Policy 21 – Alcohol Use and Education

Established: February 12, 1966

Last Updated: February 5, 2004

Class: G


The philosophies and requirements outlined in this policy have been designed to create an environment in which the responsible use of alcohol is understood and promoted. This policy addresses the use of alcohol from a broad perspective, regulating the use of alcohol according to the laws of Ontario, and making clear the University's attitude with respect to alcohol use.

Members of the University community are expected to act responsibly in all matters relating to the service and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Further, the University encourages campus organizations and groups to provide alternatives to alcohol-related activities, such as sponsoring events where alcohol is not served.

The service and consumption of alcoholic beverages is governed by the Liquor Licence Act of Ontario. Contravention of the Act could result in the University losing its licensed privileges across campus. The University holds a license issued by the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) for the provision and service of alcohol in specific locations and under specific circumstances. Also, under the Ontario Occupier's Liability Act, the University is responsible for exercising reasonable care for the safety of anyone on its property, regardless of the nature and extent of the risk.

Responsibility for administering this policy rests with the Director, University Business Operations.


Like all health behaviours, an individual's responsibility for her/his own health derives from an educational process that is much broader than any specific institution within society. Accordingly, alcohol awareness and education programs, designed and delivered by appropriate persons and approved by the Alcohol Use & Education Committee, are made available to all members of the University community. The University will provide, on an ongoing basis, a variety of educational opportunities promoting and encouraging alcohol awareness and alternatives to alcohol. For students, this will be done through the First-Year Student Life Coordinator, Health Services, Residence Life, and Counselling Services. For staff and faculty, programs on alcohol use are offered through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the Counselling Services Department.


On Campus
The provision of alcoholic beverages and bartending services for on-campus events in locations other than those noted below, may only be provided by UW Catering. [Note: To arrange for the service of alcoholic beverages, requests must be directed to UW Catering a minimum of three weeks prior to the date of the proposed event. UW Catering will: arrange for the purchase, delivery and safe-keeping of all alcoholic beverages required; arrange to deliver all supplies to the site of the event; provide bartender service; and, if necessary, establish prices for all alcoholic beverages sold from the bar.]

Federation Hall and the Bombshelter
Campus Bar Operations (CBO) may provide alcoholic beverages and bartending services under the liquor license held by the University.

Graduate House
The Graduate Student Association (GSA) may provide alcoholic beverages and bartending services under the liquor license held by the GSA.

University Club
Staff at the University Club may provide alcoholic beverages and bartending services under the University's liquor license.

Alcoholic beverages may be consumed in designated areas of UW residences by persons who are 19 years of age or older.

Off Campus
Off-campus University events where alcoholic beverages will be served must be held in a licensed premises or be catered by a licensed caterer, such as UW Catering.


In acknowledging its responsibility to establish and enforce policies and procedures that mitigate risks with respect to service and consumption of alcohol, the University requires individuals organizing events where alcoholic beverages will be consumed to comply with the following:

  • the consumption of alcoholic beverages will not be the primary focus of the event
  • alcohol will not be used to promote the event
  • alternatives to alcohol will be offered
  • the service of alcoholic beverages will be managed responsibly, and individuals who serve alcohol will be appropriately trained (e.g., "Smart Serve", crowd control and emergency procedures)

Areas licensed to serve alcoholic beverages will:

  • make current practices and procedures known to employees and patrons
  • prepare annual reports detailing current practices and procedures, and provide these reports to the Committee on Alcohol Use & Education (see Appendix A)


Promotion or advertising that refers to alcoholic products, brewers or distillers, is restricted to items or events held in Federation Hall, the Bombshelter, Ground Zero, the Graduate House, and the University Club, and in magazines or newspapers distributed on campus. Alcoholic beverages will not be provided free of charge for promotional purposes. Sponsorship by brewers, distillers, or licensed premises is generally not permitted, unless in licensed premises on campus. Requests for exceptions should be made in writing to the Director, University Business Operations and the Associate Provost, Students.


Issues of non-compliance with the Liquor Licence Act by patrons of a facility will be handled according to guidelines established by the Committee on Alcohol Use & Education.

Facilities found to be non-compliant (e.g., serving underage individuals) may have their privileges suspended by the holder of the University's liquor license.

Individuals who abuse alcohol while attending a University establishment or function may be banned from all on-campus licensed establishments for a period of time and/or be requested to take an alcohol awareness course through Counselling or Health Services.


There shall be a Committee on Alcohol Use & Education that will:

  • serve as an advisory board to Campus Bar Operations
  • deal with any issues of concern related to alcohol use and education
  • approve, on an annual basis, practices and procedures from establishments that serve alcoholic beverages
  • approve, on an annual basis, the effectiveness of alcohol awareness and educational programs
  • advise the Director, University Business Operations, with respect to any disciplinary action that should be taken against facilities resulting from violations of this policy
  • consider issues forwarded for resolution to the Committee by CBO

The membership will be as follows:

Director, University Business Operations (Chair) 
Associate Provost, Students 
Directors of Safety, UW Police Services, Health Services, Food Services, and Residence Life 
President of the Federation of Students 
Vice President Administration & Finance of the Federation of Students 
General Manager, Federation of Students 
Manager, Bar Operations (CBO) 
President of the Graduate Student Association 
Administrator, Graduate Student Association 
First-Year Student Life Coordinator 
Administrative/Executive Assistant from a Faculty 
A representative from the Federated and Affiliated Colleges


Filing Requirements for On-Campus Establishments Which Serve Alcoholic Beverages

On-campus establishments must file, with the Committee on Alcohol Use & Education, details surrounding their current practices and procedures related to the service and consumption of alcoholic beverages. This filing is to be done annually, by May 1 st.

The annual report should include detailed information on:

  1. Efforts made to provide alternatives to serving alcohol and to promote non-alcohol related activities.
  2. The practices which each facility uses to limit the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed in a specific time frame such as restrictions on multiple drink orders and "last call".
  3. The options available for dealing with intoxicated guests, particularly with respect to their safe conduct home.
  4. The methods used to ensure that underage patrons are not served alcohol, and the facility's policy for dealing with people who assist underage patrons to drink on the premises.
  5. The rules for guests and visitors to the facility who are not University members, with particular emphasis on sanctions to University members whose guests abuse the facility's rules and policies.
  6. The training provided to servers so that the service of alcoholic beverages is managed responsibly (e.g., "Smart Serve", crowd control and emergency procedures, specific requirements tailored to the setting, usual patrons and requirements of the particular establishment and/or event).
  7. The method by which policies are communicated to employees and patrons.