Alcohol Policy

  1. Use or possession of alcoholic beverages by any persons under the age of twenty-one is prohibited by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the College. (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 138, Section 6, 34A).
  2. Purchase of an alcoholic beverage by an underage person or any arrangement with another person to procure such drinks is a crime punishable by a mandatory $300 fine.
  3. Deliveries of alcoholic beverages to individuals or groups are prohibited on the Mount Holyoke College campus, except those which have been arranged through the Department of Dining Services/Willits-Hallowell Center for social events that have been registered through the Office of Student Programs.
  4. The presence, possession, or use of kegs by individuals or groups other than at a registered, approved event is prohibited on the College campus.
  5. Persons twenty-one years old and over may use alcohol in the privacy of their rooms providing all guidelines governing guests, noise, and appropriate behavior are followed. Individuals should be informed that distributing to persons under twenty-one is prohibited by laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the College. It is a criminal offense, punishable by up to a year in jail and $2,000 fine, for any person to furnish any alcoholic beverage to a person less than 21 years, parents or grandparents of the person excepted.
  6. Consumption of alcohol in unapproved areas (e.g., residence hall corridors, stairways, elevators, bathrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, laundry rooms, academic buildings etc.) can result in disciplinary action. 
  7. Possession of open containers of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in public/common areas or on the grounds of the College, except at registered events or licensed facilities.
  8. Students under the legal drinking age cannot serve or host alcohol in their residence hall room, including instances where the alcohol is in the possession of or is the property of a person of legal drinking age. 
  9. Organizers of student events may request alcohol service during an event.
    1. The Office of Student Programs must be contacted to approve and register student-sponsored events in campus buildings or at outdoor locations on campus. 
    2. Alcohol may be ordered and served only by dining services/Willits-Hallowell staff.
    3. Nonalcoholic beverages and food must be made available free of charge at any event where alcohol is served. Additional food may be sold at a reasonable rate.
    4. Students and guests entering events where alcoholic beverages are served must show proper identification upon request. A A valid U.S. driver's license or two proof-of-age photo-ID cards must be shown to be served alcoholic beverages. Any forms of identification that appear to have been tampered with will not be accepted. Altering any form of identification is a felony. 
    5. Massachusetts state law prohibits those under twenty-one years of age and those having had too much to drink from being served alcohol.
    6. Sponsors of events serving alcohol bear responsibility to ensure that no one is coerced, however subtly, to drink excessively.
    7. If a person appears to have had too much to drink prior to entering an event, she or he should not be allowed entrance. Public safety officers will assist in removing unwanted guests.
    8. Alcohol may be served for no more than four hours at any student sponsored event on campus. During late-night events, alcohol service will stop one hour of the event so that the last hour of the event will be alcohol free. In no case can alcohol be present after 1:45 am. 
    9. Sponsoring social events and parties that encourage drinking as themes and advertising such events through words and/or images depicting drinking or drunkenness are prohibited. An event may be cancelled if sponsors do not adhere to this guideline

Important items to note

  • The host(s) assumes full responsibility for informing their guests of the College policies, procedures, and community expectations.  The host will be held accountable for the actions of their guests. This includes participation is a disciplinary hearing and responsibility for related disciplinary hearing sanctions. 
  • Students may also be held accountable for policy violation in which they are in the presence of. Being in the presence of alcohol may be implied based on the number, location and condition of empty or partially empty cans, bottles, or other containers. 
  • Any person who violates state or federal law is liable for their actions and may be subject to civil or criminal complaints. Mount Holyoke College does not intervene on an individual’s behalf with campus, local or state law enforcement authorities. The College will not protect those who violate state and federal laws.  Campus Police always have the option to arrest. In accordance with federal law, a conviction of a drug offense in any criminal proceeding will make a student ineligible for financial aid for a period of at least one year.
  • The College considers intoxication requiring medical assessment, medical treatment, and or medical transport a health emergency.  There may be instances in which the parental/ emergency contact will be notified in response to intoxication.  Please refer to the College’s policy on Parent Notification noted earlier in this document.