Moravian College recognizes that the role of alcohol consumption in our culture is reflected within the institutional environment. Without either condemning or condoning the use of alcoholic beverages, the institution subscribes to an alcohol policy based on the principle of responsible use of alcohol, which encourages individuals to maintain a lively social atmosphere in which alcohol is not the primary factor.

The consumption of alcohol has the potential for abuse, and the institutional community will neither tolerate nor encourage inappropriate use of alcohol. Therefore, the institution has developed guidelines to assure responsible conduct relating to the provision or consumption of alcoholic beverages by members of the campus community. Students and organizations violating these guidelines are subject to disciplinary action. Students and organizations violating public laws will not be shielded from the legal authority of public agencies responsible for enforcing federal, state, and local laws, even when institutional disciplinary action is taken as well.

Public Laws Governing Use of Alcohol

Public laws most relevant to students are summarized below. These apply to all persons within the boundaries of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where possession or consumption of alcohol is limited to those 21 years of age or older. Please note that this list is not all-inclusive.

  • False ID cards are illegal. Possession, use, or manufacture of false ID cards will result in fines (a maximum of $500 for possession; a minimum of $1,000 for manufacture or sale) as well as suspension of the driver's license for a first offense.
  • Underage possession of an alcoholic beverage is illegal. Attempt to purchase or the possession, transportation, or consumption of an alcoholic beverage will incur, for a first offense, a fine of a maximum of $500 as well as suspension of the driver's license. Fine for a second offense is a maximum of $1,000.
  • Representing a minor to be of full age is illegal. Knowingly representing a person who is younger than 21 to be of age in order to have the person served or sold an alcoholic beverage will result in a minimum fine of $300 for the first offense.
  • Asking a minor to purchase an alcoholic beverage is illegal, resulting in a minimum fine of $300 for the first offense.
  • Selling or providing an alcoholic beverage to a minor is illegal, resulting in a fine of $1,000 for the first offense and $2,500 for subsequent offenses. "Providing" includes allowing a minor to possess alcohol on premises or property owned or controlled by the person charged.
  • Serving an alcoholic beverage to a visibly intoxicated person is illegal and will subject the provider to a fine.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal. Operating or controlling a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (while one's blood alcohol content is .08 % or higher) will result in a fine, suspension of driver's license, and minimum imprisonment of not less than 48 hours for the first offense.

Institutional Regulations Governing Use of Alcohol

The possession, use, and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages on or in institutional property, as well as fraternity houses, must be in compliance with any and all applicable laws of the commonwealth, county, city, and institution.

The City of Bethlehem does not allow open containers of alcohol in public. This includes bottles and cups. Campus police will enforce this ordinance on institutional property.

No alcoholic beverages may be purchased for use by students with institutional funds, student organization funds, organization or club dues, or assessments of organization members.

The possession, use, or consumption of common containers (e.g., kegs and party balls) of alcohol is strictly prohibited.

Possession of beer funnels and/or alcohol funnels is prohibited.

Open parties--those with unrestricted access by non-members of the sponsoring group, without specific invitation--at which alcohol is present are prohibited.

The number of persons at a party shall meet fire- and safety-code standards for the facility in which the event occurs.

All membership recruitment activities of any student organization shall be conducted without the presence of alcoholic beverages.

No alcohol shall be present at any pledge, associate-member, or new-member activity of any student organization.

No student organization, group, or living unit may co-sponsor an event with an alcohol distributor or in a tavern, at which alcohol is given away, sold, provided, or promoted to those present.

Student organizations holding social events off campus (at hotels, banquet halls, etc.) shall utilize a cash-bar system rather than providing an open bar funded by the organization or its members.

Individual Responsibility Pertaining to the Use of Alcohol

Moravian students are subject to, and expected to respect, all federal, state, and local laws and ordinances while in attendance at the institution, which places responsibility for obeying the law directly on students. Though a private institution, the institution should not be regarded as providing immunity from the law or diminishing a student's or organization's responsibility to comply with any law.

Information concerning a student's or organization's responsibilities under the law can be found in this handbook or obtained from Campus Safety and Police,
610 861-1421.

Remaining provisions of the institution's alcohol policy are based on the fundamental expectation that all students will become familiar with and respect all laws regulating alcohol and recognize that the institution places responsibility for obeying all laws directly on students. Those students and organizations violating institutional regulations as well as federal, state, and local laws may be subject to civil and criminal action as well as institutional action.

The institution reserves the right to request that any student suspected of underage consumption of alcoholic beverages take a portable Breathalyzer test to confirm or disprove such consumption. Failure to comply with a request to take a Breathalyzer test will be taken as an admission of consumption for institutional disciplinary cases.

Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages Outdoors

Beyond respecting the established legal restrictions, individuals may not be served, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages on institution-owned outdoor property (including porches, patios and yards) unless an exception has been granted by the vice president for student affairs/dean of students of the College, dean of the Comenius Center, or dean of the Seminary.

Though tailgate parties at which alcoholic beverages are served have become an established part of Homecoming, they conflict with the institution's policy of restricting the consumption of alcoholic beverages outdoors. Tailgating on institution-owned property is permitted at Homecoming under the following conditions: that it is restricted to a clearly defined area; that beer kegs are not allowed; that signs be prominently displayed around the playing fields and spectator stands indicating that the consumption of alcohol is prohibited in those areas; that any announcement of tailgate parties (e.g., communications with alumni) clearly state the institution's policy on underage drinking and alcohol abuse; and that the tailgate-party area be monitored by security personnel retained by the sponsoring organization. Tailgate parties are subject to all community laws and institutional policies on the consumption and dispensing of alcoholic beverages.

Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages Indoors

Students 21 years of age or older may be served, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages inside College buildings under the following conditions:

  • Students 21 or older may possess and consume alcoholic beverage(s) in their rooms in institution-owned places of residence, provided that these individuals do not violate the rights or expressed wishes of others in the room or the specific regulations of the housing unit.
  • Alcoholic beverage(s) are excluded from all common areas of the residence halls (hallways, lounges, TV rooms, etc.). However, in small house-style units (e.g., apartments, townhouses, and off-campus houses), alcoholic beverage(s) may be permitted in living rooms, common areas, etc. Fraternity houses are authorized to have alcohol in the basement as well as common areas. Sorority houses are not permitted to have alcohol on the premises.
  • Common containers of alcohol (e.g., kegs) are not permitted on campus. Additional regulations are cited in the Risk-Management Policy.
  • Undergraduate social gatherings at which alcohol may be present must be scheduled and registered with the Office of Student Affairs. Those registering such an event must be at least 21. Such events typically may be held only on Friday and Saturday nights and must terminate by the time stipulated on the registration form, unless an exception has been made by a Student Affairs dean. Informal gatherings involving no more than six persons within a private room may be held without registration. Room parties involving more than six persons must be registered through the Office of Student Affairs using the same procedures associated with parties in small-group living units. The serving of alcoholic beverage(s) must cease at least 30 minutes prior to the established closing time of an event, in order to assist those responsible for bringing an end to the activity.

Guidelines for Social Functions

The serving, possession, and consumption of alcoholic beverage(s) during registered and approved social events are subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and ordinances, to the general and special regulations of the sponsoring organizations, to the rules for the use of a particular facility as determined by those responsible for the facility, and to all of the following guidelines:

  • Individuals or organizations that sponsor events at which alcohol is provided are responsible for ensuring that individuals younger than 21 respect all applicable federal, state, and local laws and ordinances concerning the possession and consumption of alcohol. This responsibility remains regardless of who provides the alcohol.
  • No fee may be charged, donations accepted, advance tickets sold, or any other financial consideration made to an event where alcoholic beverage(s) are present, except where a cash bar, supervised by a professional bartender, is provided under the management of the facility in which the event is held or where attendance is limited to those who are at least 21 years old and a professional bartender is employed.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages (other than water) must be provided and prominently featured throughout any event at which alcohol is available.
  • Food consistent with the number of persons attending the event also must be provided.
  • No alcoholic beverage may be served to a visibly intoxicated person, and provision must be made for the safety of such individuals.
  • Individuals and groups are responsible for the activities and behavior of their guests. Moravian students should carry their ID cards at social functions, and any students may be denied admission to a institution- or student-sponsored event if unable to produce a current ID card. Anyone attending an undergraduate student-sponsored event who is not identified as a currently registered Moravian student is required to sign a guest registration list with his or her campus host. All student guests are required to adhere to campus regulations at all times, but hosts should be aware that they are directly responsible for their guests while they are on institutional property.
  • Individuals or organizations that sponsor events are responsible for ensuring that such events have a stated purpose other than the consumption of alcohol (e.g., a dance, a theme, a fund-raiser). Themes that encourage the consumption of alcohol (e.g., happy hours) are prohibited.
  • Individuals or organizations that sponsor events are responsible for ensuring that no shots of any type of liquor are available, that drinking games are prohibited, and that no punch containing alcohol is present. No one may be induced to drink against his or her will.
  • Student organization funds or student fees must not be used for purchasing alcoholic beverages.
  • Drinking or carrying an open container of an alcoholic beverage outside the area allocated for a social function is prohibited.
  • Engaging in acts of public drunkenness, vandalism, intimidation, disorderly conduct, or infringement of the rights or privacy of others is in violation of the historic values respected by the institutional community and will not be tolerated.
  • Individuals maintain responsibility for their own decisions and actions regarding the use of alcoholic beverages and should be prepared to accept the consequences associated with any violation of institutional policy or federal, state, and local laws and ordinances. Though the institution has no legal or implied duty to regulate the conduct of its students, it does maintain the right to regulate conduct consistent with institutional policies and procedures.
  • Changes and additions to the Guidelines for Social Functions may be made at any time and circulated to the campus community by appropriate, reasonable, and timely means.

Sponsor's Responsibility

Actual control of the use of alcoholic beverage(s), adherence to institutional regulations, and cleanup of the facility and outside area are the responsibility of the sponsoring organization or individual(s) that register the event. For any student-sponsored event, the individual(s) or organization must designate a reasonable number of readily identifiable students or authorized personnel to monitor compliance with institutional policy at the event.

Student monitors must be currently registered at the institution, should not use alcoholic beverage(s) for the duration of the event, and must have completed the alcohol-education program for social-event sponsors. Specific responsibilities for the group or individual(s) are outlined in the Guidelines for Social Functions and the Risk-Management Policy. Additionally, sponsors of social functions at which alcohol is present must meet requirements for "Social Host" training, which are established by the institution and may change without notice.

Guidelines for Enforcement

Moravian College, Moravian Theological Seminary, and the Comenius Center have joint responsibility, with Campus Safety and Police, for enforcing the institution's rules and regulations concerning possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus. These rules and regulations comply with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and maintain a standard of conduct consistent with the mission of the institution. As commissioned police officers, the campus police are responsible for enforcing the law and have the power of arrest if circumstances warrant its exercise.

The primary means of enforcing institutional policy will be the Community Standards of Moravian College, Moravian Theological Seminary, and the Comenius Center, which provide for disciplinary action for violations. However, if the investigating officer considers the incident to be particularly serious, the officer may invoke criminal procedures--summary citations, arrest, and proceedings before a magisterial district judge--in addition to action through the Community Standards. The director of campus safety normally consults with police officers prior to the filing of charges with a magisterial district judge. The following principles shall apply in enforcing the College's alcohol policy:

  • Any student of legal age to possess and consume alcoholic beverage(s) and found to be publicly intoxicated is subject to action according to the Community Standards.
  • Any student not of legal age found consuming alcoholic beverage(s) will be dealt with initially through the institution's disciplinary process. Subsequent incidents or incidents that are particularly serious may invoke criminal proceedings.
  • Any student, regardless of age, who commits a criminal act against person or property while intoxicated on institution-owned property faces the possibility of criminal action in addition to disciplinary action.

Groups and organizations holding approved social events are encouraged to report violations of the institution's alcohol policy to Campus Safety and Police. Whenever possible, campus police will seek to resolve the problem with a minimum of official action. However, action will be taken if those responsible for the activity have shown disregard for institutional policy or the laws of the commonwealth, e.g., by providing alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person or by failing to provide appropriate security for the event.

Social Events

All social events held by undergraduate students and their organizations on campus must be registered with the College. This includes all but the most casual, spontaneous activity involving fewer than six people. Events held off campus also must follow standard registration procedures.

Social Events in Residence Halls

  • In most instances, social events must be limited to Friday and Saturday evenings.
  • The event must be approved by members of the small-group unit, floor, or hall involved.

Events Sponsored by Fraternities, Sororities, and Other Student Groups

  • In most instances, social events must be limited to Friday and Saturday evenings.
  • The event must be coordinated by the social chair of the group.
  • The event must be discussed with the Office of Student Affairs by 4:00 p.m. on the Thursday preceding it.
  • The event must comply with any stipulations imposed by the Office of Student Affairs.