UCSF announces new restrictions in alcohol policy

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The casual consumption of alcoholic beverages at a student event will no longer be quite so casual. This month, it was announced that the campus alcohol policy will now require that a UCSF staff or faculty member be present at any student government or registered campus organization on-campus event that will be serving alcohol.

The change was made in response to the advice of Risk Management and Insurance Services at UCSF.

“We’re trying to balance the needs of our student body as well as their safety,” said Jennifer Rosko, the director of student involvement and programs in the Student Life office. “These policies were put in place to protect students.” 

The changes in alcohol policy were discussed at the March GPSA meeting. The general feeling among the student representatives was mixed. Although students aren’t excited about having to go through additional hoops to serve alcohol, the student government is committed to working closely with the Office of Student Life to ensure compliance with the new regulations. 

“Although I completely understand the reasons why these policies were put in place and there’s no pushback on the part of the medical students; this policy does feel somewhat infantilizing,” said Sidney Le, a second-year medical student and co-president of the Associated Students of the School of Medicine.

In addition to ensuring UCSF staff or faculty are present, event organizers must submit an alcohol request via the OrgSync portal on the UCSF website. Prior to submitting the event request, registered campus organizations must secure event liability coverage that includes a provision that covers the use of alcohol.

The specific requirement that a staff person or faculty member be present at events serving alcohol is not present in UC Berkeley or UCLA campus alcohol policies. However, in general their regulations have many similarities to that of UCSF, such as requiring that an organization submit an event request beforehand.

These changes follow alcohol policy updates announced in fall 2012. Those updates included banning hard alcohol and kegs at campus events and stating that references to alcoholic beverages were not permitted in event advertising.

The updated policy can be read online at http://studentlife.ucsf.edu/policies/alcohol.

More: Opinion piece on why new alcohol policy is insulting to adult students