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Alcohol Policies

Montana University System:

Except as expressly permitted, consumption of alcoholic beverages on University property is prohibited by the Montana University System Policy 503.1.  Alcoholic beverages may be consumed by students and their guests in individual residence hall rooms or in individual University Villages and Lewis and Clark Village units, provided such consumption is in compliance with state laws, the Student Conduct Code, and relevant University policies. Unless otherwise authorized by the University President, alcoholic beverages may not be consumed in hallways, lounge areas, utility rooms, or other areas of residence halls, or in any other campus locations.

Service of Alcoholic Beverages:

The University shall comply with applicable laws pertaining to the sale, possession, and consumption of alcoholic beverages and foster responsible attitudes toward alcohol among members of the University community, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

The sale and/or service of all alcohol beverages must be provided through University Catering, including donated alcohol. 

No event involving the service of alcoholic beverages may take place on campus without the prior written approval of the University president or the president’s designee. 

The following restrictions apply:

  • Consumption of alcohol shall be in connection with a substantive event, such as a banquet, official entertainment or reception.
  • Alcohol may only be served in approved locations. Contact UM Catering Services (243-4899) for scheduling.
  • The event’s organizers and sponsors must arrange for and ensure the service of food and non-alcoholic beverages during the duration of the event.
  • Sale of alcohol by UM-contracted, licensed vendor only.  Sale of a ticket to an event where complimentary alcohol is served is considered a sale of alcohol. Contact UM Catering Services (243-4899) for scheduling of alcohol vendor.
  • All servers must be trained in an authorized alcohol service program (“TIPS-trained”).
  • Servers may not consume alcohol during the event.
  • The service of alcoholic beverages must be monitored to prevent: excessive consumption; service to a person not of legal age.
  • Unreasonable or irresponsible conduct or violation of any regulation or noncompliance with any limitation outlined herein justifies discontinuance of the event and subsequent denial of University service and facilities.
  • No service or sale of alcohol to persons who are intoxicated or disorderly will be allowed.

Tailgate Parties:

In conjunction with The University of Montana home football games, tailgate parties in the University’s parking lots and fields near Washington-Grizzly Stadium are permitted.

The Following Restrictions Apply:

  • Alcohol service may begin no earlier than two hours prior to kick-off.
  • Alcohol service and consumption is prohibited after half-time.
  • Tailgate parties are to be private parties only.  Individual(s) hosting the party who fail to adhere to this requirement will be subject to possible sanctions by UM Intercollegiate Athletics and the Missoula County Health Department.
  • Tailgate party hosts must monitor service of alcohol and may not serve alcohol to minors (under age 21).  Unattended alcohol will be confiscated.
  • Tailgate parties held in the Kirkland Memorial Grove, Riverbowl South, Campus Drive, Van Buren Street, 5th and 6th Streets must have a tailgate/parking permit purchased through the Office of Events Coordinator, Internal Operations Office (406) 243-2233.  A fee is assessed for tailgate and RV permits. The fee is intended to cover normal setup and cleanup activities.  However, any significant damages to the grounds, sprinkling systems, lighting systems, or trees will be repaired by Facilities Services and the cost will be the responsibility of the tailgate permit holder.
  • Small private tailgate parties (20 people or fewer) may be held, without a tailgate permit, in University parking lots and contiguous grassy areas in the immediate vicinity of Washington Grizzly Stadium only, to wit: lots A, F, L, M, M-1, N, P, R, T, U, V, W, Y, and Z.
  • No organization, business or individual, except the Grizzly Scholarship Association, may sell or offer for public consumption, beer or other alcoholic beverages on campus in conjunction with home football games.
  • No organization, business, or individual may offer on campus any food or nonalcoholic beverages for public consumption or for sale (including “donations”) in conjunction with The University of Montana home football games without prior written approval of the Athletic Director or designee.
  • Groups holding tailgate parties are responsible for providing their own designated drivers.
  • Individuals, groups, and organizations holding or participating in tailgate parties are responsible for their own conduct and are expected to respect the rights of others and the entire University community.
  • At its discretion, the University may terminate tailgate parties, or take other appropriate action against individuals, groups, or organizations whose conduct at tailgate parties is irresponsible, unreasonable, or inconsistent with University policies and regulations, ordinances or laws.

Residence Halls and University Villages:

Residence halls, University Villages, and Lewis and Clark Village policies permit the use and possession of alcoholic beverages by occupants of legal age.  Consumption must take place in the privacy of a student’s residence hall room or Village unit.  Alcoholic beverages may not be consumed in hallways, lounges, utility rooms, or other public areas. 

  • Residence hall and Village social funds may not be used to purchase alcoholic beverages.
  • Residence hall and Village sponsored functions involving alcoholic beverages shall adhere to the University’s alcohol risk management guidelines (See below).
  • Keggers and parties involving large amounts of alcoholic beverages are prohibited in residence hall rooms and individual Village units.

Greek Fraternal Organizations:

The possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages at men’s and women’s fraternity houses and functions must conform to policies established by the Board of Regents and The University of Montana; The University of Montana Men’s and Women’s Fraternities Relationship Statement, All - Greek Alcohol Agreement, their national chapters, local ordinances, and state and federal laws. 

  • With limited exceptions, as defined in the All - Greek Alcohol Agreement, consumption of alcoholic beverages in the common areas of fraternity residences is prohibited.
  • Members of legal drinking age may store and consume alcoholic beverages in the privacy of their own rooms.
  • At any event where alcohol is served, trained alcohol servers must be used to ensure that alcoholic beverages are not accessible or served to anyone under the legal drinking age, or to anyone who appears to be intoxicated, regardless of age. Contact UM Catering Services (243-4899) for scheduling of trained alcohol servers.
  • The sale or any indirect means of collecting money to pay for alcoholic beverages is prohibited unless a licensed vendor caters the event.  Contact University Catering Services @ 243-4899 to arrange for the UM-contracted licensed alcohol vendor.
  • No Greek fraternal organization shall serve or permit the use, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages at recruitment functions.
  • Chapters must adhere to national policies and the Men’s and Women’s Fraternities Relationship Statement regarding policies for purchasing alcoholic beverages with chapter funds.
  • Each chapter shall adhere to the University’s alcohol risk management guidelines. (See below)

University-Recognized Clubs, Organizations and Campus Events:

Clubs or Organizations that are “University-Recognized” must have a faculty advisor.

University clubs, organizations, and campus events include, but are not limited to, sport groups, academic honoraries, athletic teams, ROTC, service organizations, sponsored parties, tailgate parties, dances, picnics, banquets, field trips, sponsored recreational events, and social functions. 

Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages by University clubs, organizations, and campus events, must conform to local ordinances, state and federal laws, and policies established by the Board of Regents and The University of Montana.

  • All events, except for tailgate parties, held on University property that involve the service of alcoholic beverages must be scheduled with University Catering Services.
  • The sale of alcoholic beverages or any indirect means of collecting money to pay for alcoholic beverages is prohibited unless a licensed vendor caters the event. Contact University Catering Services @ 243-4899 to arrange for the UM-contracted licensed alcohol vendor.
  • University Catering Services or a licensed vendor must be used for all events involving service of donated alcohol.  University Catering Services will charge appropriate fees for the service of donated alcohol.
  • Club or organizational funds may not be used to buy alcoholic beverages.  Each club or organization shall adhere to the University’s alcohol risk management guidelines.
  • Violations of University alcohol regulations are also violations of The University of Montana Student Conduct Code.  Violators are subject to disciplinary action pursuant to the Code.  The University, including ASUM, may deny privileges to a student organization or impose other sanctions for alcohol violations.

Off-Campus Use of Alcoholic Beverages by University-Recognized Student Organizations:

Student officers or officials of University-recognized student organizations must meet with the organization’s faculty advisor to ensure the organization’s risk management plan adheres to University alcohol policies and risk management guidelines.

A University-recognized student organization that sponsors any gathering, meeting or other activity off-campus that involves alcoholic beverages must meet the same requirements that apply to on campus events, as well as the following:

  • All alcohol beverages served at events off University property must be served by a licensed alcohol vendor or University Catering. 
  • The service of donated alcohol at UM-sponsored events off University property is prohibited unless served by a licensed alcohol vendor, in the case of alcohol sales, or by trained servers. 
  • Students who organize and participate in this type of an event assume the responsibility for serving alcohol and monitoring its use in accordance with local ordinances, state and federal laws, and Board of Regents and University of Montana policies.
  • University-recognized student organizations may not apply for a special permit from the State of Montana Liquor Division.
  • Violations of University alcohol regulations are also violations of The University of Montana Student Conduct Code.  Violators are subject to disciplinary action pursuant to the Code.  The University, including ASUM, may deny privileges to a student organization or impose other sanctions for alcohol violations.

Advertising and Promotion Involving Alcohol or Tobacco:

This policy governs alcohol or tobacco product sponsorship and/or advertising for University events planned by University departments or officially recognized University groups and organizations. This policy applies to all such on campus and off-campus event advertising and promotion in whatever format, including books, brochures, posters, programs, directories, newspapers, signs, radio and television, video and audiotape, and electronic computer generated communications.  Signs include those at athletic facilities and other campus locations and on campus vehicles.

The University recognizes the correlation between the misuse of alcohol or the use of tobacco and a variety of academic, social, or health-related consequences.  Although the University does not stand in loco parentis to its students, it accepts responsibility for advocating and upholding the virtues of community, safety, harm reduction, and social responsibility.

For any University-related event or activity, The University of Montana will not:

  • Use beer, wine, liquor, or tobacco products (name, trademark, or logo) in advertisements and promotions for, or as sponsors of, any University event or activity regardless of location, unless approved by the President of the University or the president’s designee;
  • Use any University logo, trademark, or name in conjunction with alcoholic beverage or tobacco products or symbols;
  • Make alcohol or tobacco the focus of any University event, or use availability of beer or other alcoholic beverages or tobacco to promote any University event;
  • Provide alcoholic beverage or tobacco products as awards or prizes to any person or organization participating in any University event or in any event on University property.

Non-University Events:

Subject to approval by the President of the University, events organized by non-University organizations on University premises may display the corporate names of alcohol and tobacco-related sponsors as long as the use of alcoholic beverage or tobacco products is not promoted and University trademarked logos are not used in conjunction with the event.

University trademarked logos may be used in conjunction with off-campus events involving alcohol or tobacco products if the event has multiple sponsors, does not promote the sale of those products, and is an event that benefits an issue important to the University. Each event will be judged on its own merits.

Off-Campus Events:

University trademarked logos may be used in conjunction with off-campus events involving alcohol or tobacco products only if the event has multiple sponsors, does not promote the sale of those products, and is an event that benefits an issue important to the University. Each event will be judged on its own merits and subject to approval by the President of the University or the President’s designee.

Exceptions to this policy shall be limited to the following:

  • University football game tailgate parties to the limited extent of permitting tailgate party participants to advertise the availability of alcoholic beverages to their guests who are 21 years of age or older.
  • Adams Center and University Center events to the limited extent of permitting either Center to advertise the availability of alcoholic beverages, if such beverages are otherwise permitted at an event, to participants who are 21 years of age or older.
  • Any other exception authorized in advance by the University President

Alcohol Risk Management Guidelines:

Risk management guidelines are intended to help safeguard the University community against potential harm and exposure to legal liability. Therefore, it is imperative that policies are consistently enforced and the following strategies be incorporated into planning and implementing events.

  • Alcohol-free events should be promoted. 
  • Alcoholic beverages must not be served to minors.  Adults risk criminal liability, and civil liability, when minors consume alcoholic beverages.
  • At social functions where alcoholic beverages are provided by the sponsoring organization, direct access shall be limited to designated servers and consumption permitted only within designated and monitored areas.
  • Drinking competitions are prohibited.  Activities promoting forced consumption of alcohol are not allowed and could subject those individuals providing alcohol to civil liability.
  • Service must be refused to anyone who appears to be intoxicated. 
  • Access to the event must be controlled.  A plan must be implemented for controlling and limiting the quantity of alcohol served. 
  • The Office of Public Safety must be informed prior to an on-campus event that involves the service of alcoholic beverages. 
  • Safe transportation to and from events should be encouraged and/or provided, including a designated driver program.
  • Alcohol consumption at tailgate parties may begin no earlier than two (2) hours before the scheduled start of the game, and may continue no later than the start of the second half of the game.
  • Alcohol may not be the focus of the event.  The amount of alcohol may not be used as an inducement to attend or participate in an event, and event promotional material may not make reference to the amount of alcohol available for consumption, such as number of beer kegs.
  • Event advertisements shall mention the availability of food and nonalcoholic beverages as prominently as alcohol.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not to be provided as free awards to individual students or campus groups.

For More Information:

Copies of the Montana University System and The University of Montana-Missoula alcohol policies are available from the Office of Residence Life, Office of Public Safety, and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Students can also contact Rhondie Voorhees, Dean of Students, at 022 University (Main) Hall, 243-6413, 243-5225 or rhondie.voorhees@umontana.edu.