Alcohol Policy

Since it is a Jesuit and Catholic university, Fordham seeks to educate the whole person. Therefore, it provides its students with a value-laden curriculum that challenges them both to stretch themselves intellectually and to develop the capacity for mature moral judgment. We are not content, however, merely to challenge our students in the classroom. Far from it. Realizing that much of their education (perhaps even the majority of it) takes place outside of the classroom, we seek to provide them with a supportive campus environment that will enable them to grow into the full possession of the many talents that they have been given. Since we understand the role that out-of-class activities play in the spiritual, intellectual, moral and social development of our students, the Fordham community has for years been concerned with the adverse effects that alcohol has on the lives—and on the academic performance— of our students. In order to confront the challenges that substance abuse poses to the University’s educational mission, Fordham will continue to offer counseling services and medical referrals to students who present themselves for help. At the same time, the University will continue to challenge its students to lead healthy lives and to develop those mature patterns of behavior that will enable them to become men and women of conscience, competence, compassion and commitment to the cause of the human family.

-Joseph M. McShane, SJ President, Fordham University/p>

The purpose of this policy is to establish an environment in which the legal and responsible use of alcohol is the norm, and in which its illegal use and abuse are not tolerated. This occurs through comprehensive alcohol prevention initiatives, which include education, early intervention, environmental management, harm reduction, and assessment strategies.

Alcohol Prevention
Fordham University offers comprehensive substance abuse prevention that begins at New Student Orientation and continues throughout the year. Prevention initiatives include Residential Life floor meetings and Substance Abuse and Prevention Program and Other Drug Education Core Programming for all first year students, which offer information on the use and abuse of alcohol, and on the law and University policies. New York State Laws on alcohol are published in this handbook. Examples of educational strategies include intensive student leader trainings regarding the applicable laws and University policies, awareness campaigns such as National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week and Alcohol Screening Day. The University’s early intervention programs for students identified as at risk of developing an alcohol or addiction disorder are offered through Substance Abuse Prevention, Alcohol and other Drug Education, University Health Services, and Counseling and Psychological Services.

Students who demonstrate a need for more individualized care, or who repeatedly violate the alcohol policy, may be required to participate in an educational screening and brief intervention provided by the Prevention and Support Program at Rose Hill or the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Education at Lincoln Center. Members of the University community who wish to discuss in confidence matters related to substance abuse are encouraged to contact University Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS). CPS staff members are available as psychologists, consultants, and resource persons. For more information on resources and referral information, please refer to the Drug Free Campus Guidelines.

University Policy
Although the University’s primary emphasis in this area is prevention, it also recognizes its responsibility to implement and enforce alcohol regulations that are consistent with New York State laws and address the issues of personal health and safety for the community.

This policy, as part of Fordham’s overall alcohol prevention efforts, aims to increase awareness of the primary and secondary impact alcohol abuse can create, promote safety at social events, and encourage the responsible use of alcohol when permitted.

University policy includes but is not limited to the following provisions, whether they occur on or off campus:

  • No person under the age of twenty-one may possess, consume, or be in the presence of alcohol (except in officially designated spaces).
  • Fordham University prohibits inappropriate behavior that is a direct result of alcohol consumption. Any student who is observed to be intoxicated may have their conduct documented and met with through our Student Conduct process. Upon the outcome of that meeting, the student may be found in violation of the alcohol policy.
  • The University prohibits the possession of items used for common distribution of alcohol on leased or owned university property. Such items include, but are not limited to, kegs and party balls.
  • Violation of the alcohol policy includes games involving drinking and rapid consumption techniques. It also includes unauthorized games and techniques not involving alcohol, and the use of devices (e.g. funnels, shot glasses, beer pong tables, etc.) which, by their very nature, promote abusive alcohol consumption. The University prohibits organizing and/or participating in activities that encourage excessive drinking (e.g. beer pong, drinking games or contests, etc.). Charging a fee when hosting parties is strictly prohibited. Possession of bars, bar signs, shot glasses and/or empty alcohol containers, even for decorative purposes, is also prohibited.
  • The University prohibits the possession and consumption of alcohol within public areas and administrative and academic buildings, without permission from the authorized University official, which for students and student groups is the Dean of Students or his or her designated representative. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the lounges, hallways, or any other public areas of the Residence Halls. 
  • It is prohibited for an underage student to be in the presence of any other person legally or illegally possessing, consuming or selling alcoholic beverages, except when authorized at a registered event.
  • It is prohibited for anyone over the age of twenty-one to consume/possess alcoholic beverages in the presence of individuals under the age of twenty one, except when authorized at a registered event.
  • Students are not permitted to provide alcohol to any person who is underage. For purposes of this regulation, “provide” means to sell, lend, give, make available, exchange, barter or furnish in any way. The student social host policy will apply if alcohol is available in the room. Thus, the host is also responsible for misconduct if they passively allow prohibited alcohol use to occur within their room. 
  • Individuals who are twenty-one years of age or older may possess and consume beverages containing alcohol in their rooms in University residential units (refer for specific policies to the Office of Residential Life handbook) or at officially-sponsored events. However, conduct resulting from the consumption of alcohol that is in any way illegal or in violation of any other policy is prohibited.
  • Students are not permitted to possess or produce false identification or identification that alters one’s age.
  • Fordham University expects all students to understand the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and to abide by state law. Students who procure alcoholic beverages for, or who serve alcoholic beverages to underage persons, who falsify documents, or who contribute in any way to illegal alcohol consumption, are not conducting themselves in a responsible manner. Further, a student who contributes in any way, however minor, to the intoxication of another person may be held personally liable for any injury or damage the intoxicated person causes or in which he or she becomes involved. For more information regarding New York State General Obligations Law, please refer to the Drug Free Campus Guidelines section of the Student Handbook.

State Laws
A Fordham University education includes due respect for the laws of the State of New York. The University cannot condone or remain neutral to the breach of such laws. Each student must assume full personal responsibility for his or her compliance with all state laws, including, but not limited to, the New York State Alcoholic Beverage Control Law and the New York State General Obligations Law (portions of which are reproduced in the Drug Free Campus Guidelines section in this handbook), and with the University policy on alcohol which, under certain circumstances, may be more restrictive than state law.


Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the student cafeterias of the University. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved in advance by the Dean of Students or designate and Dining Services and abide by the registration procedures outlined below, if appropriate.

Residence Halls
Private Rooms in the Residence Halls
The University recognizes that students living in the residence halls are adults and that each student is individually responsible for compliance with the laws of the State of New York regarding the possession, sale, and distribution of alcoholic beverages. Each student is also responsible for compliance with University policy which, under certain circumstances, may be more restrictive than state law.

In the residence halls, University policy has been developed to foster an environment that promotes the intellectual, moral and religious development of its students. Individuals of legal drinking age may possess and/or consume alcohol in their rooms/suites, provided all roommates/suitemates, present or absent, are of legal drinking age. However, the possession and/or consumption of alcohol by any students, regardless of age, in freshman halls is prohibited. University disciplinary action may be taken should drinking in private rooms become a public event, i.e., because of noise, number of people, or intoxication. Large amounts of alcohol are not allowed in private rooms and excessive amounts of alcohol may be confiscated at the discretion of the residence hall staff. For additional guidelines on limits to alcohol allowed in private rooms, please see the Office of Residential Life Handbook.

Lounges and Other Public Areas of the Residence Halls
Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the lounges and other public areas of the residence halls except under the following two circumstances:

  1. Alcoholic beverages may be allowed at officially-approved residence hall parties held in common areas of residence halls whose populations are predominantly over the legal drinking age provided the party is limited to those who are of legal drinking age. A member of the residence hall staff and the public safety staff must always be present at such parties.
  2. Alcoholic beverages may be allowed at planned dance parties or dinners held in common areas of residence halls whose populations are predominantly over the legal drinking age. Food service bartenders and drink tickets are required at such events and alcoholic beverages may be served to persons of legal drinking age with proper identification. Persons at such events who are not of legal drinking age are not permitted to possess or consume alcoholic beverages.

General Facilities and Premises
Sponsors of events which are held on other. University premises at which alcoholic beverages are served must first obtain approval from the authorized University official, complete and then secure the registration process outlined below, and abide by the regulations for registered events. Permission from the Dean of Student’s Office is required for alcoholic beverages to be served in any public areas of the campus. The possession/consumption of alcohol in the public areas of the campus is prohibited, with the exception of officially registered events. University-sponsored events for trustees, alumni, parents, and faculty are exempt from the regulations below, except number 8.

Registered Events
Social events sponsored by student groups, organizations, or clubs where alcohol is sold/served must be registered with the Office for Student Involvement. The process of registering social events is intended to create thought in the planning process. The registration process also offers an opportunity for registrants to receive important information such as copies of the University alcohol policy and state law, fact sheets on alcohol, and event planning recommendations.

Regulations for Registered Events:

  1. Events (as described above) must be registered in the Office for Student Involvement no less than one month before they are to be held and before publicity is distributed.
  2. There is a responsibility shared by all University students for individual behavior. Student groups, organizations, or clubs which sponsor social events are also responsible for behavior at the events.
  3. Signs clearly stating state law pertaining to alcohol consumption must be conspicuously evident at the event.
  4. Student groups, organizations, or clubs which sponsor an event where alcohol is sold/served may not use University funds including student activities monies to purchase or provide by any means alcoholic beverages for the event.
  5. Neither direct nor implied reference to the intended availability of alcoholic beverages may be made in any publicity in connection with the activity.
  6. Non-alcoholic beverages must also be prominently evident and equally available as alcoholic beverages at any event. Additionally, alcoholic beverages may not be made available at any event unless food is also provided.
  7. Alcoholic beverages may not be removed from the designated area of the event.
  8. Whenever alcoholic beverages are to be served at an event, the sponsoring group must hire a Food Service bartender whose responsibility is to serve alcoholic beverages to persons who demonstrate that they are 21 years of age or older. Event participants may not serve themselves or others alcoholic beverages.
  9. Alcoholic beverages will only be served to persons 21 years of age or older who have proper identification.
  10. Only one alcoholic beverage at a time may be served to each individual attending the event.
  11. Sponsoring organizations will be responsible for providing Department of Public Safety staff to ensure that guests conduct themselves properly and to assist with crowd control. One Department of Public Safety guard per 50 guests is recommended. A minimum of 3 guards are required at events at which alcohol will be served. A minimum of 2 guards are required at dances where alcohol will not be served. The group sponsoring the event must pay all contract guard-costs.
  12. Sponsoring groups must see to it that guests conduct themselves properly.
  13. Sponsors must ensure that the serving of alcoholic beverages ceases at least one-half hour prior to the scheduled end of the registered activity.

Penalties for violations of the above regulations pertaining to Registered Events include:

  • Fines up to $200
  • University disciplinary action
  • Loss, curtailment, or elimination of social privileges
  • Loss of event registration on campus