Social Events and Gatherings
A. Event Requirements
The following policies and processes apply 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. Such gatherings may only take place in approved spaces.
Private Residences: All events with alcohol in private residences must be registered.
Event Registration: Event registration forms are available in the Office of Residential Life. Forms must be completed by noon on Thursday before the event. Forms submitted after this deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
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 event hours must reach out to Whitney Hogan to request an exception. When seeking an exception, students should reach out at least 2 weeks before the event date. Events outside of the Event Hours should in some way build campus community and exception requests 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. Such events will only be approved under unique and special circumstances.
B. Duties and Obligations of Hosts:
- Registered events must have at least 2 hosts present at all times.
- 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 Thursday at 4:00pm. Training takes place in the Dudley Coe sunroom.
- Hosts must register the event no later than noon on the Thursday before the event. (See below for guidance on the registration process).
- Advertising of parties or events, whether paper or electronic, may not depict the presence or promise of alcohol.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Events must stop by 1 a.m.
- Hosts must ensure common areas are clean and restored to their original appearance following a social event.
- Registration Process: To register an event students must stop by the Office of Residential Life to fill out an event registration form in person. Each host will need to sign the form and needs to have attended host training for the 2022-2023 academic year. Forms must be completed by noon on the Thursday before the event. Students are welcome to submit forms well in advance of this deadline. Before registering an event in a College House, students must have permission from the house officers/ house to host an event in their space. Before registering an event in Park Row Basement, students must have permission from RAs in Park Row to host an event in that space.
- 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.
- Registration Exception Form: Students interested in registering an event outside of the acceptable event hours of Friday and Saturday nights from 7:30 pm - 1:00 am must reach out to Whitney Hogan to request an exception. When seeking an exception, students should reach out at least 2 weeks before the event date. Events outside of the acceptable event hours should in some way build campus community and exception requests 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. Such events will only be approved under unique and special circumstances.
- 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, Harpswell 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ban on Alcohol as “Prizes.” Alcohol may not be used as a “prize” at any function.
- 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.
- 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.
- Only Bowdoin College student identification and/or an official Maine or other state identification will be accepted as verification of legal age.
- If, in the judgment of any Pub bartender, an individual appears intoxicated, service will be refused.
- 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.