The Hamilton College alcohol policy and related educational programs are designed to promote responsible decision-making concerning the use of alcohol in this community. The College expects all members of the community to be respectful of the rights of others in order to contribute to an environment conducive to education and personal growth. Intoxication is never a justification for behavior that violates the standards of conduct and expectations of the College.

This policy reflects local and state laws governing the use and distribution of alcohol, recognizing the rights of individuals who are 21 years of age or older to consume alcohol in a legal manner. The College expects community members to abide by the laws of New York State and the policies of the College. Any member of the community, including community advisors and Campus Safety personnel, may confront students whose behavior is in violation of these policies. Students being confronted for any behavior against College policy are expected to comply with the requests of College officials. Sanctions, ranging from one conduct point to separation from the College, may be imposed upon students who violate this policy, or other policies of the College.

 Summary of New York State Laws Governing Alcohol

Under New York State law it is illegal:
  1. To provide alcohol to persons under the age of 21 or to persons who are visibly intoxicated. 
  2. To misrepresent the age of a person under the age of 21 for the purpose of inducing the sale of alcohol. 
  3. For a person under the age of 21 to possess alcohol with the intent of consuming it. 
  4. For any person under the age of 21 to present or offer any written evidence of age that is false, fraudulent, or not actually his own, for the purpose of purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol. 
  5. To sell alcohol, including charging admission at the door of an event where alcohol is distributed free of charge, without an Alcoholic Beverage Control license. Under New York State civil law, the provider of alcohol may be liable for any damages or injuries caused by an intoxicated person.

Additional information regarding New York State’s alcohol laws may be found here.

General Policies

  1. Persons 21 years of age and older may possess and consume alcohol in upper-class residence hall rooms, suites and apartments. Alcohol is not permitted in designated first-year student buildings (North, Major, Keehn, Wertimer, Wallace Johnson and Glenview A&B) or on residence hall floors in Dunham that are designated for first-year students.
  2. Open containers of alcohol are not permitted in public areas. Public areas include, but are not limited to, academic buildings, residence hall lounges and hallways, and outdoors. For purposes of this policy, suite lounges are not considered public areas.
  3. Students may not publicly display alcohol containers, containing liquids or empty.  This includes but is not limited to in windows and on light bars in suite common rooms.
  4. Gatherings with bulk alcohol (defined as any quantity of beer in excess of two cases (48 twelve oz. cans), or the alcohol equivalent of wine or liquor) are not permitted in the residence halls. Kegs (or other common sources) and/or taps are not permitted in residence halls. Empty kegs may not be stored in residence halls.
  5. The College reserves the right to notify the parents or guardian of a student who is transported to the hospital for an alcohol or drug-related overdose, and to require that the student participate in an educational program on alcohol and/or other drugs. The College may also choose to notify parents or guardian of any alcohol or drug-related violation.

Educational Programs

Intervention and support programs are offered through the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services, the Student Health Center, and the Dean of Students Office, as well as in the town of Clinton and surrounding communities. For further information, please refer to Section III of the Illegal Drugs Policy or contact the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services.

For additional information about the College alcohol and drug policy, please contact the Dean of Students Office.

The above information on alcohol and other drugs is presented in accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.(Adapted with permission from Drug-Free Communities: Turning Awareness into Action, by the Office for Substance Abuse Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1989; and Complying with the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Regulations: A Guide for University and College Administrators, by The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention, US Department of Education)

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