Administration Revamps Social Hosting Guidelines

Administration Revamps Social Hosting Guidelines

After intense debate last spring, the Dean of the College, in collaboration with the Student Government Association (SGA), has developed a new event registration policy that has recently been put into effect.

Under the revamped Social Hosting Guidelines, events are split into three classifications: small private events, large invitation events and catered events. Small private events consist of 25 to 65 guests, while large invitation and catered events may exceed this number. Although restrictions on hard alcohol, kegs and drinking games have remained in place, there are a handful of new policies now in effect.

One of the most distinctive changes under the new policy is that food and non-alcoholic beverages must be provided to guests throughout the duration of the event. Furthermore, a “University Official” can come by at the beginning of or during any registered event.

The official Colgate University Social Hosting Guidelines, which can be found online under the Dean of the College webpage, states that “The University official may check-in during the event [when there is a noise complaint or a safety concern] and will make every effort to contact the [social] host(s) to ensure the issue is resolved.” Although the language of this statement indicates that the University official will contact the social host in the event of a problem, it does not clearly dictate how they will go about doing so, or whether or not the Official is permitted to enter the event without having first contacted the social host(s).

Each of the three different social hosting classifications also has a number of specific qualifications. Small and large events must be registered with the Dean of the College more than 48 hours before the event takes place. Catered events must be approved six weeks in advance. Furthermore, two Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS) hosts must be present throughout the duration of large and catered events. They are responsible for ensuring that no underage guests are drinking and that all other Social Hosting Guidelines are being complied with.

In order to drink at a small private event or large invitation event, a guest is required to show proof of age by providing two forms of I.D., one of which must be government-issued. Any of-age guests will then receive a wristband allowing them to drink at the event. For catered events, this process is the responsibility of the caterers or a hired security detail. However, for all other events, this responsibility falls on the event hosts, including the verification of I.D.s, the distribution of wristbands, and ensuring that no one without a wristband is consuming alcohol.

Restrictions have also been placed on the way that an event can be advertised. For small private events, personal invites are the only form of publicity allowed, forbidding the use of Facebook and all other means of social media. For large and catered events, publicity via social media and print is permitted so long as only specific and approved language is used as explicitly stated in the University’s Guidelines (i.e. “Non-alcoholic beverages available. Beer and wine 21+”). The price and type of alcohol available as well as any alcoholic photos or logos may not be advertised either.

On the Dean of the College webpage, Nelson states, “The new social hosting process aims to balance students’ rights with responsibilities. Further, it offers reasonable expectations for safe service of alcohol at social gatherings.”

Upon arriving at Colgate last fall, Nelson made it a priority to revamp the event registration policy, delegating this task to Residential Life. In the spring, a proposal was brought before campus and received intense backlash from the student body, particularly the clauses requiring Campus Safety walkthroughs during all events; as well as a mandated guest list. However, members of the Student Government Association (SGA) worked with the Colgate administration to amend this initial proposal.

“Having worked on the new procedure this summer, I can ensure the new system is student friendly,” member of the SGA Student Affairs Board senior James Speight said. “It helps to build a better rapport with Campus Safety and the new rule allowing events under 25 people really opens up the social scene, since you used to need TIPS training for those events last year.”

The implemented Social Hosting Guidelines have been received much more positively than the initial proposal last spring, but the SGA understands that there is still room for further changes.

“SGA functioned extremely well to be a strong voice of the student body, and the University officials involved realized the importance of having SGA members help develop administrative policy and procedure,” SGA Vice President senior Matt Haley said. “As a result, the Colgate community received a fair and transparent event registration platform. Going forward, SGA continues to work toward addressing inclusion of kegs to the social scene as well as an evaluation of the drinking game policy.”

Although there is no expected time frame for any such changes to be made, the University and SGA continue to work together to smooth over the event registration policies and to assess how effective the Social Hosting Guidelines prove to be.

Contact Cody Semrau at [email protected].