Bridgewater State University has created and enacted this policy to emphasize individual and shared responsibility, healthy and informed decision-making, and to promote and maintain a responsive, caring learning environment. The Alcohol Policy has been established to support a safe and legal use of alcohol. The Alcohol Policy both (1) identifies actions the University does not support in an effort to prevent harmful situations resulting from the irresponsible and/or illegal use of alcohol; and (2) provides guidelines to support safe and legal use of alcohol for all university constituents.
The consequences of college drinking can be significant and more destructive than commonly realized according to the 2012 study done by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
Research indicates that alcohol use during the teenage years could interfere with normal adolescent brain development and increase the risk of developing an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). In addition, underage drinking contributes to a range of acute consequences, including injuries, sexual assaults, and even deaths.
As members of the university community, students have an obligation to uphold The Student Code of Conduct as well as obey all federal, state, and local laws. Bridgewater State University has established the following policy requirements that define illegal alcohol use (including being under the influence), possession, sale, or distribution of alcoholic beverages[CC1] .
Bridgewater State University prohibits the possession, consumption, storage, or service of alcohol by students except at the Great Hill Student Apartments by apartment residents and their guests who are 21 years of age or older, or at approved or licensed locations. Alcohol may only be transported (not being consumed, stored or served) to the Great Hill Student Apartments by apartment residents. Guests are not permitted to bring alcohol onto the Bridgewater State University campus regardless of their age. This includes guests of students residing in the Great Hill Student Apartments.
In areas other than approved or licensed locations, all persons are prohibited from being present where there are alcoholic beverage containers, whether those containers are full, partially full or empty. Except for employment or other permissive purposes, students under the age of 21 may not be in the presence of alcohol or alcohol containers.
Public intoxication is prohibited. Public intoxication is defined as any intoxication which causes a disturbance or is dangerous to self, others, or property or in any way requires the attention of university staff, police, or medical personnel.
Bridgewater State University Police and other university officials will monitor and strictly enforce these policies.
The information provided in the chart below is to highlight possible consequences for specific violations of the university’s alcohol policy. Generally, the influence of drugs and/or alcohol on a student’s judgment or behavior will not be accepted as a mitigating factor with respect to the resolution of an act of misconduct. This applies to all persons regardless of age. The unique circumstances of the incident will be reviewed in detail before a decision is rendered. Sanctions are determined on a case by case basis and are designed to help students consider their responsibility as members of the university community.
Based on Precedent
Based on Precedent
First time in the presence of/possession of decorative alcohol containers:
First use/possession/Second in presence:
Second use/possession/subsequent in the presence of:
Alcohol violations requiring medical intervention
Second alcohol violation requiring medical intervention
Subsequent alcohol violation requiring medical intervention
Purchasing, distributing, or selling alcoholic beverages for students or guests under the age of 21
No prior conduct history, no damage, no injury, but had passengers in the car
Prior conduct history (not currently on Disciplinary Probation) or property damage
Currently on Disciplinary Probation or personal injury
Caused another’s death or significant injury
Releases of Information
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the university’s Parent/Guardian Notification Policy, the university may release information to parents/guardians without the consent of the eligible student, when the student is under the age of 21 and has violated any law or policy concerning the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance. The Office of Community Standards sends notification letters to parents of students under the age of 21 who have violated the Alcohol and/or the Drug Free Policies. The letter indicates that the student was found responsible for a violation and encourages the parents/guardians to discuss the matter with their student. The Office of Community Standards will not provide specific information to parents/guardians regarding the incident or the student’s conduct history without a signed release from the student.
The university recognizes that students may be hesitant to report sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or retaliation out of concern that they, or witnesses, might be charged with violations of the alcohol or drug policies. While the university does not condone such behavior, we place a priority on the need to address sexual violence and misconduct. Accordingly, university officials may elect not to pursue disciplinary proceedings against a student who, in good faith, reports, witnesses, or possesses personal knowledge of sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or retaliation.
Similarly, the university recognizes that there may be alcohol or drug-related medical emergencies or other safety emergencies in which the potential for disciplinary action could act as a deterrent to students who want to seek assistance for themselves or others. When a student aids an intoxicated or impaired individual by contacting the Bridgewater State University Police or Residence Life staff, it is up to the discretion of the Director of Community Standards, or designee, to determine if any involved parties, Student Organizations, or Unrecognized Student Organizations will be subject to disciplinary action. This does not preclude disciplinary action regarding other violations of university standards such as causing or threatening physical harm, damage to property, harassment, hazing, or violations of the Sexual Violence Policy. Students who are transported to a local hospital, placed in protective custody, or evaluated as a result of the abuse of alcohol or other drugs will be contacted by a university official to meet to discuss the incident.
Groups who want to sponsor an event with alcohol on or off campus must adhere to the following guidelines:
Serving alcoholic beverages at university events
All recognized groups who want to sponsor an event with alcohol on campus must meet with and secure the approval of the Director of University Services at least 45 days prior to the event. Approval forms are available from, and are facilitated by, the University Events and/or University Services. Alcohol may be served on campus or at university-sponsored events only under licensed conditions.
Alcohol at events sponsored by student organizations
University-recognized Student Organizations may request permission to serve alcohol at student events through the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership. Student Organizations must obtain the approval of their assigned program advisor prior to submitting a request with the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership.
On-campus events: Student Organizations seeking to hold an event with alcohol in another campus facility may request that a one-day license be obtained. A minimum of 45 days’ notice is required in order to process requests.
Off-campus events: Student Organizations may only hold functions/events with alcohol at an off-campus venue with a permanent license for alcohol service.
The following guidelines apply to the service of alcohol at student events:
- Student Organization sponsored functions/events may only serve alcohol in facilities or locations licensed for alcohol beverage service.
- All individuals attending the event must be of legal drinking age. Student Organizations may request an exception to this guideline if the alcohol server has acceptable procedures for separating individuals of age from those who are underage.
- The license holder assumes all responsibility for serving alcohol, including checking proper age identification, and may not delegate this responsibility to the event sponsor.
- Student Organizations may not give alcohol away or include complimentary drinks in the ticket price of an event. Distribution of alcohol at the event must be on a cash sales basis to the individual who will consume the alcohol.
- Alcohol may not be the primary focus of the event.
- Student Organizations may not use university or organization funds to purchase alcoholic beverages for the event.
- Only BSU students and their invited guests may attend the event. The Student Organization may only advertise the event to the BSU community.
- Ample food and non-alcoholic beverages must be readily available during the entire event.
- The Organization's adviser or an alternative faculty/staff member must be present for the duration of the event.
- A police detail or hired private security in conjunction with the host establishment must be present for the duration of the event.
Alcohol and your health
As educators in support of the university’s mission, we seek to create a safe environment that encourages and supports the personal and professional development of all members of the university community. Alcohol’s effects on the brain and body depend on the rate and frequency of consumption, as well as other factors including age, gender, and overall health. Excessive use of alcohol may negatively affect your personal health, academic or workplace performance, or personal relationships. Alcohol use is also a leading cause of unintentional injury and may lead to problems with university or other authorities. For more information about the impact of alcohol on your health, or to examine your pattern of alcohol use, please read Rethinking Drinking or contact any of the following resources listed below.
Office of Community Standards
Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management
Bridgewater Police Department – Emergency
Bridgewater Police Department –
Non - Emergency
Community Counseling of Bristol County
Gosnold Counseling Center – Stoughton
Highpoint Treatment Center – Brockton
Massachusetts State Police
Massachusetts State Police
508-820-2300 Business Line,
Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm
Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline
Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline
Updated 8/2018 by Peter Wiernicki, Director of Community Standards and
Ann M. Doyle, Outreach Education Coordinator
[CC1]Policy requirements that…violate university policy
Student Handbook 2018-2019
All Rights Reserved