Social Events and Gatherings

In light of the public health crisis posed by COVID-19, the events and gatherings may not be registered during the month of September. The policy regarding Alcohol and Other Substance Use and Abuse remains in effect.   

Students may gather within certain guidelines, subject to change depending on the CSS level. Prior to gathering, students must check the CSS and comply with the restrictions that correspond with the current campus status level.  

“Events” or "gatherings” are defined as five (5) or more students in one space, whether planned, casual, or spontaneous, in any space on campus, whether indoors or outside. This include parties, formally organized events, casual socializing, or activities. Permissible gatherings must comply with campus status levels, masking mandates, room or tent occupancy limits. 

Gatherings in private residential spaces are limited to 15 students. These limits are subject to change depending on guidance and/or mandates from state, federal, or local authorities regarding COVID-19. 

A. Event Requirements

The following policies and process applies after October 1st when larger social events, parties, and gatherings are permitted: 

Occupancy Limits: All gatherings must observe the occupancy limits of the specific space. Students may contact the Office of Residential Life for questions regarding occupancy limits.  

Large Events: Large events may only take place in the College Houses and Park Row must be registered. Events and gatherings in these spaces are limited to 50 students. Such gatherings may only take place in approved spaces.  

Private Residences: Events in private residences with 30 or more students expected to be in attendance must be registered. 

Online Event Registration: Online Event registration forms must be submitted to the Office of Residential Life by noon on the Thursday before the event. Forms submitted after this deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Event Registration Forms will be made available to all students on or before October 1, 2021.  
 
Event Hosts: All registered events are required to have an Event Host(s) (see below for Duties and Obligations Hosts). Hosts may face disciplinary action for Alcohol Policy violations that occur at parties they sponsor, and, under certain circumstances, may face criminal or civil proceedings. Individuals responsible for organizing or hosting an unregistered event may likewise be held responsible and liable for alcohol-related violations committed by their guests and face additional sanctions for failing to register the event. 

Hosts may call Bowdoin College Security for assistance with any alcohol violations or difficult situations that may arise during an event. 

Alcohol Compliance: All events must comply with Maine state and the policy regarding Alcohol and Other Substances Use and Abuse. Events, hosts, and attendees must also comply with Bowdoin’s policies, including Alcohol and Other Substances Use and Abuse. No events with alcohol or other drugs are permitted in First-Year residence halls or substance-free spaces. 

All Senior Week events with alcohol must be registered. Please see the On-Campus Noise policy. 

Event Hours: Students may only host events with alcohol on Friday and Saturday nights while classes are in session. Events are limited to 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Events involving alcohol are not permitted during final exam and reading periods unless by special permission.  

Students interested in registering an event outside of the permitted, must submit an Application for Registration Exception Form that can be picked up at the Office of Residential Life or downloaded here. For a description of the Registration Exception process. Such events will only be approved under unique and special circumstances. 

Event Application Forms: Forms are due at least one week in advance of the proposed event.  Events outside the Event Hours should in some way build campus community and applications must include both a compelling rationale and sufficient assurance that the proposed event would not compromise the assumed academic priorities of individuals involved in or otherwise affected by the event. 

B. Duties and Obligations of Hosts:

  1. Registered events must have at least 2 hosts present at all times.  
  2. All hosts must complete in-person Event Host training with the Associate Director of Residential Education or their designee. This training is offered weekly on Tuesday at 8:30pm. Training takes place in Main Lounge of Moulton Union.  
  3. Hosts must register the event no later than noon on the Thursday before the event. (See below for guidance on the registration process). 
  4. Advertising of parties or events, whether paper or electronic, may not depict the presence or promise of alcohol. 
  5. Hosts of events cannot charge admission that directly or indirectly allows or signifies access to alcohol, nor can money be solicited or collected from guests at any time during the event for the purchase of alcohol. It is illegal to sell liquor in Maine without a license. 
  6. Common sources of alcohol (including, but not limited to punch bowls, kegs, etc.) are not permitted without the permission of the Director of Residential Life or their designee. 
  7. Non-alcoholic beverages must be available in quantity appropriate to the number of guests at the event. Non-alcoholic beverages must be visible, readily accessible, and sufficiently available throughout the party or event. 
  8. Event hosts are trained to recognize the signs of intoxication, pre-alcohol poisoning and alcohol poisoning. They are expected to contact Security if they are concerned about an individual’s health, safety, or behavior. 
  9. Hosts for College House events and events in Park Row basement must meet with Security to conduct a pre-party check to ensure that the event complies with the Alcohol Policy, fire code regulations, noise ordinances, and the details stipulated on the party registration form. 
  10. Security reserves the right to visit registered events at any point in time during the event. Hosts must allow Security into the event space to conduct party checks as necessary. 
  11. Events must stop by 1 a.m. 
  12. Hosts must ensure common areas are clean and restored to their original appearance following a social event.  

 C. Registration 

  1. Registration Process: THE REGISTRATION PROCESS WILL BE OPEN ON OCTOBER 1, 2021 AND THIS SECTION WILL BE UPDATED.  
  2. No Registration: Small, spontaneous gatherings without alcohol may be held in residence halls, private rooms, or apartments without requiring registration. Please be courteous and respectful of other residents sharing the space. Such gatherings are, however, subject to all other rules regarding alcohol use described in this policy. 
  3. Registration Exception Form: Students interested in registering an event outside of the acceptable event hours of Friday and Saturday nights from 7:30 p.m. – 1 a.m., must submit an Application for Registration Exception Form. Students can obtain Special Event Application Forms in the Office of Residential Life in the Dudley Coe building or downloaded here. These forms are due one week prior to the proposed event. In addition to fulfilling all duties and obligations described above, hosts must also provide both a compelling rationale and substantive assurance that the proposed event would not compromise the assumed academic priorities of individuals involved in or otherwise affected by the event. 
  4. Outdoor Event Spaces: Several outdoor spaces on campus serve as approved event hosting locations. These spaces are subject to change but currently include Brunswick Quad, Ladd House Patio, Harspwell Quad, and Osher Quad. Outdoor events may be registered in one of the above locations only twice per semester. Two outdoor events may not happen simultaneously. Outdoor events will be carefully managed in coordination with the Office of Residential Life, and there will be a one keg (or keg equivalent) cap at all outdoor events which may only be served by a professional bartender operating under a Maine liquor license. Students interested in hosting an outdoor event, must submit a Special Event Application Form. Students can obtain Special Event Application Forms in the Office of Residential Life in the Dudley Coe building. These forms are due one week prior to the proposed event. Prior to the proposed event, students interested in hosting an outdoor event must also meet with the Director of Residential Life, or their designee, who will provide instructions governing the event. 
D. Additional Requirements: In addition to the above, the following is required of all parties: 
  1. No Hard Liquor. No student, regardless of age, may possess hard liquor on Bowdoin College property, including in residences or in common spaces. Any hard liquor found on campus by Security will be confiscated. Generally, this excludes beer, malt beverages, wine, and hard cider.  
  2. Drinking Games Not Permitted. Drinking games, or other activities that encourage the rapid ingestion of alcohol, are not permitted. Paraphernalia identified as having been used in a drinking game, including tables, may be confiscated by Security and will become property of the College. 
  3. Adherence to Fire Safety Codes. Due to fire safety ordinances, the total number in attendance at a party or social event must not exceed the legal capacity of the facility. Fire capacity information is available on the party registration form. 
  4. Valid ID Required. Everyone attending a party or social function where alcohol is served must carry valid identification that verifies their date of birth. Bowdoin students must also carry College ID. This is important for the individuals involved and for the protection of the event’s hosts. 
  5. Ban on Alcohol as “Prizes.” Alcohol may not be used as a “prize” at any function. 
E. On-Campus Pub  
  1. Jack Magee’s Pub is an officially licensed College establishment where beer and wine are sold to individuals who are twenty-one (21) years of age or older and is subject to the same state laws that govern commercial establishments in Maine. No one may bring in or remove any alcohol. 
  2. When Pub managers or bartenders request appropriate documentation of proof of age and it is not supplied, Pub personnel will refuse any sale of alcoholic beverages. 
  3. Only Bowdoin College student identification and/or an official Maine or other state identification will be accepted as verification of legal age. 
  4. If, in the judgment of any Pub bartender, an individual appears intoxicated, service will be refused. 
  5. Should the need arise, Bowdoin Security may be called for assistance. Instances of misbehavior or violations of College policies or State law by Bowdoin students may be reported to the Office of the Dean of Students for possible disciplinary action.