Alcohol Policies and Resources



Section 1: Purpose

The living/learning component of a residential college is an important part of the Allegheny College experience. The goal of the College is to create a supportive community conducive to academic success, personal growth, and healthful lifestyles. The misuse of alcohol significantly interferes with the mission of the College and can adversely affect students’ ability to learn in the Allegheny community. Allegheny College considers all of its members – faculty, staff, and students – to be mature persons and, accordingly, the decision to use alcohol legally and responsibly is an individual one. The College through its emphasis on wellness will educate members of the community regarding responsible alcohol use and the dangers of problematic use, and seeks to teach students how to live healthy and balanced lives. Alcohol is one of the ongoing challenges to health and wellness in the lives of students. Alcohol influences people regardless of their choice to use or to abstain. At Allegheny, we expect students to manage their use of alcohol in responsible ways. Our goal is to minimize high risk drinking and to support and respect students who choose not to drink.

Members of the community who are concerned about other students who misuse alcohol, whether in crisis or not, are encouraged to talk with a professional staff member.

  • Counseling Center: 814-332-4368
  • Health Center: 814-332-4355
  • Dean of Students Office: 814-332-4356
  • Office of Safety and Security: 814-332-3357

Concerns about a faculty or staff member can be directed to the Provost or the Director of Human Resources.  All situations are evaluated on a case by case basis.  The facts or policy violations of each case are reviewed individually and contribute to different outcomes and/or different sanctioning.    

Restorative sanctions by service or education to the community may be utilized as an option in the community to address behaviors related to the misuse of alcohol.  Examples of restorative sanctions include but are not limited to referral to our college counseling center, referral to  (online educational program), requiring reflection papers, community service, meeting with parent/guardian or athletic coach, participation in an off campus alcohol treatment program or removal from residence hall.  


Section 2: Statement of Principles

  • The College recognizes explicitly that students are adults, and they are expected to obey the law and take responsibility for their behavior.
  • Students should understand that being under the influence of alcohol in no way lessens their accountability to the College community, or their obligations under local, state and federal laws.
  • Students will be held accountable if their use of alcohol violates applicable laws and/or College policy; threatens to create disorder, public disturbances, danger to themselves and others, or property damage; or interferes with the rights of other persons.
  • Participation in student groups can result in additional accountability because of that organization’s own policies concerning alcohol use. If an event is sponsored by an organization that is affiliated with a national organization with its own risk management policies and event guidelines, the group is expected to be in full compliance with the policies and guidelines of that national organization. Students will be held accountable for violations of those risk management policies.
  • It is the aim of the College to support and respect those members of our community who choose not to use alcohol or and those of legal age who use alcohol responsibly.
  • While it is not the intent of the College to police the personal lives of its students, the College does reserve the right to investigate suspicious circumstances.
  • The College disclaims any intention to assume duties to protect its students from their own abuse of alcohol.


Section 3: Jurisdiction

The jurisdiction of this policy is covered by ARTICLE II: COLLEGE AUTHORITY, Section 1A: Jurisdiction. Examples relevant to the Alcohol Policy include:

  • The College expects all students to observe these regulations, including those living and gathering on and off campus and any student representing the College in both formal terms (for example, athletic  teams and traveling music groups) and informal terms (for example, students attending a party off campus).
  • Allegheny students participating in EL Travel Seminars (during summer or other semester breaks) are expected to follow Allegheny policies as stated in the EL Travel Seminar: Student Participation Agreement Form.
  • Students studying abroad (either semester or academic year programs) are expected to follow all alcohol-related laws of their host countries.
  • The College requires that all visitors to campus also follow Allegheny’s Alcohol Policy.  Students are responsible for the conduct of any of their guests on campus. All employees  of the College are   bound by the Drug Free Workplace Policy available through Human Resources.
  • Students gathering in off campus locations are expected to observe these regulations.


Section 4: Alcohol Related Health Risks

As students make choices concerning the use of alcohol, it is important to consider the health risks associated with consumption.

  • Alcohol is the number one drug used in sexual assaults.  The majority of sexual assaults occur when an individual is incapacitated due to the use of substances, primarily alcohol.  Being incapacitated by alcohol, or other drugs, makes a person unable to freely consent to sexual activity.  Use of alcohol does not mean someone is willing to participate in sexual activity, and the victim of sexual assault is never to blame, regardless of the use of alcohol.  
  • Alcohol is a depressant, although it may initially stimulate emotions, it slows heart rate and respiration, causes intoxication, sedation, unconsciousness, death.
  • Alcohol is generally metabolized at the rate of one drink per hour.
  • Mixing alcohol with prescribed medications or recreational drugs can be lethal.
  • Food slows down the absorption of alcohol.
  • Long term alcohol misuse can lead to liver disorders, heart disease, brain damage, sterility, and dependency.
  • Approximately 1 in 10 drinkers becomes an alcoholic; children of alcoholics are 3-4 times more likely to become alcoholics themselves.
  • BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is affected by the amount consumed, rate of drinking, size and gender of drinker, and tolerance.
  • Alcohol impairs judgment, performance, memory, and motor skills; an impaired person cannot usually recognize his/her own impairment.
  • Tolerance, the need to use more of a substance to maintain the effectiveness of that substance, occurs with use over an extended period of time. Tolerance increases the risk of alcohol-related problems, including alcoholism and social problems.
  • There are long-term health risks associated with drinking over time. These risks include damage to the heart, liver, and brain. However, it should be noted that the vast majority of our health risks occur over the course of a single evening, not after decades of abuse.  A college-aged student has a much higher risk of an alcohol-related injury caused by a car crash, slipping or falling, getting into a fight, etc. than developing cirrhosis of the liver. 

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning:

  • If someone becomes unconscious or slipped into a state of semi-consciousness
  • Their breathing has slowed to eight or less breaths/minute or lapses of longer than eight seconds between breaths
  • They have cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin
  • Vomiting or gagging has occurred

Consistent with our commitment to encourage proactive bystander intervention, students who seek assistance for another student in need of help for drug or alcohol intoxication/poisoning or who seek help for a student who has been a victim of assault or other form of violence will not be sanctioned by the College for a drug or alcohol violation, nor will the student in need of assistance.  Additionally, students who report being a victim of physical or sexual assault while intoxicated through voluntary or involuntary means will not receive disciplinary sanctioning by the College for an alcohol violation even if they are underage.


Section 5: College Requirements

  • In accordance with state law, students under the age of 21 are not permitted to possess, transport, and/or consume alcohol. Alcohol is permitted only in rooms/houses in which at least one person living in the room/ house is of the legal drinking age. All visitors must also adhere to these requirements.  Students are responsible for making sure that their guests abide by the College’s Alcohol Policy. No person may furnish alcohol to persons under the age of 21.
  • Public intoxication by persons of any age is prohibited. If a student is intoxicated and College staff view the person as unable to care for him/herself, the staff may choose to have the student transported to the hospital. This action will be taken to protect the student and the community and will be the financial responsibility of the student. Parents are generally notified if a student is hospitalized due to alcohol consumption.
  • Open containers, carriers, or cups of alcohol are strictly prohibited outside of residential rooms/houses or approved registered events.
  • As student health and safety is the College’s main priority with regard to alcohol, we establish reasonable limits on alcohol amounts for those of legal age. The amount of alcohol allowed in a college owned residence by a student who is of legal drinking age is limited to one unit per person of age. One unit is defined as one case (24 – 12 oz. containers) of beer/malted beverage OR two (750ml) bottles of wine OR one (750ml) bottle of spirits OR a reasonable combination of these types.
  • As a practical matter of enforcement, alcohol beverage containers are not permitted within the rooms (residence hall or College-owned house) of students under the age of 21 unless at least one of the residents living in the room/house is of legal drinking age.
  • The College maintains the right to dispose of alcohol in instances when a person under 21 is consuming, even if a person of legal drinking age is present, or when there is alcohol in excess of the established limits.
  • Pursuant to state law, grain alcohol is prohibited except for research purposes.
  • Regardless of a student’s age, alcoholic beverages are prohibited in any non-residential building, outside, and in any public areas of residential buildings including porches, corridors, lounges, study rooms, and bathrooms except when written approval is received in advance.
  • Common sources of alcohol (e.g., kegs, punch bowls, shared containers), empty or full, are prohibited, Exceptions may be made for approved College functions.  Information on the approval process is available through the Office of Student Involvement or the Office of Student Life.
  • In accordance with state law, alcoholic beverages may not be sold on campus except by licensed vendors. This includes, but is not limited to: cover charges, charging for cups, or “passing the hat.”

All violations of the Alcohol Policy will be referred to the College student conduct system and may be referred to the criminal justice system. Information about the College student conduct system and sanctions can be found in the relevant section of The Compass. Questions or concerns about any part of this policy should be directed to the Office of Student Involvement or Office of Student Life.


Section 6: Event Registration:

Any event on campus property must be registered if there is alcohol present and if there are more than two guests per resident present. Event registration offers the following benefits to the College community and the event sponsors: it requires the sponsors to think through their plans carefully and to recognize their liability in sponsoring an event with alcohol, and it allows College staff to communicate directly with the event sponsors if a problem occurs as an alternative to Security inspecting the event. Event registration is not for the purpose of disciplining students, but rather increasing safety and communication between College staff and students. Complete guidelines and Event Registration forms can be obtained from the Office of Student Involvement for outdoor events and from the Office of Residence Life for events in a college owned residence. Approval of all events involving alcohol must be accompanied by a planning meeting with a representative of the Office of Student Involvement or the Office of Residence Life, thus sponsors who are seeking event approval for the first time must submit a completed registration form at least fourteen days in advance. Final approval will be given by the appropriate office. Event Registration forms can be obtained online


Section 7: Event Guidelines

  • All events must be in accordance with all College requirements and state laws. The number of invited guests must be limited according to local fire code regulations. Information on fire code regulations is available through the Office of Safety and Security.
  • Only persons 21 years of age or older may sign on as purchasers of alcohol for an event.   Some of the sponsors must be 21 years of age or older. At least two sponsors must be present to monitor the event and abstain from alcohol use. All sponsors, whether present or not, will be held accountable for any problems that occur.
  • Common sources of alcohol (e.g., kegs, punch bowls, shared containers), empty or full, are prohibited, Exceptions may be made for approved College functions.  Information on the approval process is available through the Office of Student Involvement or the Office of Student Life.
  • Underage drinkers, as well as event sponsors, will be held accountable under both state law and College policy if persons under age 21 are served alcohol at the event. Underage drinkers and the event sponsors will be held accountable if the underage guest is in possession or consumes alcohol.
  • Alcohol may not be given as a prize for any contest/party game and should never be used as part of a party game. Chugging, drinking games, initiations, and other potentially dangerous drinking activities involving alcohol or the presence of alcohol are prohibited.
  • Sufficient quantities of food and non-alcoholic beverages are to be available throughout the entire event. The total amount of alcohol available should be limited in quantity according to the number of guests age 21 or older. Alcohol is limited to one drink per hour per guest of legal drinking age.  Specific quantities of food, non-alcoholic beverages and alcohol will be defined upon approval of the events.
  • Persons who appear intoxicated should not be admitted into the event and should not be served alcohol. Students found responsible for providing alcohol to intoxicated persons can be held accountable through the college disciplinary process.
  • Proof of age (driver’s license, other valid ID) must be required to be served alcohol.
  • Party sponsors must consult with the Office of Residence Student Life or Office of Student Involvement to determine a plan for verifying that intoxicated event attendees have safe transportation home. In all instances, arrangements should be made to help the intoxicated person return safely home and receive the appropriate assistance.
  • Alcoholic beverages may not be sold on campus to raise funds for any organization.
  • With the approval of the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life, alcoholic beverages may be served at religious events on campus as part of religious rituals.



Promotional materials for any registered event and/or event sponsored by a College-recognized organization shall not make reference to alcoholic beverages or any type of drinking contests.




As residents of Pennsylvania, students have a responsibility to observe state laws regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs. A copy of relevant sections of the Liquor and Crimes Codes of Pennsylvania is on file in the Office of Safety and Security.

  • Any person under the age of 21 who purchases, consumes, transports or is in possession of alcohol will face a 90 day suspension of the driver’s license and a $500 fine. A person committing a 2nd offense will be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 and 1 yr. license suspension. A person committing a 3rd offense will face the same fines, plus a 2 yr. license suspension.
  • Selling or furnishing alcohol to minors (those under 21 years) carries a minimum of $1000 – $2500 in fines and court costs.
  • For a 1st offense: Carrying or using a false ID results in a 90 day license suspension, fines up to $1000 500. Manufacturing or selling a false ID is punishable by fines of $1000 – $2500 and court costs. 
  • The legal limit for Driving Under the Influence in Pennsylvania is under 0.08 % (.02% for minors under age 21). A first DUI offense (at the general impairment level) will result in $300 in fines, up to six months probation , and a mandatory 12 month license suspension. Refusal of a breath test results in an automatic 12 month license suspension in conjunction with the DUI offense, 90 days in jail, and $1000 fine. All convictions result in drug and alcohol treatment requirements and terms of imprisonment supervision.
  • Public drunkenness results in fines up to $500 1000 and court costs. Offenders are placed in a “holding tank” until sober. Additional jail costs may apply depending on the individual situation.
  • By law, police (including officers in the College’s Office of Safety and Security) making an arrest for a suspected underage drinking/possession violation and/or for carrying or using a false ID are required to notify the parents or guardian of the minor charged. For alcohol related laws, Pennsylvania defines a minor as someone under 21 years of age.

Drugs & Drug Paraphernalia

Penalties for the use and possession of illicit drugs, along with illegal use of prescription drugs, vary greatly. Possession of a larger amount of a drug will typically result in charges of distribution, leading to much stiffer penalties. Some examples of penalties:

  • A federal or state conviction of possession or sale of drugs during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal aid results in the loss of federal aid for at least one year.
  • A criminal record for drug possession may prevent professional licensing and/or certification.
  • Possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana – up to 30 days in prison, $500 in fines.
  • Possession of any controlled substance, such as heroin – up to 1 year in prison, $5000 in fines.
  • Possession of 5+ grams of cocaine – minimum of 5-20 years in prison, $5000 in fines.
  • Manufacture, distribution, importation of any designer/club drug, such as ecstasy – up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.



It is recommended that any organization considering an event involving alcohol formulate and implement a program to increase alcohol awareness and prevent alcohol misuse for its members and guests. There are a number of resources available on and off campus to provide alcohol education or assistance with alcohol concerns:

  • The Office of Residence Life, including Resident Advisors, Community Advisors, and Area Coordinators, is a valuable resource and provides much of the alcohol education programming on campus.
  • The Counseling Center is available to address individual concerns, provide assessments and referrals for treatment off campus, and to provide information and education about alcohol use. 
  • Winslow Health Center is available to assist individuals with situations involving alcohol that affect the physical well-being of a student.
  • Crawford County Drug & Alcohol, Downtown Mall, 814-724-4100 
  • Stepping Stones Treatment Center, Meadville Medical Center, 814-333-5810 or 336-4357(crisis)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous, 814-337-4019
  • Mercy House, (814) 337-6180
  • Narcotics Anonymous, 814-337-4529, 24 hour crisis line, 888-251-2426



The Alcohol Policy is reviewed every two years as required by the Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act. The review committee is made up of representatives of Student Affairs, the Faculty, and the Student Body. (Revised Spring 2015)