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Alcohol Policy

This policy is consistent with the recommendations and action plan of the Massachusetts Statewide University and College Coalition on Underage and Problem Drinking that Holy Cross has signed as of October 2002 along with 46 other Massachusetts colleges and universities.



The College of the Holy Cross supports the observance of all local, state and federal laws and regulations governing the sale, purchase and service of beverages. The College strongly urges all faculty, staff and students to become familiar with these laws and regulations and to consider the potential risks - including penalties associated with violations. The College does not intend to prevent the responsible use of alcohol by members of the College community who are of legal age.

The health and safety of members of the Holy Cross community are primary concerns of the College. Therefore, students of legal drinking age who choose to consume alcohol are expected to do so responsibly. The College prohibits the possession of paraphernalia designed or used to deliver a high volume or rapid delivery of alcohol intake. Participating in activities which promote irresponsible drinking (i.e. drinking games, etc.) is not permitted. 

Drinking behavior which results in the destruction of property or in actions which are disrespectful of the campus community will be subject to disciplinary action and/or significant financial restitution. Involvement in incidents of public intoxication does not excuse or protect those individuals who flagrantly or repeatedly violate alcohol use guidelines. Students are encouraged to explore their decision-making with respect to drinking behavior.  Specifically students are asked to challenge/question themselves regarding personal choices that may effect their health, well-being and standing within the College. Students should take into consideration their personal risk factors such as:

  • Family history
  • Medical condition/circumstances including if they are currently taking any medications and/or if they suffer from anxiety or depression
  • Personal tolerance

Students should also consider the consequences of excessive drinking (i.e. Difficulty with school, increased chances of unwanted or risky sexual behavior, increased chances of personal injury, violations of College Community Standards or Massachusetts State Law).


A Commitment to Helping

The College of the Holy Cross recognizes that a problem exists when one's use of substances causes physical or emotional harm, impairs one's judgment, infringes on the rights of others or interferes with one's work, relationships or daily life. The College is committed to providing educational and counseling services aimed at prevention, intervention and treatment of problems. Alcohol and other drug use is a significant issue both in society and at the College of the Holy Cross. The inappropriate use of alcohol by anyone of any age can seriously threaten the health and safety of members of the College community, as well as impair the academic performance of students and negatively affect the Holy Cross and Worcester communities. Holy Cross is committed to reducing and preventing substance related problems within the community.


Alcohol Use on Campus

The legal drinking age is 21 years of age. Possession, consumption or distribution of alcoholic beverages to individuals under the legal drinking age is a violation of both College policy and of Massachusetts State Law. Purchasing alcohol for an individual under 21, either by someone over 21 or by someone under 21 through the use of false identification is prohibited.

Students of legal drinking age can be served alcohol, can possess open containers of alcoholic beverages, and consume alcohol in the following campus venues:

  • Private student rooms
  • Hogan campus center (upon approval)
  • Residence hall social rooms (upon registration)
  • Other events licensed by the City of Worcester and approved by the College

The possession of open containers of alcoholic beverages and/or the consumption of alcoholic beverages in any other location/space is prohibited. Specifically, open containers are not permitted in public areas on campus, which includes corridors, stairwells, bathrooms, or lounges.


Reasonable Limits of Alcoholic Beverages

Students of legal drinking age may have quantities of alcohol as defined below. Possession of large amounts and/or providing alcohol to minors is prohibited.  Social gatherings other than defined in Section IX at which alcohol is served are strictly prohibited unless registered in advance in accordance with the Social Event Registration Policy. Responsibility to assure that a guest is of legal drinking age rests with the resident host(s).  No one under the legal age may possess or consume alcohol.

  • Per Room Limit: The following guidelines are permissible only for those students 21 years of age. The maximum amount of alcohol for single and/or double occupancy rooms is one case of beer (i.e. up to 30 - 12 ounce containers) or 1 liter of hard liquor (not to exceed 80 proof) or 2 bottles of wine (not to exceed 750 ml per bottle at a 12% alcohol content).  The maximum amount of alcohol for a triple room and/or four or six person suite is two cases of beer (i.e. up to 60 - 12 ounce containers) or 2 liters of hard liquor (not to exceed 80 proof) or 4 bottles of wine (not to exceed 12% alcohol content for each bottle).
  • Common sources of alcohol (kegs, half-kegs, quarter-kegs, beer balls, or punches) are not permitted on campus and are subject to confiscation regardless of age.  Large quantities of alcohol for group consumption are permitted for events that are approved in accordance with procedures established by the Social Event Registration Policy.
  • Violation of the College's Alcohol Policy (illegal use, misuse) will be handled through the Office of Judicial Affairs and will result in sanctions which may include fines, mandatory participation in alcohol education classes, community work projects, probation, and/or suspension from the residence halls.


Alcohol Related Promotional Items

Individuals and/or organizations, teams or clubs are not allowed to use images of alcohol (i.e. flyers, posters and/or by electronic means) to promote events or their organizations. Favors to commemorate specific events for students under the age of 21 may not include beer mugs, wine glasses, brandy glasses, flasks, shot glasses or other alcohol related paraphernalia to promote events or their organizations.


Athletic Events & Tailgating Policy

Alcoholic beverages may not be brought to athletic events, nor may they be consumed at such events. This prohibition includes intramural and club sports as well as spectators at varsity athletic contests.

The Tailgating Policy is a component of the College's comprehensive approach to the consequences associated with alcohol use and abuse. We ask that you join us in our goal of providing a healthy and safe environment without the destructive consequences of alcohol.

  • Freshman Field and the Baseball Field will be open for tailgating three (3) hours prior to kickoff.
  • No kegs or other common source large quantities of alcohol will be allowed at any time.
  • At game time, both fields will be cleared by Public Safety and individuals will be asked to enter the stadium.
  • There will be no re-entry to the stadium during the game and no tailgating during half time.
  • After the game, no tailgating will be allowed and patrons will be expected to vacate the fields within one hour after the game.


Events Where Alcohol is Served

The following guidelines apply to student events where alcohol is served.

  • Open bars are prohibited.
  • The College reserves the right to designate separate area(s) where alcohol is to be served and consumed.
  • Wristbands may be used for identification purposes.
  • Comparable resources should be expended on food and nonalcoholic beverages.
  • Publicly intoxicated persons shall be removed from the event.
  • Typically, the length of time for serving alcohol is limited to two hours. A decision will be made in consultation with Dining Services personnel on a case-by-case basis for time and/or amount.

The College reserves the right to cancel, close or otherwise prohibit any function or event which violates these conditions, appropriate dining or conference services policies, or which result in a violation of Community Standards.


Pub in Hogan

The law of the State of Massachusetts and the conditions upon which a liquor license is granted to the College of the Holy Cross forbid serving alcohol to anyone under the legal drinking age. The College risks the loss of its license and risks significant legal liability if it fails to prevent underage persons from purchasing or consuming alcoholic beverages in the Pub. Therefore, positive proof of age is required to enter the Pub when alcoholic beverages are sold there. The Pub administrators shall determine the validity of identification.

The College reserves the right to cancel, close or otherwise prohibit any function or event which violates these conditions, appropriate dining or conference services policies, or which result in a violation of Community Standards.


Room Parties

A room party is defined as a gathering, in a residence hall, which involves one or more of the following:

  • More than 10 individuals (including guests) in one room (15/20 in the suite) or the surrounding common area
  • Possession of a communal source of alcohol (i.e. keg, beer ball, punch, etc.) 
  • Disruptive levels of noise
  • Damage to property
  • Littering of the corridor
  • Harmful alcohol consumption
  • Infringement on the rights of others

Students are responsible for all activities which transpire within their rooms. Because of the clear conflict with the academic and developmental goals of the College, parties in individual student rooms or corridors except as defined above are not allowed. Hosting a room party, whether you are present or not, as well as attending a room party is a violation of the College Alcohol Policy. In addition to possible disciplinary action, any violation of the College's Alcohol policy will result in confiscation of alcohol and may result in dispersing of all attendees with the exception of those registered as the room occupants. At all times, students are expected to be aware of fire safety standards.



The College of the Holy Cross has established sanctioning guidelines for violations of its Community Standards. For more detailed information, please refer to the Sanctioning Guidelines for Violations Involving Alcohol located in the Community Standards and Judicial Procedures for Students.

Actions that indicate a danger to the student or others because of intoxication and/or substance abuse (alcohol or other drug misuse) are issues of concern.  Individual decisions to engage in this type of behavior are unacceptable and may be addressed through intervention methods and/or judicial action.  Holy Cross will not tolerate violations, nor will it shield students, faculty or staff from appropriate consequences.
The unlawful possession, use or provision of alcohol or other drugs and/or drunk and disorderly conduct may result in College judicial action.  Depending upon the severity of the violation and the student's prior disciplinary history, possible sanctions for alcohol and other drug violations may include any of the following or a combination thereof:

  • Statement of Concern, College Warning, Residence Hall Probation, Residence Hall Suspension, College Probation, College Suspension and/or Expulsion from the College
  • Financial restitution, fine, community restitution, alcohol or other drug assessment, counseling and/or education programs, as appropriate (some of these programs may involve a book fee or other cost)
  • Referral to civil authorities
  • The minimum sanction for possession of unauthorized kegs, beer balls, or other large amounts of alcohol by one student or group of students, regardless of age, is Residence Hall Suspension.  Social events involving alcohol for group consumption must be approved in accordance with procedures established by the Penalties - Worcester City Ordinance Chapter 9, Section 4, of the Revised Ordinances of l996 of the City of Worcester prohibits the possession of open containers of alcohol by anyone regardless of age while on, in or upon any public way or sidewalk or upon private property without the consent of the owner of the property subject to arrest and fine of not more than $50 for each offense.


Alcohol and Laws the Commonwealth of  Massachusetts

The legal age in Massachusetts is defined by M.G.L.A.C. 138 12 which makes it unlawful for licensed vendors to sell to anyone under twenty-one years of age. Minors are not permitted to purchase or even make arrangements to purchase alcoholic beverages (M.G.L.A.C. 138 34A). It is also unlawful for minors to transport in any way any alcoholic beverages (M.G.L.A.C. 138 34B).

Anyone who procures any alcoholic beverages for a minor violates M.G.L.A.C. 138 34. The sale of alcoholic beverages by a licensed vendor to a minor is illegal under M.G.L.A.C. 138 34 which also makes it unlawful for a patron to procure such beverages for a minor at any licensed establishment. The penalty for violating this law is a $1000 fine or six months imprisonment or both.

Minors may not misrepresent their age in order to purchase or attempt to purchase any alcoholic beverages (M.G.L.A.C. 148 34A). The same law makes it illegal to deface, alter or otherwise falsify an identification card to obtain alcoholic beverages. The penalty for violating this statute is a $300 fine. Those of legal age are precluded by the same law from making a false statement about a minor's age in order to effectuate a sale to a minor or from inducing a minor to make a false statement in order to obtain alcoholic beverages.

Persons under 21 years of age may not transport alcoholic beverages and those who do so while operating an automobile are subject to revocation of their driver's license for a maximum of three months (M.G.L.A.C. 138 34C).