Alcoholic Beverage Use on Campus

Definition:The possession, consumption or sale of alcoholic beverages on California State University San Marcos property is prohibited unless approved by the President of the campus or his/her designee. Consumable alcohol allowed on campus includes beer, wine and, in certain situations, distilled spirits. The President has delegated approval authority for the consumption and/or sale of alcoholic beverages to the Associate Vice President, Community Engagement. California State University San Marcos is committed to an alcohol policy that promotes responsible approaches and considerations of alcohol use through education, counseling, support, and regulation enforcement. The University reserves the right to grant approval or disapproval of alcohol use on any University property. Written approval from the campus President or designee is required prior to the use of alcohol on University property.
Authority:This policy is issued pursuant to the laws of the State of California, and the campus President including: California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Sections 41301 - 41304, 42350; California Education Code Sections 89030, 89031; California Business and Pro
Scope:This policy includes any cultural, social or educational event on University property. University property includes: leased properties, student housing, and any other property controlled or administered by or on behalf of the University. Any outside organization contracting with the University for use of its facilities are also subject to the terms of this policy. This policy supersedes the revised campus alcohol policy of January 24, 2000.
Responsible Division:Office of the President
Approval Date:11/03/2009
Implementation Date:11/03/2009
Originally Implemented:01/01/1993
Signature Page/PDF:View Signatures for Alcoholic Beverage Use on Campus Policy


Alcohol Approval Form



The purpose of these regulations is to provide basic guidelines for the sale, serving, supply and consumption of alcoholic beverages on University property. Alcoholic beverages may be approved for serving as part of a cultural, social or educational event. In addition, alcoholic beverages may be consumed in University-owned or operated student residences to the extent that such consumption is not disruptive, is legal and adheres to all governing laws and regulations of the State of California, the University, and the student housing managing authority.


A. "Alcoholic beverage" includes wine, beer, distilled spirits and every liquid or solid containing wine, beer or distilled spirits and which contains any percentage of alcohol.

B. The term "appropriate Vice President" refers to the Vice President of the department, college, division or auxiliary sponsoring the event.

C. The term "approving/denying official" refers to any person in the verification routing process for the alcohol approval form.

D. The term "responsible host(s)" refers to any person responsible for the conduct of the event and committed to be present during the entire period in which the alcohol is consumed. Student events require the assignment of a student responsible host as identified by Student Life and Leadership. Campus sponsored events require a campus faculty/staff/MPP responsible host. Outside organizations must provide their own responsible host. (Note: ABC uses the term "social host".)

E. The term "sale" means the exchanging of money, services or any consideration, either directly or indirectly, for alcohol. The term "sale" also includes the imposition of an admission charge to, or any other charge for the event where alcoholic beverages will be served exclusively to those who pay for such a charge.

F. The term "University-sponsored" means any cultural, social or educational event sponsored by registered student organizations, faculty, staff or administrators on University property.

G. An "outside organization" is any organization that is not legally affiliated with the university.

H. The term "co-sponsored" means sponsored jointly by an outside organization and registered student organizations, faculty, staff, administrators or auxiliaries on University property.

I. "University property" means the geographic location of the campus and its buildings or any property leased, controlled or administered by or on behalf of the University.

J. "Consumption" means the drinking of beverages or eating of solids with any amount of alcohol. On campus consumption shall be restricted to persons at least 21 years of age.

K. "Closed Event" means a campus event meeting all The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) criteria for not requiring an ABC Special Daily License to sell/serve alcohol on campus.

L. "Open Event" means a campus event requiring an ABC Special Daily License to sell/serve alcohol on campus. An "Open Event" is any event not meeting all ABC criteria for a "Closed Event" and/or including the general public.

M. "ABC Catering Event Permit" means a permit that ABC requires the caterer to obtain to sell alcohol on campus and away from their usual place of business. This is in addition to the caterer's existing "On-Sale General License. This permit allows the caterer to sell and serve alcohol at an on-campus "Open Event". The purchase of alcohol is restricted to the non-profit organization, UARSC. The caterer cannot provide the alcohol for the event.

N. "ABC Special Daily License" means a short-term license that ABC agency requires the campus to obtain to sell/serve alcohol at "open events". The license can only be issued to a non-profit organization. The campus' non-profit representative is UARSC.

O. "ABC On-Sale General License" means a long-term license that the ABC issues to a business that can serve or sell alcohol at their usual place of business. A UARSC approved caterer with the appropriate license(s) to serve and sell alcohol on campus will also possess an "On-Sale General License".

P. The "event organizer" is the client, either internal or external, who is initiating the event.


Consumption, possession or storage of alcoholic beverages by any resident under the age of 21 is prohibited. No alcohol is permitted outside the privacy of individual units. Kegs and other bulk containers are not permitted. Misuse of alcoholic beverages and/or inappropriate or illegal behavior will result in disciplinary action, possible removal from housing and/or arrest by the police. Additional specific policies and procedures governing alcohol use in University affiliated housing will be set by the housing management staff in consultation with the Dean of Students. Such policies and procedures will be designed to enforce campus, state and federal policies and laws and promote student safety, responsibility, and the development of lifelong decision-making skills with regard to alcohol use and overall wellness.


An event organizer must obtain approval to serve or sell alcohol at an event on campus. As with all food service operations on campus, an event organizer, in collaboration with Event and Conference Services (ECS) and the Clarke Field House/University Student Union (CFH/USU), is responsible for obtaining a caterer approved by UARSC with the proper licenses, permits and insurance to serve, supply or sell such alcoholic beverages. Sales or consumption of alcoholic beverages may include beer, wine or, in certain circumstances, distilled spirits

UARSC will verify that the selected caterer maintains the proper training, licenses, permits and insurance which give the authority to serve, supply and/or sell alcoholic beverages on campus. UARSC will also verify that the selected caterer will adhere to all laws applicable to the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus. The event organizer will provide UARSC with the assigned responsible host.

A. Alcohol Approval Process for University Sponsored Events

  1. Not less than eight (8) weeks prior to the prospective event, the event organizer must submit the Request for Facility Use (RFU) and Alcohol Approval forms to the appropriate Vice President for consideration and recommendation signatures. These signatures represent acknowledgement and support of the event.
    a. Recommendation Signature Routing:
    Sponsoring College/Department (MPP Signature), or Director, Student Life & Leadership (for Student Organizations), or Executive Director, Associated Students, Inc. (for ASI Events) or Outside Organization Representative.
    Appropriate Vice President (for University Sponsored Events), or Associate Vice President, Community Engagement (for Outside Organizations), or Vice President for Student Affairs (for Associated Students, Inc.) - Vice Presidents should refer to Appendix A for Decision-Making Considerations before signing.
  2. Not less than six (6) weeks prior to the prospective event, the event organizer must submit the completed Request for Facility Use and Alcohol Approval Request forms to the - ECS or CFH/USU (as appropriate) for remaining signature routing. These signatures represent verification that the event meets the campus requirements to serve, sell, and supply alcohol and provides final alcohol approval.
    a. Verification Signature Routing:
    Director (ECS or CFH/USU)
    University Police Designee
    CSU San Marcos UARSC Designee
    b. Final Approval Signature Routing:

    Final Approval by Associate Vice President, Community Engagement
  3. Upon final approval by the Associate Vice President, Community Engagement, acting as the President's Designee, the request is returned to ECS or CFH/USU for further review and processing as indicated by the Scheduling University Facilities Policy for Non- Instructional Events.
  4. If the request for alcohol use is approved, ECS or CFH/USU will initiate and coordinate the ABC license application with UARSC. If an ABC Special Daily License is required for the event, the event organizer will provide UARSC with a cashier's check for the appropriate license fee.
  5. If the request for use of alcoholic beverages is not recommended or approved, the denying official must indicate the reason for denying the request on the Alcohol Approval Request (AAR) form and return the AAR to ECS or CFH/USU. ECS or CFH/USU will notify the event organizer of the final status of their request to include alcohol at their proposed event.
  6. It is the event organizer's responsibility to notify ECS or CFH/USU if they choose to cancel the event based upon the denial of the request to include alcohol at their proposed event. Failure to provide such cancellation notice may result in the requestor's liability for any resulting costs to the campus or its departments.

B. Alcohol Approval Process for Outside Organizations

  1. Alcohol approval for outside organizations is limited to "Closed Events" as defined by ABC.
  2. Outside organizations must submit the completed RFU and Alcohol Approval Request forms to ECS or CFH/USU. If recommended, ECS or CFH/USU will approve the RFU. The alcohol request will be forwarded as described for University sponsored events.
  3. If the request for alcohol use is approved, the outside organization must use a UARSC approved caterer with appropriate license/permits/training.

C. Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) License Requirements

  1. Closed Event - Campus events not requiring an ABC Special Daily License (Must Meet All Criteria)
    a. ABC defines a "closed event" as being not open to the general public and having a professional or personal relationship.
    No 1st come, 1st served or advertising permitted
    b. Must involve a "close cohesive group of people" that has an existing affiliation with each other.
    c. A "closed event" can include beer, wine and/or distilled spirits.
    d. Invitations are required - A complete guest list must be available at all times during the event. The event is subject to an ABC inspection.
    Qualifying invitations should be addressed as: Mr. & Mrs. Smith or Mr. Smith and Guest
    Additional attendees are not permitted (no "party crashers")

    e. No direct sales to sponsoring organization (i.e. Sale of alcohol or tickets in exchange for alcohol).
    Exception: UARSC approved caterers can provide no-host/cash bar services to guest attendees if the caterer possesses both On-Sale General and Catering Permits as verified by UARSC.
    f. At "closed events," only event organizer can provide voluntary gratuity to the caterer authorized to provide bar service. Guests cannot provide gratuity in order to avoid the interpretation that money is being exchanged for product.
    g. Event venue must be a location where alcohol is not usually served/sold (i.e. Campus Pub or other facility that possesses a permanent ABC license)
    h. The event requestor and/or UARSC can purchase or accept donations of beer, wine and/or distilled spirits directly from any local retailer of choice.
    i. A "closed event" cannot include fundraising or solicit for donations.
    j. If a "closed event" includes the use of a caterer supplying the alcohol for the event, the caterer must possess an "ABC Catering Event Permit" and an "ABC On-Sale General License". Permit and license status will be verified by UARSC.
    k. "Closed events" can include the use of hired or volunteer servers over the age of 21.
  2. Open Event - Campus events requiring an ABC Special Daily License


a. Open to the general public or other than a private party
b. No invitations required
c. An "open event" can only serve/sell beer and/or wine.
d. Include direct or indirect sales (sale of alcohol, tickets, tip jar). Because sales are allowed, guests are also able to provide voluntary gratuity.
e. ABC requires the non-profit organization (UARSC) to purchase the alcohol (beer and wine only) through wineries (wine growers), wholesalers or breweries. Alcohol cannot be purchased through local retailers, restaurants, etc.
f. Beer and wine donations can only be accepted by the non-profit organization (UARSC) and are limited to wineries (wine growers), wholesalers or breweries. At the conclusion of the event, any remaining alcohol belongs to the non-profit organization and cannot be distributed or consumed for private use (sealed or unsealed).
g. Approved caterers are limited to serving and/or selling alcohol at "open events". Caterers are not permitted to supply the beer or wine to the non-profit organization or event organizer for event use. The non-profit organization (UARSC) must purchase the alcohol from wineries (wine growers), wholesalers or breweries.
h. ABC requires that all beer and wine tasting events include multiple vendors to avoid a product monopoly by one vendor.

A. Individuals and/or groups sponsoring events where alcohol is served, agree to the following:

  1. To abide by University, state and federal regulations regarding alcohol use and distribution.
  2. A responsible host (full-time management employee/administrator, faculty member, student organization and/or outside organization representative) must assume responsibility for the conduct of the event and be present during the entire period in which the alcohol is consumed. RH must also abstain from all alcohol consumption.
  3. To ensure that any distribution of alcohol is handled by a caterer approved by UARSC.
  4. To ensure that any sale of alcohol is handled by a caterer approved by UARSC. The caterer must be licensed by the Alcoholic Beverage Control agency for alcohol sales and hold the appropriate liquor liability coverage and training.
  5. To ensure that the sale or distribution of alcohol to individuals under 21 years of age will not be permitted and that appropriate authorities hold oversight for this requirement.
  6. To provide non-alcoholic beverages in coordination with the University hospitality policy and procedure.
  7. To provide food (i.e. appetizers, snacks, meal, etc.), to all in attendance at the event.
  8. To accept responsibility for all damages incurred during the activity and to provide restitution for damages.
  9. To maintain behavior and activities appropriate to a University setting (i.e. adhering to all campus sanctioned policies).
  10. To provide personnel, or pay the cost for same, to clean up and restore the facility to its original condition immediately following the close of the event.
  11. To abide by the Lease of University Facilities for outside organizations and co-sponsorship.
  12. To provide a completed guest list to ECS or CFH/USU prior to event.

B. Responsible Hosts

  1. Student Organization Sponsored Events:
    Any student sponsored on-campus event with alcohol present must have Responsible Hosts (RH) who assists University Police in maintaining the safety of the event. Any student, regardless of age or class year, is eligible to be trained as a RH. Specific duties and responsibilities are outlined in the Responsible Host Training PowerPoint (available in the Office of Student Life and Leadership). The content of the training is subject to change and hosts will be notified of appropriate changes. The RH must abstain from alcohol consumption. One RH is required for every 50 people in attendance.
  2. Other Campus Sponsored Events or Outside Organizations:
    (RH) who assists University Police in maintaining the safety of the event.
    The RH must abstain from alcohol consumption. The Alcohol Beverage Control agency provides Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs (LEAD) training at no cost. The LEAD Program provides information for serving alcoholic beverages safely, responsibly and legally. Other RH training maybe substituted with approval by UARSC. One RH is required for every 50 people in attendance.


California State University San Marcos is committed to enforcing state and/or University regulations regarding the use of alcohol and other substances. The appropriate Vice President and University Police will monitor inappropriate behaviors that often arise from the misuse of alcohol and other drugs. Any behaviors that interfere with the academic process or disrupt campus activities will be subject to disciplinary sanctions as described in Section VII.


A. All groups (students, departments, colleges, divisions, auxiliaries and outside organizations) are subject to the Authorities provided in this policy.

B. Inappropriate conduct by students is subject to discipline as provided in Sections 41301 through 41304 of Title 5, California Code of Regulations and Executive Order 1006. Individual students found to be in violation of University policies and/or campus regulations are subject to the following University sanctions in accordance with relevant student policies and procedures set forth by the Office of the Dean of Students: warning, disciplinary probation, loss of privileges and exclusion from activities, suspension, dismissal, exclusion from areas of the campus, interim suspension, or other sanctions including educational intervention programs.

C. Recognized Student Organizations found to be in violation of University policies and/or campus regulations may be restricted from use of campus services and resources to support their organizational activities, and may be placed on probation or suspension.

D. Faculty, staff, and student employees are subject to the sanctions reflective of departmental/unit and/or campus policies.

E. Visitors or outside organizations found to be in violation of University policies and/or campus regulations are subject to sanctions appropriate under local, state and federal law. In addition, violators may be excluded from participation in campus events and/or further use of the campus.


No person shall consume or be in possession of any unsealed or open alcoholic beverage container in any public place or place open to the public, street, sidewalk, alley, highway, arcade, court or in any vehicle within five-hundred (500) feet of any off-sale licensed public premises within the city (Municipal Code 10.32.040).


CSUSM reserves the right to terminate any event that does not adhere to the above list of requirements. Further, the university may terminate any event that becomes disruptive or potentially disruptive to the instructional and business functions of the institution.

Alcohol Approval Form

Appendix A