licensed and possess all appropriate governmental permits and licenses. Any individual serving alcoholic beverages on behalf of the vendor must also possess the appropriate license.
    Approved vendors and their agents must adhere to university policies and regulations and federal, state, and local laws.
  4. Alcoholic beverages are to be served as an adjunct to social events and must not be the primary focus of the event. Non-alcoholic beverages and food also must be available at all times that alcoholic beverages are made available.
  5. The sale of alcoholic beverages on University- Controlled Property must be approved on an event-by-event basis by the Executive Vice Chancellor or the Vice Chancellor for Academic, Faculty, or Student Affairs (or their designees). A link to this process may be found on the Office of Student Life webpage and in UTHSC Engage.

Events with alcohol must be registered in UTHSC Engage at least fifteen (15) business days in advance of the event. However, since some events may require more time to process because of the complexity or other factors, organizations are encouraged to submit event registration materials and meet with to the appropriate SACE department staff at the earliest possible date.

All events with alcohol must be third-party vendor events and comply with the requirements below:

  • Alcohol may only be sold and served by a University approved third-party vendor (bar, restaurant, caterer, or similar operation). The third-party vendor must be properly licensed by the appropriate local and state authorities and be licensed to sell on the premises where the function is to be held.
  • Sober contacts must be present at the event to ensure event management procedures are followed. Sober contacts must be active members of the organization and in good standing. Sober contacts must be identified in the event registration form. Sober contacts must be sober upon their arrival at the event and may not consume alcohol throughout the duration of the event.
  • If the event is co-hosted by more than one organization, members of each participating organization must serve as sober contacts. The ratio from each organization should be based upon the number of attendees who are members or guests of that organization.
  • The ratios of sober contacts to attendees must be at least 1:25.
  • The event cannot last any longer than a four (4) hour time period. The sale of alcohol must cease thirty (30) minutes prior to the scheduled conclusion of the event. Exceptions to the time limit period may be approved on a case-by-case basis.
  • No common source alcohol is permitted. Common source is any bulk quantity, common container, or freely available alcoholic beverage (e.g., beer, wine, liquor, or punch) that is made available for consumption. Possessing, furnishing, consuming, or serving from a common source of alcohol is strictly prohibited. A common source shall not include “cash bars” operated by a licensed third party vendor that comply with these guidelines.
  • Alcohol is not permitted to be consumed or possessed anywhere other than the space designated for hosting the event.
  • Activities or paraphernalia that encourage the rapid and/or excessive consumption of alcohol, including, but not limited to, drinking games (beer pong, flip cup, etc.), ice luges, and drinking funnels, are inconsistent with healthy and responsible use of alcohol and are therefore prohibited.

Private Events

Alcoholic beverages may also be stored, served, and consumed when University facilities are leased for private events not affiliated with the University, in accordance with the lease agreement executed between the University and the lessee. The delivery of alcoholic beverages to approved leased facilities must conform to the stipulations outlined in the lease. Alcoholic beverages must be stored and consumed within the area defined in the lease. University employees may not transport or store the alcoholic beverages, and all movement of such products must be initiated by the lessee or the lessee’s designee.

Approved Purchasing Processes

The University does not have a license to sell alcoholic beverages.

The University has an obligation to manage its funds in a manner consistent with the best interests of the citizens of Tennessee. Purchasing certain items may cause the public to believe the institution is not exercising its responsibility in an appropriate manner. Alcohol is one such item that comes under great scrutiny.

University units may not purchase or store alcoholic beverages for future use without the prior approval of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration.

The purchase of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on the University Procurement Card. If the card is used at certain alcohol vendors, the card will be denied. Exceptions may be made where the purchase of alcoholic beverages is required for research purposes.

Alcoholic beverages may not be charged to any funds that preclude such expenditures because of donor or grant restrictions and may not be charged to state-appropriated accounts. There are specific restricted (“R”) accounts which allow the purchase of alcoholic beverages assigned for that purpose.

E&G funds cannot be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages; however, these funds can be used for the payment of the licensed server.

SA00120 Alcohol Policy
Version: 1 // Effective: 03/13/2023
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