To Request Permission to Serve Alcohol Click Here

Any units planning to serve alcohol at an event held inside an LSA Building must contact the LSA Facilities Office for written approval

Criteria for approval include:

  • The event is department or unit-sponsored
  • There is no sale of alcohol
  • There is no charge for attending the event
  • Advertising for the event does not mention alcohol
  • Non-alcoholic beverages are also being served
  • If alcohol is to be served at an event, a certified server must be used. Most caterers will be able to help you arrange to have one. Please see the information below regarding certified servers.
  • The event is by invitation only (not open to the public) — this includes email invitations, but excludes events for which you have posted notices or advertisements on doors or in hallways.
  • The public may not freely enter the space where the event is held (no hallways or atriums). On the occasions when an exception is made to this rule, a certified server must be used.

Please see Section V of the LSA Policy on Alcohol below.

Call LSA Facilities and Operations at 734.764.0323 for more information.

If the event is to be held outside on University grounds, contact the Office of the Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations at 734.764.3402.

Information about certified servers:

The Michigan Unions can do in house training for University employees who meet the server guidelines. Please contact Keith Soster ( or phone 734.936.0869) for more information about this training. Certification will be valid for three years following the training.

The Office of the General Counsel's alcohol Policy:


LS&A Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs

Introduction | Prevention | Assistance | Sanctions | Selling and Serving


This document, based on the Report of the LSA Faculty-Student Committee, stands adopted as the Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

In 1992-93, the Faculty-Student Committee of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA) examined the desirability of establishing a policy for LSA on the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs. With the cooperation of the University of Michigan Initiative on Alcohol and Other Drugs, the Committee heard from experts in the University community who spoke about the abuse of alcohol and drugs both as an American problem and as a College and University problem. The Committee listened, read pertinent literature, and discussed possible programs and policies that would address, in a constructive way, the problems it had come to understand better in the course of the year.

The Committee wanted to strike a balance between complacency and alarmism. It heard no evidence to suggest that the University or College had problems worse than the larger society. On the other hand, it found support for the conclusion that our University community's problems mirrored those of that larger society. The Committee concluded that it was neither reasonable nor responsible to ignore these problems and fail to articulate a coherent policy for LSA. No one insisted that the University ought to return to the days when it was part of a dry island east of Division Street where alcohol was forbidden by law. But all saw the need to change attitudes and habits that privilege consumption more than restraint.

Arguments for developing and publishing a policy are various and weighty. In its most pragmatic and self-interested form, the case for a policy aimed at preventing or controlling alcohol and other drug abuse points to the costs to the College of impaired performance by staff, students, and faculty. More altruistically, the harm done to colleagues and families might be reason enough to develop a program that suggested ways to change from a culture that unreflectively encourages the consumption of alcohol to one that consistently and naturally accommodates those who do not want to drink. The Committee heard disturbing testimony that undergraduates, graduate students, and new faculty are introduced to a social life in which the prestige of an event can be measured by the range and generosity of its alcoholic menu—a social life that has not found a way to make abstinence natural and acceptable. Finally, there is a well-documented link between alcohol and other drugs and a host of social problems, violence being one of them.

To cite but one example, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center at the University of Michigan estimates that 75% of sexual assaults on college campuses are associated with drugs, especially alcohol. There could hardly be a more persuasive argument that we have an obligation to develop a policy that deals effectively with the abuse of alcohol and other drugs—a policy that works to change the culture of the College toward one of greater awareness as well as prevention and assistance.

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In a review of the literature, the University's Task Force on Alcohol and Other Drugs identified several causes of inappropriate use of alcohol and other drugs. They are:

- normative behavior within a peer group and within a larger context;

- high availability;

- lack of desirable alternative activities;

- high stress;

- low self-esteem: isolation from others; and

- inadequate skills in decision-making or action taken, resulting in high vulnerability to peer pressure.

On the basis of this information, the Committee recommends the following activities as a basis for the LSA policy on the prevention of problems with alcohol and other drugs. To establish an environment that helps to prevent problems related to alcohol and other drugs, LSA will:

1. Widely disseminate this policy, or information about it, to departments, faculty, and students, and encourage the Initiative on Alcohol and Other Drugs to publish a one page poster highlighting key information and campus resources.

2. Follow University and building guidelines, rules and regulations, as well as state and federal laws regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs, and the serving, selling and advertising of alcohol.

3. Establish guidelines for those occasions when alcoholic beverages are served or sold.

4. Insure that when alcoholic beverages are served, non-alcoholic beverages will be as readily available as are the alcoholic beverages.

5. Encourage the dissemination of educational materials and the development of workshops on alcohol and other drug problems.

6. Designate contacts in each unit to be responsible for familiarity with policies and resources for assistance.

7. Identify and build awareness of factors that place faculty, staff or students at high risk for alcohol and other drug problems.

8. Encourage early identification of alcohol and other drug problems among faculty, staff and students in a manner that emphasizes direction, concern and assistance for all involved.

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A. Statement on Assistance

Early identification and assistance benefit the individual and the community. The offer to help and the willingness to accept it do not preclude sanctions or excuse students, faculty, or staff members from their obligations to LSA or their liability under relevant laws. Nevertheless, timely and effective assistance should be the primary goal of a humane and prudent strategy for limiting the damage of drug and alcohol abuse.

B. Education and Training

Determining whether an individual has a problem with alcohol or other drugs is often difficult and errors that underestimate or exaggerate can be harmful. That is why education and training are essential, particularly for chairs, directors, and key administrators.

At the same time, all members of the LSA community should be informed about issues related to alcohol and other drugs and their impact on academic life, and they should know about the University's resources for dealing with these problems. Students should be aware that counseling, workshops and written material for students are available from Counseling Services and University Health Services. Faculty and staff should know that the same range of services are available to them through The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FASAP).

C. Procedures for Providing Assistance

In addition to the resources named above (Counseling Services and University Health Services for students, the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program for faculty and staff), there are other sources of help outside of the University. These range from physicians and clergy to self-help groups and human resource agencies. Sometimes individuals who are aware of their problems with alcohol or other drugs find help on their own, with or without recourse to University resources. But some do not recognize their problems, and they can be helped if others do recognize them and know how to provide assistance.

Each department should designate either the department chair or a key staff administrator who will be responsible for familiarity with LSA and University policies on alcohol and other drugs as well as resources for assistance. The same administrators will also serve as the unit contact for faculty, staff and students wishing information on providing assistance, and they will fulfill their responsibilities in coordination with representatives of the LSA Dean's Office (the Associate Dean for Academic Appointments and the Assistant to the Dean for Budget). Procedures that maintain confidentiality should be developed for handling issues such as referrals for assessment and consultation, employment or academic status, and sanctions. Students should be made aware of departmental procedures available to them for referring faculty and staff to the chair and key staff administrator. These procedures must be consistent with Standard Practice Guide Policy 201.14 for faculty and staff, and with Student Affairs policies regarding students.

This is a policy of assistance, and the contact person should not be expected to "police" alcohol and other drug use in the department. Discretion and concern for all involved are essential at every stage.

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While the emphasis of this policy is on prevention and assistance for problems associated with alcohol and other drugs, sanctions are likely to be necessary in some situations.

A. Reasons for Consideration of Sanctions

Consideration of sanctions may be necessary when alcohol and other drug use are associated with problems such as poor work performance, poor attendance, destruction of property, injury to individuals, and unlawful possession, use, manufacture or distribution of alcohol and other drugs on University property or as part of University activities.

B. Determining Sanctions

To determine sanctions, the department designee (the chair, key administrator) will confer with the LSA Dean's office representative (Associate Dean for Academic Appointments, Assistant to the Dean for Budget). Working within the guidelines of any applicable University regulations (Regents' Bylaw 5.09, Standard Practice Guide 201.12, [and] appropriate collective bargaining agreements, and other applicable policies or procedures, for faculty and/or staff; "Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities" for students), these individuals can consider a range of sanctions in order to determine the best fit for each situation. Examples of sanctions include verbal or written warnings, a mandated rehabilitation program, probation, suspension, and termination. In each case there are likely to be different circumstances that are relevant for understanding the situation and determining the appropriate sanction.

C. Local, State and Federal Laws

All students, faculty and staff should be fully aware of University regulations and local, state and federal laws governing alcohol and other drugs. University officials refer individuals to appropriate legal authorities in certain situations for possible criminal prosecution. University employees should also become familiar with laws regarding reporting requirements for those working in any capacity under a federal grant or contract.

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A. Introduction

Decisions regarding selling and serving alcohol at LSA events should incorporate principles of safety and health in order to reduce risk for both attendees and for the College.

Faculty and staff are urged to exercise a high degree of awareness of the role of modeling safe and healthy norms with regard to alcohol.

It should go without saying that every faculty and staff member who chooses not to drink alcoholic beverages should feel comfortable, included, and accepted by colleagues in all formal and informal University business.

B. Guidelines for Serving and Selling Alcohol at LSA Events

Before deciding to sell or serve alcohol, each LSA unit or individual planning an event that involves LSA facilities or planning an official LSA event that involves LSA faculty, staff and students, should consider the following guidelines.

(1) It is not necessary to have alcohol at LSA events. Faculty and staff should consider their roles as models for students when considering whether or not to serve alcohol or whether to hold events or classes in facilities where alcohol is sold.

(2) University policy states that University general funds cannot be used to purchase alcoholic beverages.

(3) Non-alcoholic beverages should always be as readily available as alcoholic beverages when alcohol is served.

(4) Because the practice of drinking during working hours is generally discouraged, hosts of events should always consider the appropriateness of serving alcohol during those hours. Hosts should consider liability issues and the appropriateness of alcohol availability for events held immediately before people will drive home. Likewise, hosts should consider the appropriateness of alcohol availability for events that will include intellectual or physical activity or which are held in proximity to dangerous equipment.

(5) Alcohol should not be available at events at which half or more of the attendees are under the legal drinking age (21). Michigan law requires that adequate procedures be in place to identify attendees under legal drinking age and to refuse alcohol service to them.

(6) Alcohol should not be available at events involving large numbers of people or settings which preclude crowd control. For instance, alcohol should not be served at events that are open to the general public in which the host cannot determine the age of those in attendance and/or cannot limit attendance from passersby.

(7) Federal and state laws, University regulations, and specific building regulations should be reviewed prior to deciding to serve alcohol. The Michigan League, Michigan Union, and North Campus Commons are licensed for liquor service and provide all legally required services. Permits, which may be required to serve alcohol in some facilities, are not needed in these locations. Information about permits is available from the Office of the Associate Vice President for Business Operations, 734.764.3402.

C. Specific Regulations

(1) The sale of alcoholic beverages is permitted only in licensed facilities or by a special U-M permit, and must be in accordance with State laws.

(2) Guests are not permitted to bring alcoholic beverages into or remove them from events at licensed University facilities or other official events with special U-M permits giving license to sell alcohol.

(3) Alcohol may not be sold or served to persons under age 21.

D. Advertising Guidelines

(1) Alcohol advertising, promotion and sponsorship of events are discouraged, but particularly so when the anticipated audience is under the legal drinking age.

(2) Advertising should not associate alcohol consumption with better performance of tasks that require skilled reactions. Promotion of alcoholic beverages should not encourage any form of alcohol abuse or place emphasis in quantity or frequency of use.

(3) Advertising should not suggest that alcohol is the focus of an event. Alcohol sampling programs, for example, are discouraged.

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Copyright © 1999, The Regents of the University of Michigan
Last Updated 2:27 PM 7/22/99


College of Literature, Science, and the Arts 500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1382 © 2016 Regents of the University of Michigan