Event Registration

Below you will find the full Event Registration Policy for Student Organizations. Important details include: 

  • All events that anticipate more than 100 people in attendance and/or that serve alcohol must be registered.
  • The event registration process is described in detail. 
  • The roles and responsibilities of student event hosts are detailed.
  • Resources provided by the university to support you in successfully hosting an event are described.   
  • Specific regulations on alcohol service are detailed. 


Event Registration Policy
(for Student Group Sponsored events only) 

I. Introduction
II. Orientation, Reading and Finals and University Breaks
III. Policy Scope
IV. Planning Timeline
V. Event Management Plans
VI. Party Staffing Protocols
VII. Party Management Protocols
VIII. Alcohol Service
IX. Protocols for Violations
X. History of Policy


The University has adopted this Event Registration Policy to assist students in the planning of safe and successful events and activities, facilitate adherence to University policies and procedures and Rhode Island and Providence laws and regulations, and to ensure adequate time for the organization of event support services and security.

The following student events and activities must be registered with the Student Activities Office:

  • All events or activities where alcohol will be served;
  • All events or activities where anticipated attendance is 100 or more;
  • All events or activities where the venue capacity is 100 or more;
  • Other events or activities when required by appropriate campus departments or under special circumstances. See special notes below regarding Orientation, Reading Period, and Finals.

Events or activities that meet any of the above criteria must be sponsored by a recognized student group and are required to have two (2) Brown student Event Coordinators who are responsible for the overall planning and management of the event. If alcohol will be served, one of the coordinators must be at least 21 years of age.

Registration is done by completing an Event Registration Form* (online in BearSync) and submitting it for review by the SAO prior to the following deadlines:

  • Events where alcohol will be served must be registered at least 3 weeks prior
  • Events with 300+ people in attendance must be registered at least 3 weeks prior
  • Events in venues with 100+ capacity must be registered at least 2 weeks prior
  • Events anticipating between 100-300 people must be registered at least 2 weeks prior

A venue for the event must be secured in advance of submitting an Event Registration Form* in BearSync.

All events and activities held on Sundays through Thursdays must end by 12 midnight. Friday and Saturday events and activities must end by 2 AM; alcohol service must end at 12:45 AM (so drinking ends by 1 AM) for events that qualify for a Class F license. A Class F – temporary liquor license is required for events where alcohol will be served and money will be collected at the event for any reason. Events with alcohol may only be held after 5 PM on Fridays and though 2 AM on Sunday morning.

If your event or activity meets the criteria for event registration and either alcohol will be served or the event or activity can be defined as a party, please refer to the Party Planning and Management Procedures for additional information.

Students organizing events or activities with an anticipated attendance of less than 100 may still find it beneficial to register the event or activity or consult with the SAO, particularly if there are any safety or security concerns; such as a famous, political, or potentially controversial speaker.


A. Orientation

To allow first-year undergraduate students to focus on mandatory Orientation activities and to allow enough space for Orientation programs to take place, student groups may not sponsor events or activities, including meetings, until after the fall Activities Fair. This includes tabling in J. Walter Wilson or on the Main Green. Parties, as defined by this policy, are not permitted during Orientation, including the first weekend after classes begin, except those planned by the Orientation Welcoming Committee.

To allow first-year graduate students to focus on mandatory Graduate School Orientation activities, student groups involving graduate students may not sponsor events or activities until after Convocation day, with the exception of the Graduate Student Council's Orientation Day Social or social events organized as part of the Graduate School-sponsored International Orientation and/or Orientation. 

B. Reading Period/Finals:

Student sponsored events are not permitted during final exam periods and are only permitted during reading periods under certain circumstances. Parties, as defined by this policy, are not permitted during reading and exam periods. See the Reading Period Policy for full details.

C. University Breaks:

As a reminder, student groups are not permitted to meet, practice, rehearse, or hold events over University break periods e.g. Spring Break, Summer, and Winter Break due to limited space and resources. 


This policy only relates to student group sponsored events.

These procedures complement Brown’s Event Registration Policy by outlining additional procedures for events that can be defined as a party. 

For the purposes of these policies and procedures, a party shall be defined as:

  • ANY event where alcohol will be served, AND/OR
  • Any event where no formal program or agenda is planned and socialization is the primary purpose and activity (e.g. dancing, DJ, band, etc.).

Any events meeting the above criteria should primarily serve the Brown student community.

Small gatherings in a residence hall room are not considered parties; gatherings are limited in size by the fire capacity for each room.  However, if these gatherings create a disturbance or hazardous situation, they will be dealt with as prescribed by the University’s non-academic conduct procedures. The residents of each room will be held responsible for any such gatherings.


Appropriate planning timelines will vary depending on various factors.  Below is the timeline that is required in order to meet the appropriate deadlines (additional information available on the Event Planning Timeline):

A. As early as possible: Complete Party Manager training.  Reserve your event space.  Request quotes for Event Support and Catering, as needed. Stop into the SAO or Residential Life for a preliminary discussion regarding your event with SAO or Greek & Program House Advisor. Complete Event Registration Form* and Fire Safety Checklist.

B. 3 weeks prior: For events with alcohol or anticipated attendance of 300 more, the Event Registration Form* must be submitted to the SAO or Greek & Program House Advisor for review.   

C. 2 weeks prior: For events with an anticipated attendance of under 300 that do not involve alcohol, Event Registration Form*s must be submitted to SAO or Greek & Program House advisor for review.  Submit your Event Management Plan and requests for any Facilities Event Support, Media Services and Catering needs.  If city licenses are required, take an application to City Hall. Note: in order for security details and fire marshals to be obtained, an order must be placed through SAO ten (10) business days before the event.

D. 1 week prior: Go back to City Hall for your hearing to receive your licenses; bring to SAO or to the Greek & Program House Advisor to be copied.  Pick up tally counters to account for capacity limits, cashboxes, etc. from the SAO as needed.  

E. Immediately before your event: Hold a pre-event meeting with all managers and Brown Student Agencies (BSA) bartenders, along with security personnel and fire marshal and SAO Evening Event Manager (if applicable) to finalize and review management plans.  Complete the “Prior to start of event” portion of Fire Safety Checklist.  A thorough inspection of the event venue should be conducted prior to doors opening to ensure that no alcohol is hidden within the venue and that no guests have entered before admission.

F. Immediately after your event: Event Coordinators, Party Managers, and BSA bartenders should meet to briefly review the event and discuss any issues or ideas for improvement for future parties, with the SAO Evening Event Manager if possible.

G. 1st Working Day After: Send in Fire Safety Checklist to the Fire Safety Office via campus mail.  Return check-out items to SAO.  You are also encouraged to briefly discuss/review your event with your SAO or Greek & Program House Advisor.


Event Management Plans must be submitted to be attached to the Event Registration Form* two weeks before the event.  Editable templates are available on our Event Planning page. Group advisors may require changes to Event Managament Plans at their discretion based on safety factors and risk management of the overall event. Capacity, prices, attendance policy, staffing plan, venue and many other factors impact one another and contribute to the development of a safe Event Management Plan. 

Plans are required to include the following:

A. Diagram: Diagram of event space including manager stations as well as bar and non-alcoholic beverage and food set-up (if applicable), location of emergency exits. Standard event space diagrams are available through the SAO.   Please review the following section on “Party Managers and Their Responsibilities” before formulating your plan.

B. Capacity Management: Written explanation of management plan to ensure capacity management, responsible drinking, accurate age verification, and establishment of an overall safe environment.

C. Party Manager Identification: Please also note how guests will be able to easily identify Event Coordinators and ushers or Party Managers.

D. Event Management Staffing: At large scale events and/or events with alcohol, professional event management staff may be hired to supplement/support student managers in their responsibilities.  Plans should outline recommended event management staff locations, which will be reviewed by SAO or the Greek & Program House Advisor. 

E. Advertising and promotional plan: The advertising and promotional plan must be approved prior to any publicity.  Off-campus advertising is generally not permitted; requests to advertise off- campus must be reviewed and approved by SAO.  Advertising should communicate policies relevant to the event, including the admission policies and prohibited items. Events where it is reasonable to assume that pre-gaming may be an issue should include the phrase “Intoxicated individuals will not be admitted” on advertising.

F. Bar Management Plan: Bars can be a very hectic area within a party, which can make it difficult for BSA bartenders to remain vigilant and organized.  Event Management Plans must identify what strategies will be used at the bar to help BSA bartenders to communicate with one another effectively and identify and monitor guests who may be problematic or whose rate of drinking should be monitored more closely.  Potential strategies include closing the bar briefly on a regular schedule, enlisting the help of the manager assigned to the bar in keeping a watchful eye for problematic guests, or overlapping bar shifts to enable information to be passed effectively.

G. Protocols for bags and bag-checking:  It is strongly recommended that bags not be allowed.  All bags MUST be inspected upon entry.  The University is not responsible for any lost or stolen bags.

H. Door closing and end of event protocols must be detailed.
- Entry/reentry must end 30 minutes before the event end time to allow exterior areas to be cleared and to enable all managers to focus on the end of the event rather than screening guests.  Lights should go on and music be turned down 10-15 minutes before stated closing time of event so that guests begin to leave on their own; student organizers and assigned event management staff should begin to move guests out at stated closing time. All exterior doors may be used at the close of the event for guests to exit.
- Last-call for alcohol service must be thirty minutes before the end of the event.  For Class F parties, this will always be at 12:30 AM.  For guest list only events with no money involved (commonly referred to as cocktail parties), alcohol service must end at 1:30 AM if the event goes until 2 AM.  Alcohol service must end fifteen minutes after last call – 12:45 AM for Class F events, 1:45 AM for cocktail parties. A plan should be in place to secure any remaining alcohol at the end of the event.


A. Event Coordinators and Their Responsibilities

All events that must be registered according to the Event Registration Policy are required to have two (2) Brown student Event Coordinators.  If alcohol will be served, one of the coordinators must be at least 21 years of age.
PLEASE NOTE:  Event Coordinators are responsible for the event from start to finish.  Having one group of people plan the event and a different group oversee the event undermines effective event management.  Event Coordinators may not consume alcohol before or during the event  until the last guest departs.

A - Part I. In the planning of any event, the Event Coordinators are responsible for the following:

  1. Adhering to Policy:  Coordinators are responsible for ensuring the event adheres to all applicable state laws and University policies and procedures, including decoration and other Fire Safety guidelines and publicity regulations.  Events where alcohol will be served may not be open to the general public – please keep this in mind when formulating advertising plans.  Additional University policies and procedures applicable to events are available via the SAO website.
  2. Reserving Appropriate Space:  The space reserved must be able to accommodate your anticipated attendance.  Spaces most commonly used for student events are in high demand so plan on reserving them well in advance.  Most spaces may be reserved through the University Scheduling Office and their website includes a list of contacts for reserving alternate spaces as well.
  3. Registering your event with the Student Activities Office.
  4. Setting the Admissions Policy:  Review the Admissions Policy section of these procedures.  Admissions Policy should be specified on the Event Registration Form*.
  5. Formulating an Event Management Plan:  The plan must be submitted along with your Event Registration Form* to the SAO.  See the section on Event Management Plans below. Scheduling Event Support services:  Using the Event Planning Timeline as a guide, coordinators should ensure that all the necessary planning takes place including scheduling any necessary event support services (catering, security, custodial, etc.)
  6. Obtaining Licenses (if applicable):  If you are having an event that contains alcohol AND money is being collected for any reason, a Class F Liquor License and an Entertainment License are required.  If alcohol is not being served, an entertainment license may be required, especially for outdoor events with amplified sound.  The process of obtaining licenses begins by submitting an Event Registration Form** to the SAO or Greek & Program House Advisor and obtaining license applications with a staff signature from the respective office.  Then, an Event Coordinator who must be at least 21 years of age must submit the application for a license to City Hall (Room 101) at least two (2) weeks prior to your event. One (1) week after the submission of an application, a hearing will be scheduled for which the coordinator must report in person to City Hall room 112 with payment (check or money order only – cash is NOT accepted).  Licenses will be issued at the end of the hearing.  Once you have your licenses, bring them to the SAO or Greek & Program House Advisor so they have a copy on record.  Finally, you must post your licenses in a visible spot during your event.  Class F licenses are: $35 for a full bar, $15 for beer and wine only.  Entertainment licenses are $10 for indoor events and $25 for outdoor events.
  7. Identifying ushers or Party Managers, and Brown Student Agencies (BSA) Bartenders:  Functions must have two (2) Event Coordinators plus AT LEAST the minimum number of ushers (for a lecture or performance) or Party Managers and either BSA bartenders or Brown Catering/First Approved vendor (for a party) outlined in the following scale. Additional managers may be necessary to effectively manage the event depending on the venue or nature of the event. If any managers or BSA bartenders have not previously completed SAO Party Manager training, coordinators must ensure they do so prior to the party. 

Number of Guests

Event Coordinators Required

Ushers or Party Managers Required*

BSA Bartenders/Catering Required (if applicable)








Must use Brown Catering or First Approved vendor




Must use Brown Catering or First Approved vendor




Must use Brown Catering or First Approved vendor



Consult With SAO Advisor

Must use Brown Catering or First Approved vendor

Wriston Quad Lounges




At large scale events and/or events with alcohol professional event management staff may also be hired to supplement/support student managers in their responsibilities.  If such staff is hired, student management levels are maintained according to the scale above.

A - Part II. In the implementation of any event, the Event Coordinators are responsible for the following:

  1. Overseeing the Event:  In order to be able to oversee the event and respond to any situations that arise, Event Coordinators (2 per event) may not be assigned to any specific usher/management shifts during the event.  One of the two Event Coordinators should be assigned to the primary door to provide oversight and coordination to this most critical part of the event. 
  2. Serving as liaison between guests, ushers/managers, professional event management staff, SAO Evening Event Manager (EEM), Public Safety Officers, EMS, or any other university official.
  3. Scheduling and Posting Usher/Manager and BSA Bartender Assignments (assignments must specify the name of the individuals for each post/shift):  List should be reviewed at the security/staff meeting 30 minutes prior to the event and then be posted near the door of the event.  Assignment locations must be specified in the Event Management Plan.
  4. Organizing the required security meeting of all officers, event management/security, SAO Evening Event Manager (EEM), and student managers 30 minutes before doors open.

B. Party Managers and Their Responsibilities

  1. All Event Coordinators and Party Managers must be trained by the SAO.  Trainings are held once per month.
  2. Coordinators and managers are held responsible for:  proper conduct at the event, clean-up and closing of the space, any damage to University property, cooperation with University staff and Providence officials, and observing the rules of the University. 
  3. Event Coordinators and Party Managers shall continuously supervise the event and enforce all policies and regulations, including those pertaining to alcohol and other drugs, fire safety, and the general safety of guests and University property.  As such ALL MANAGERS AND EVENT COORDINATORS ARE PROHIBITED FROM DRINKING BEFORE OR DURING THE EVENT (i.e. until the last guest has left and any post-event responsibilities have been completed).  In addition, the coordinators and managers must be clearly visible and in close contact with BSA bartenders and other members of the organization running the event.
  4. Party Managers and Event Coordinators work in partnership with SAO Evening Event Managers, professional event management staff, Public Safety and other officials (as applicable) to manage the event.
  5. Staff assignments (whether they be student Party Managers or professional event management staff) must ensure the following areas are monitored throughout the event:
    1. Main Entrance:  There must be only one point of entry for guests with the exception of facilitating access for guests with accessibility requirements..  A minimum of two (2) Party Managers are required to manage the door.
    2. Bar(s): Posted in front to ensure that only those of age are gaining access to drinks (Note:  age should be re-verified as appropriate, and wristbands should be checked for tampering).
    3. Restrooms
    4. Upper landing (when applicable).
    5. Every potential exit or entrance to the event must be monitored, including other rooms within the venue building (such as residential areas or portions of buildings that are restricted at that time).
    6. Roaming Managers:  The roaming managers are responsible for continuously circulating throughout the event to monitor the overall event and fill in for other managers when they require a brief break.  (Note:  Event Coordinators generally serve as roaming managers.)  The number of roaming managers should be increased with the size of the event. 
  6.  It is important to keep in mind that the coordinators and managers should not be the only ones to know or adhere to policies, procedures, and laws.  In fact, every member of the organization should bear the responsibility of educating themselves as to policies and carrying them out. This awareness will allow the event to be run smoothly according to University policy and will facilitate accurate communication of these policies to students attending parties. Communicating expectations regarding in party planning and management to the entire organization will ensure that both the Event Coordinators and Party Managers and those who attend do so with the same set of expectations. This approach further empowers student organizations to refuse admittance if necessary, or insist that unruly students leave in the name of enforcement of University policies and procedures.
  7. Any students who have been asked to participate in the management of the event must also refrain from drinking before or during the event until they have completed their duties for the evening.  Not only does the consumption of alcohol impair their judgment, it also sends a very clear message that they are unconcerned about fulfilling their responsibility to the event.


A. Admission Policies

  1. Point of entry procedures for checking IDs must be followed.  Party Managers or professional event management staff should be assigned to check IDs.  An adequate number of managers or staff should be assigned to the point of entry to effectively facilitate the required admission procedures.  Consider having ticket sales, wristbanding, counting capacity, etc. handled by additional students beyond those checking IDs and maintaining the guest log. Discuss this aspect of your plan ahead of time with your SAO or Greek & Program House Advisor.
  2.  All Parties must identify their Admission Policy.  Three standard options exist; exceptions can be made by the Director of Student Activities:
    1. Members/Invited Guests Only:  A limited invitation list specifying the names of those invited.  List of invited guests must be submitted with Event Management Plan (final list must be submitted by 12 noon the Thursday before the event).  Only those on the list may be granted admission. NOTE: Cocktail Parties, at which alcohol is served but not sold, must use this Admission plan. Guest lists should have no more guests than 2 x the capacity of the venue at which the event is held. Guest lists should be checked as part of the ID checking process which is managed by our Crowd Management Vendor. 
    2. Brown/RISD ID: Any Brown or RISD student with ID may be admitted. Brown students may bring two non-Brown personal guests. A guest log should be maintained to track these guests (see Point of Entry Procedures below).
    3. Brown/RISD ID & Brown Guest: Any Brown or RISD student with ID may be admitted, and Brown students may bring one non-Brown personal guest. 
  3. Events where alcohol will be served are not open to the general public.
  4. Any event serving alcohol for which a Class F license is not required must have members/invited guests only as its admission policy. 
  5. Parties hosted in Greek and residential venues are limited to Brown/RISD and Brown/RISD ID & Brown Guest events.  It is recommended that only members of the sponsoring organization be allowed to have guests at these venues. 

B. Point of Entry Procedures 

  1.  Brown/RISD students are required to present their college IDs at the door. 
  2. All guests must have a Brown student host. Guests should legibly sign in and out of the guest log and the time of their entrance and exit should be noted. The name of the Brown student sponsor should be recorded next to the guest’s name.  “Sponsoring” means the Brown student takes responsibility for their guest’s behavior at the party.   A Brown student may bring no more than two non-Brown guests. Organizations may also decide to require all guests to keep their ID at the door; however, this may cause difficulty with being able to re-verify age at the bar.  Band members, DJs, etc. should also meet all the requirements of guests. 
  3.  Anyone who is visibly intoxicated must not be allowed into the event.  A record of the entry refusal should be made in the guest log.
  4.  No containers, bottles or cans of ANY KIND (water bottles, coffee, etc.) are permitted to enter or exit an event.  Groups may choose to permit individual sized plastic bottles or cans of nonalcoholic beverages provided they verify that the bottle or can has not been opened prior to admission.
  5. If tickets are sold in advance, IDs must be checked at point of sale and tickets must state that ID will also be checked at the door in addition to other relevant policies.  Tickets must be numbered; groups may not sell more tickets than the capacity determined for the event.
  6. It is strongly recommended that no re-admission be permitted for events with less than 300 guests; for events over 300, re-admission is prohibited.

C. Guest Lists and Event Logs 

In order to help protect your organization from liability or potential consequences in the event of a complaint or an alleged violation, it is required that organizations maintain a guest log of non-Brown guests. An event log noting significant or unusual occurrences is recommended. The log should be monitored by a party manager, throughout the event. 

D. Monitoring Attendance Levels 

The ratio of Party Managers to guests detailed in this policy is the minimum number that the University believes can realistically be expected to manage a party effectively.  Every effort must be made to keep attendance at the level planned for and FIRE CAPACITY MUST BE ADHERED TO AT ALL TIMES.  To aid in keeping track of attendance, the SAO has handheld counters that may be checked out.

E. Overcrowding Protocols 

Due to Fire Safety concerns, overcrowding is considered a major violation of RI law and university policy. When overcrowding is identified, groups should implement the following immediately:

  • Contact the SAO Evening Event Manager (if applicable) and/or the Department of Public Safety for assistance.
  • Further admittance should be discontinued immediately,
  • Immediately stop any food or beverage service,
  • Turn on the lights
  • Turn off any music,
  • Explain the situation and begin asking people to leave, and
  • Provide refunds to anyone who was asked to leave.


A. Brown Student Agencies (BSA) Bartender Requirements

  1. BSA Bartenders handle alcohol service at events with less than 100 in attendance only. 
  2. All BSA bartenders are approved by the SAO. BSA bartenders are at least 18 years of age and have completed TIPS certification (obtained through most BSA bartender training programs or bartender training offered by Brown Student Agencies.) Once approved, BSA bartenders are assigned as part of the Event Registration process and paid by the SAO. In addition to the BSA bartender, a Party Manager should be assigned to assist the BSA bartender and to help communicate information between BSA bartender shifts. 
  3. All BSA bartenders are prohibited from drinking before or during an event unless they have completed their duties for the evening. 
  4. Event coordinators and party managers are the identified “social hosts” for duration of the event.  They are prohibited from drinking before or during an event until the last guest has exited.
  5. Alcohol service at events with 100 or more people in attendance must be handled by a Brown University First Approved caterer.

B. The Rhode Island Liquor Liability Act 

In Rhode Island the legal age for purchase, service to and consumption of alcohol is 21 years of age.  Since the vast majority of undergraduates at Brown are under the legal age of 21, it is important that you be aware of the Rhode Island Liquor Liability Act’s provisions for both “negligent” and “reckless service” of alcohol.

“Negligent service” of alcohol is when you “know, or if a reasonable and prudent person in similar circumstances would know that the individual being served is a minor or visibly intoxicated.”

“Reckless service” is when you intentionally serve an individual when you know the person being served is a minor or visibly intoxicated. 


The Act reads such that you may be responsible even if most of the guest’s drinking occurred elsewhere.

C. Brown University Policies and Procedures 

  1. Health and life come first in all situations.  If you believe a person may need medical assistance for any reason, do not hesitate to call the University’s emergency line (863-4111).
  2. A Party Manager should be posted in front of the bar to ensure only those of legal age are obtaining drinks.  The manager should re-verify age, as appropriate, and ensure that wristbands have not been tampered with.
  3. If alcohol is being served and money is being collected for any reason (T-shirt sales, admission fee, etc.), city licenses are required and there must be a minimum fee structure of $3 at the door and a $1 per drink. Like other aspects of this policy, the group's advisor may require the minimum fees to be higher based on other risk management aspects of this event such as total number of anticipated guests. 
  4. Alcohol above 80 proof (e.g. Everclear), kegs, beer balls, large scale containers of alcohol, shots, Jell-o shots, bottled beer, and drinking games are prohibited.  Energy drinks may not be used in mixed drinks.
  5. Punch bowls are not permitted. Common sources of alcohol are easy to tamper with and the contents are unknown to those consuming them.
  6. Alcohol must always be attended.  No guest, including members of the sponsoring organization, may be permitted to serve themselves.  Alcohol should remain within the event space at all times – nobody should enter or leave with open containers of alcohol.  This includes bringing alcohol to another space in the same building such as an adjoining room that is not part of the event or to private rooms upstairs in a residential facility. As a practical matter, if people are allowed to wander away from the place of service and out of sight of those responsible for it, they can more easily share the alcohol with minors.  Managers and other volunteers should look out for and dispose of unattended beverages throughout the event venue as they may have been tampered with and/or may be consumed by underage individuals.
  7. The amount of alcohol present at an event sends a clear message about the nature of the event.  For this reason, “Bring Your Own” is not permitted.  Organizations should seriously consider the relationship between the amount of alcohol present and safety and liability concerns.  We recommend that organizations determine a reasonable amount of alcohol available for an entire event in relation to the number of drinks available per 21 + attendee.  As a guideline, hosts should plan to have no more than 4 drinks per attendee of legal age, for a four-hour long event.
  8. BSA Bartenders are only permitted to serve one drink per person at a time. This means that you may only hand one cup, but it also means that each cup may only have one serving of alcohol in it.  Remember that 1 drink = 12 oz of beer = 5 oz wine = 1.5 oz of hard alcohol.
  9. Drinks may not be pre-mixed. Each drink should be mixed in front of the person being served. 
  10. Whenever alcohol is to be served, the hosts must provide ample snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. As a guideline, events should have one pound of food and one liter of non-alcoholic beverage for every 10 attendees. If you run out of food at your event, you must shut the bar down.

D. Additional Point of Entry Procedures When Alcohol is Served 

  1. For alcohol service, a valid driver’s license, passport, or official form of government ID must be produced as proof of legal age; Brown and other college IDs are not acceptable.  Those of legal age must be clearly indicated by wristbands.  Wristbands can be obtained through the SAO for free.
  2. Hand stamps may be used to indicate guests have paid to enter an event but should not be used to indicate legal age.
  3. For both wristbands and hand stamps, organizations must not have a predictable pattern of using certain colors or stamps at their events.  If hand stamps are used, they must be difficult for guests to reproduce, should look different when reversed to minimize guests transferring wet stamp marks to other guests.  Wristbands are only effective if they are placed on guests’ wrists by event organizers (rather than allowing them to put it on themselves); they should be tight enough to prohibit guests from slipping them off (and giving them to other guests) without being uncomfortable. 


A. Overview

The Student Activities Office (SAO) registers and reviews all parties with the goal of empowering and supporting student Event Coordinators and Party Managers to plan and offer events that are both fun and safe.  University policies and procedures exist to assist students in managing events safely.  SAO staff are available to assist organizations in effective event planning and management, including the availability of the SAO Evening Event Manager (EEM) on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Violations of these Event Planning and Management Procedures will be handled according to the following procedure by the SAO.  Related files and communications are maintained in SAO, separate from the University’s non-academic conduct system.  That being said, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • If an event violates other University policies and procedures or if the Department of Public Safety issues an incident report, the matter is referred to the non-academic conduct system which may or may not result in disciplinary action.
  • If a student organization has a non-academic conduct hearing for alleged violations of other University policies and procedures, the SAO is typically asked to provide information related to the history of the organization, which may include its history of managing events including parties.

Note:  Actions related to the following protocols or the University non-academic conduct system will not result from the decision to call EMS unless blatant violations of University policy are witnessed.  If additional policies or procedures beyond the illegal consumption of alcohol are found to have been violated, action related to the additional violations will likely be taken (for example, if someone who has been drinking damages University property and EMS is called, the property damage will likely be addressed through the University’s non-academic conduct system).

B. Damage to University Property 

Damage done to University property that results from poor management by the sponsoring organization will result in a formal request that damages be paid by the sponsoring organization.  Damage done that could not have been prevented by the sponsoring organization may result in one of the following:  (1) a sanction against individuals via the University’s non-academic conduct system, (2) a decision by the University to absorb the costs, or (3) a formal request to the sponsoring organization to pay for the damages.

Failure by organizations to submit payment or a payment plan within the specified period of time may result in referral of the matter to the University’s non-academic conduct system and/or suspension of the organization’s privileges, including eligibility to sponsor events.

C. Minor Party Management Issues 

Minor issues with a party will typically be described as one or more individual issues that undermine the structure of a well-organized event.  Taken as a whole, these individual issues have not resulted in an event in gross violation of policies and procedures or undermined the safety of guests and University property.  These should generally be able to be avoided and/or corrected at the event itself when brought to the attention of the Event Coordinators by other students or University officials.

Minor issues will be communicated to the Event Coordinators during or at the conclusion of the event if possible. Organizations should then expect a communication from the SAO or Greek & Program House Advisor during the following week and will be asked to identify corrective strategies for implementation at future events.

Reports of minor party management issues at future events may then result in a decision by SAO to treat the issues as a “major” violation (see below).

D. Major Party Management Issues and Violations

If the overall event is one that is in gross violation of policies and procedures or has undermined the safety of guests and University property, the SAO will request that the organization respond to the violations in person with a plan for corrective actions.  Additionally, all Event Coordinators, Party Managers, and Brown Student Agencies (BSA) bartenders affiliated will be required to complete Party Manager Training again.

If the event is still in progress when major issues are identified, the Event Coordinators will be informed of the violations.  The Event Coordinators will have the responsibility to implement effective corrective action within 15 minutes or to make the decision to end the event; in either case, the overcrowding protocols identified above under “Monitoring Attendance Levels” may be useful strategies.  University officials reserve the right to end an event, particularly if Event Coordinators and other representatives of the student organization are uncooperative or demonstrate a lack of appreciation for the importance of these Party Planning and Management Procedures.  If the organization itself determines that major issues are present, they are encouraged to contact the SAO Evening Event Manager or the Department of Public Safety to support a decision to end an event.

Event Coordinators, Party Managers, or BSA bartenders who are found to have consumed alcohol or other drugs in violation of these procedures must be immediately replaced by other Party Manager trained individuals, will lose their trained status, and will be ineligible for recertification for a period equal to one semester.

Reports of major party management issues at future events will then result in one or more of the following:  (1) referral of the organization to the University’s non-academic conduct system (2) suspension of the organization’s privileges, including eligibility to sponsor events, or (3) a request that the organization respond to violations in person with a plan for corrective actions.  The SAO will base its decision on the appropriate course of action on a variety of factors, including the organization’s history, level of cooperation, and appreciation for the seriousness of violating Party Planning and Management Procedures.


As stated in the Report of the Ad-Hoc Committee to Review Social Events Policy and Procedures, 2006, “It was not our intention to develop policies that will work for every event, but to review and develop a standard for social functions at Brown that would be effective for most events.”  While the following should and will apply to most events, sponsoring organizations may request exceptions.  Such requests must be approved by the Director of Student Activities.  Any request for an exception must adequately address how the proposed changes are in alignment with the goals of the event as well as the intent of these social function policies.

The development of Brown’s procedures for the planning and management of social functions began with the Report of the Social Function Policy Task Force, dated November 13, 1996.  It was the unanimous opinion of the thirteen members of the Task Force (10 of whom were students) that the success of any social function depends on its planning and management and that the procedures for both should be uniform.  These procedures were amended following the Report of the Ad-Hoc Committee to Review Social Events Policy and Procedures, dated March 8, 2006.  These amendments are in keeping with Brown’s overall philosophy that “students should drive the development of events” and that “student ownership of events should be guided by a set of best practices and policies to provide a level of consistency and to help build a culture of responsible hosting.” [excerpted from the state of Philosophy in the Ad-Hoc Committee Report]. The SAO shall maintain a student Social Function Oversight Committee to advise the SAO on the ongoing management and development of these procedures.

This policy was revised in July 2014. No substantive changes were made. The term "social function", no longer commonly used on campus, was replaced with "party." Some sections were reordered for clarity. The outline numbering was added for clarity.

Several updates were made in early 2017. Terminology was adjusted to reflect the fact that Party Manager Training and the Event Registration Form are now online. Venue capacity of 100 or more was added to the event criteria that requires event registration. Brown Student Agencies (BSA) TIPS certified bartenders have been specified where bartenders are mentioned. The stipulation that alcohol service at events with 100 or more people must be handled by a Brown caterer was added to the Brown Student Agencies (BSA) Bartender Requirements section.

*The Event Registration Form is now online in BearSync. Navigate to your group's portal, click on the Events tab and then click on Create an Event.