Queen's University Alcohol Policy

Category: Administration and Operations

Approval: Senior Leadership Team

Responsibility: Provost & Vice-Principal Academic, Vice-Principal Finance and Administration

Date: Approved on May 26, 2020

Purpose/Reason for Policy:

Queen’s University recognizes the value of an engaged social environment within our campus community and at the same time is committed to supporting the health, safety, well-being, and success of our campus community. This Policy reflects a commitment to harm reduction, risk mitigation, intervention, and enforcement strategies as outlined by the Postsecondary Education Partnership-Alcohol Harms (PEP-AH) Framework that seeks to address high-risk drinking and alcohol harm reduction. Additionally, this policy is designed to promote self-responsibility, self-accountability, and healthy decisions related to alcohol use by all members of the Queen’s community.

This Policy is intended to:

  • Promote best practice related to alcohol harms and use on University Property;
  • Address high-risk alcohol related behaviours and practices;
  • Provide harm mitigation strategies for alcohol sales, service, and management of High Risk Alcohol Events;
  • Encourage education, training, and awareness around responsible alcohol use;
  • Outline legal and university requirements and responsibilities regarding the provision and sale of alcohol;
  • Outline restrictions related to alcohol advertising, promotions and sponsorships etc.;
  • Support positive social interactions and engagement;
  • Identify related university policies and procedures;
  • Contribute to the university’s overall strategy for alcohol related issues.

Scope of this Policy

This Policy is applicable to all members of the Queen’s University community on University Property or off campus at a Sanctioned Activity. The Queen’s University community may include students, employees, alumni, visitors and guests.

This Policy applies to all licences issued by the AGCO and held by the University and to any other Liquor Licence Holders operating on university property.

This Policy is not intended to cover behaviour resulting from the use of alcohol. Student behaviour contrary to non-academic behaviour expectations and standards may be addressed through the university’s non-academic misconduct system (e.g. Student Code of Conduct). Additionally, Student Groups and/or their leaders may be held responsible, collectively, and/or individually, for violations of this Policy by their members or by participants in their Group’s activities, whether sanctioned or not, and whether on or off University Property, if the leaders gave encouragement or consent for the misconduct, or if they knew of, or could have reasonably foreseen, the misconduct and failed to take steps to discourage or prevent it or advise Campus Security and Emergency Services or appropriate authority. Visitor, alumni, and/or employees problematic behaviour resulting from the use of alcohol is addressed through Campus Security and Emergency Services and/or Human Resources/Faculty Relations.

Applicable Legislation and Policies:

Policy Statement:

The university is committed to providing an environment that promotes the responsible use of alcohol through education and harm reduction strategies, responsible service of alcohol at licenced locations and events, and the encouragement of alcohol free spaces, activities, and programs. As part of this commitment the university continually strives to implement best practices with respect to alcohol related behaviours and practices.


Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO): is an arm’s length regulatory Agency of the Government of Ontario. It reports to the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General and has responsibly for the administration of the Liquor Licence Act and sections of the Liquor Control Act.

Alcohol Working Group (AWG): is the working group on campus reviews and recommends enhancements to policies, practices, and initiatives around responsible alcohol use on campus. The AWG includes both campus and community stakeholders and is under the portfolio of Student Affairs. The AWG may establish sub-committees to develop or oversee responsible alcohol use initiatives on campus. Where applicable, terms of reference for these sub-committees will be created and approved by the AWG.

AGCO Compliance Officer: is the individual appointed by the AGCO who interprets and enforces regulatory liquor laws; assesses public interest issues related to liquor and/or gaming complaints/violations; participates in and conducts investigations under the LLA; undertakes corrective action and maintains effective liaisons and working partnerships and provides guidance and advice to licencees and other stakeholders.

Athletics & Recreation Guidelines for Student Athletes: outlines behavioural expectations for student athletes.

Authorized Bodies: include those organizations and university administrators where applicable, who have authority to sanction events affiliated with Queen’s in approved designated locations (e.g. AMS,SGPS, Risk & Safety Services).

High Risk Alcohol Event: An event that is considered to be higher risk and requires additional security. Criteria for evaluating the risk level of an event will include but is not limited to i)nature of the venue, ii) type of beverage service (e.g. served vs self-served), iii) anticipated attendance numbers, iv) previous history (e.g. of event, sponsor, etc…), v) target audience and vi)nature of event. The evaluation of risk for an event is determined by the appropriate event sanctioning policies and procedures.

Liquor Licence Holder Delegate: A Liquor Licence Holder Delegate(LLHD) is an individual who is designated by the university or other authorized Liquor Licence Holder operating on University Property and acts on behalf of the Liquor Licence Holder for the purposes of accountability and compliance with the Liquor Licence Act (LLA), sale and service of alcohol on University Property and expectations under this policy. Any authorized Liquor Licence Holder operating on University Property is required to identify an LLHD. The Primary LLHD for the University’s licences is typically the Executive Director Housing and Ancillary Services.

Liquor Licence Act (LLA): is a provincial law in Ontario dealing with licencing and possession of alcohol.

Sanctioned Event/Activity: an activity that has been approved by the university (through a university administrator authorized to do so), or by one of the university’s Authorized Bodies (e.g. AMS, SGPS).

Special Occasion Permit (SOP): is a permit issued by the AGCO that allows for alcohol to be served for occasional, special events taking place in a public place other than a licenced establishment. SOPs are not intended to be used on university property as an alternative to the liquor sales licences held by the University.

Student Code of Conduct: is the document that outlines the kinds of activities and behaviour that constitute non-academic student misconduct and associated outcomes, and is ultimately approved by the university’s Board of Trustees.

Residence Community Standards: is the document that outlines residence rules, standards, and expectations for behaviour within a residence environment for residents.

Publisher: is defined as producers of Queen’s University-associated media platforms.

University Property: means property owned, rented or otherwise used by the University, with the exception of university owned property rented pursuant to the Residential Tendencies Act (RTA) and the Bader International Study Centre (BISC).

A. Responsibilities:

1. The Liquor Licence Holder Delegate has responsibility for compliance with the Liquor Licence Act and related matters under the Occupiers’ Liability Act. In addition, the LLHD has responsibility for the renewal/extension of the university’s liquor licences in collaboration with the University’s Legal Counsel; and for the sale, service and compliance with this Policy. In collaboration with the AGCO Compliance Officer, the LLHD is responsible for oversight and compliance of training related to legislative requirements for alcohol sales and service on campus.

2. The Alcohol Working Group is responsible for reviewing this policy, practices, and initiatives in support of the responsible use of alcohol on campus and make recommendations to senior leadership as appropriate.

3. The Provost and Vice-Principal Academic and the Vice-Principal Finance and Operations (or delegates) have joint responsibility for the review and maintenance of the Alcohol Policy and direct oversight of the departments who have responsibility for alcohol use and management on campus.

4. The Director of Campus Security and Emergency Services (or delegate) has responsibility to terminate any on-campus function where the possession, consumption, or sale of alcoholic beverages is being conducted in violation of this policy, or in violation of the laws and regulations of Ontario.

5. Authorized Body (e.g. university administrators, AMS, SGPS) has responsibility to sanction events that involve alcohol in accordance with this Policy and other applicable university policies and procedures. All event organizers must be clearly informed of this Policy and actions that may be taken if they fail to adhere to this Policy as part of any event sanctioning process.

B. General Regulations and Restrictions:

All servicing, sale, advertising, and consumption of alcohol must be in accordance with Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the Liquor Licence Act of Ontario, Liquor Control Act, and this Policy.

1. Training

1.1 A LLHD has responsibility for ensuring the delivery of annual training related to legislative and policy requirements for alcohol sales and service on campus. A LLHD will ensure that all persons involved in the provision of alcohol sales and service on campus under the university’s licence will complete the mandatory training required under the LLA for responsible alcohol service and additional training at their discretion.

1.2 Additional training is provided to individuals on campus by those groups/departments who hold responsibility for educating, advising, or enforcing policies, procedures or rules related to alcohol. All training on campus will include information on the responsible use of alcohol and strategies to reduce alcohol related harms. Those involved in additional alcohol training include: Residence Life Staff, Campus Security and Emergency Services, Hired Security staff, Non-Academic Misconduct Units, Orientation Leaders, Event Planners, Pub Staff, AMS Executive, SGPS Executive, and other Student Leaders.

1.3 Queen’s Service Practice Manuals will be reviewed yearly by the LLHD and the respective student associations, pursuant to provisions outlined in the Pub Management Agreements.

2. Orientation Week

2.1 Orientation Week1 events for all students are required to be dry and substance free, meaning that events and activities associated with Orientation Week on campus and those off campus Sanctioned Events are not permitted to provide, serve, or encourage the consumption of alcohol or substances such as cannabis. In limited circumstances, a Dean may, in consultation with the Executive Director, Risk & Safety Services, approve exception to this section for graduate and second entry program events.

2.2 Organizers of events during Orientation Week that are open to the broader Kingston community, will take measures to support an alcohol and substance free environment for student participants in consultation with the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs (or designate) and/or the Executive Director Risk and Safety Services (or designate). Additional approvals may be required for events during Orientation Week.

3. Service of Alcohol at Events

3.1 On campus events

3.1.1 The provision of alcoholic beverages and service for all on-campus events may only be provided by Queen’s Event Services, unless otherwise approved by the Executive Director, Housing and Ancillary Services in consultation with senior leadership as appropriate. Licenced service on University Property is permitted only if the area meets the standards and requirements set out in the LLA and only after approval from Queen’s Event Services.

3.2 Special Occasion Permit (SOP)/Caterer’s Endorsement

3.2.1 Typically, on campus events are held under the University’s licence and not through an SOP application. No person or organization may apply for an SOP or use a Caterer’s Endorsement on campus without the written approval of the University’s LLHD. Requests for approval shall be made a minimum of 90 days prior to the event. The University’s LLHD will determine whether an on-campus event/occasion will be approved for an SOP or use a Caterer’s Endorsement depending on the nature of the event and having regard for recommendations from the AGCO.

3.2.2 Special Occasion Permits for Tailgating are not permitted on University Property.

3.3 Off campus events

3.3.1 In keeping with the purpose and scope of this Policy, all off campus Sanctioned Events involving alcohol must adhere to applicable policies and procedures. In the sanctioning process, event organizers must consider options for events and venues that would be fully inclusive of those who choose not to consume alcohol. Organizers are expected to take all reasonable steps to comply with the risk and harm reduction strategies outlined in section 4 and section 5.

3.3.2 Off campus events that are not Sanctioned are considered unsanctioned. As such organizers may not advertise, promote, or sell tickets, on campus or through Queen’s media platforms. Organizers of unsanctioned events with alcohol may not make use of the campus, facilities, or resources in organizing or running the event.

3.3.3 The university or Authorized Bodies who sanction events affiliated with Queen’s or which could be reasonably perceived as affiliated with Queen’s, will not sanction events where the primary purpose or focus of the event is the consumption of alcohol. Meaning, where there is reasonable potential for high volume consumption of alcohol or where an event could be seen to be compelling or socially pressuring a person to consume alcohol in order to gain or maintain membership in, the acceptance of, or association with, any group or organization. Events such as bar crawls or nightclub trips where the primary purpose or focus of the event is alcohol consumption will not be sanctioned.

3.3.4 Buses or similar type vehicles will not be permitted on University Property for the purposes of transporting individuals to an event not sanctioned by the university or Authorized Body of the university, where alcohol will be served.

4. Sale and Service of Alcohol

4.1 The service regulations prescribed for venues licenced in Ontario are set out in the Liquor Licence Act (LLA). All licenced facilities on campus shall only serve alcohol in compliance with this legislation and any applicable university policies, procedures, or agreements.

4.2 Selling and/or delivering alcohol on campus except as arranged by the LLHD is strictly prohibited. The university stipulates certain additional service practices for the on-campus licenced facilities to promote responsible alcohol consumption and to reduce risk of harm. These stipulations include but are not limited to the following:

4.2.1 No individual will be served more than two alcoholic beverages, per order and in accordance with any exception listed below;

4.2.2 Mixed alcoholic shots/shooters (i.e. 1 ounce) are limited to one per consumer, per transaction, and shall not be served back to back without a reasonable timeframe (i.e. thirty minutes) between service. Shots/shooters will not be served on campus during peak periods2 of alcohol consumption (e.g. Orientation Week, Homecoming weekend, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day);

4.2.3 No alcoholic drink containing spirits will contain more than 2 ounces of alcohol;

4.2.4 Pitchers of beer and/or a bottle of wine will not be served to less than two customers;

4.2.5 Sale of hard liquor by the bottle is strictly prohibited;

4.2.6 Service shall be limited to one drink per person after notification that service will end for the evening; facility wide last call announcements are not permitted3;

4.2.7 No admittance to licenced facilities within ½ hour before scheduled closing;

4.2.8 On-campus licenced facilities shall provide and advertise that individuals who identify as a designated driver or sober designate will receive on request non-alcoholic beverages for free;

4.2.9 Alcoholic drinks included with the admission of an event or function must be in the form of a ticket. No more than two drink tickets for alcoholic beverages may be provided as part of admission to an event. Queen’s University Event Services may permit exceptions to this if appropriate for the type of event or function;

4.2.10 Licenced facilities on campus may not offer free alcoholic beverages4;

4.2.11 At all Licenced facilities on campus and at any Sanctioned Event where alcohol is being served, food will be offered, available, and promoted.

5. Advertising. Promotion and Sponsorship

5.1 All advertising in campus licenced establishments must conform to the regulations set out in the Liquor Licence Act of Ontario, guidelines issued by the AGCO, and to applicable university policies and guidelines such as Queen’s University Trademark Licensing Program, Queen’s Signage Policy, and must not conflict with appropriate standards of expected conduct as outlined in the Queen’s Student Code of Conduct, Residence Community Standards, and Athletics & Recreation Policies.

5.2 The university’s name, logo(s), or other trademarks shall not be used in association with any manufacturer or representative of alcoholic beverages without the direct and explicit permission of the Queen’s University Trademark Licensing Program.

5.3 Advertising (in any medium) of any licenced event or location shall not promote drink specials or promotions that explicitly encourages alcohol consumption. On campus licenced facilities will submit an annual promotions plan for approval by the Liquor Licence Holder Delegate.

5.4 Signage reflecting manufacturers, providers, or representatives of alcoholic beverages is not permitted on University Property, except in designated on-campus licenced establishments, licenced areas, or as part of a university sponsored event (including Sanctioned events) where this signage is related to legitimate service provisions (e.g. job fairs).

5.5 Promotion of alcohol as the focus for the event or promotion which encourages mass, excessive or rapid consumption of alcohol (e.g. drunk, bash, booze up) is prohibited. The University will remove any promotional material that contravenes this Policy and any other University policy, or negatively impacts the learning, living, or working environment on University Property.

5.6 Any reference to transportation that is sponsored by manufacturers or representatives of alcoholic beverages or by off-campus establishments, to events where alcoholic consumption is the focus for the event are not permitted to be advertised or promoted on University Property. In addition, any transportation associated with such events, is not permitted on University Property.

5.7 Advertising, promotions, or sponsorship related to alcohol shall not:

  1. coerce5 any individual into consuming alcohol;
  2. depict individuals consuming alcohol;
  3. depict a person who is intoxicated;
  4. refer to the price of alcohol (when posted outside of a licenced area);
  5. directly target individuals underage or be displayed in areas that are mostly visited by minors.

The University will remove any promotional or advertising material that contravenes this Policy and any other University policy, or negatively impacts the learning, living, or working environment on University Property.

5.8 The Publishers of Queen’s University-associated media platforms (e.g. newspapers, books, magazines, newsletters, brochures, leaflets, posters, stickers, media broadcast, social media animation, outdoor displays, digital advertising) must adhere to this Policy and reject, discontinue or cancel, any advertisement that violates this Policy.

5.9 Advertising on campus or through Queen’s associated media platforms of an off campus licenced establishment must adhere to this Policy and to other applicable university policies and advertising guidelines.

5.10 Sponsorship by the manufacturers or representatives of alcoholic beverages (either through goods or monetary sponsorship) must be in accordance with university sponsorship guidelines and policies. Sponsored goods or products that explicitly promote the consumption of alcohol through the branding, imagery/text, or nature of the good (e.g. flasks) is strictly prohibited.

5.11 Alcohol products are not permitted to be donated for consumption at events or activities affiliated with Queen’s. This does not prevent event organizers from purchasing alcohol from Event Services and providing to event attendees free of charge in accordance with established service guidelines and restrictions, which includes the ticketing requirements in this Policy.

6. Alcohol Deliveries

6.1 Alcohol deliveries to an individual(s) are strictly prohibited on campus and shall not be accepted at any delivery receiving location (i.e. mail room, residence desk, office area).

7. Behavioural Expectations with Respect to Alcohol

7.1 All students are required to adhere to the Student Code of Conduct, specifically as it relates to alcohol use and possession.

7.2 In addition to 7.1, those students living in residence are required to adhere to the Residence Community Standards as it related to alcohol use and possession.

7.3 In addition to 7.1 and 7.2, all student athletes are required to adhere to the Athletic & Recreation Student Non-Academic Misconduct Policy and Guidelines.

7.4 Hazing activities, as defined by the Student Code of Conduct and specifically those that involve alcohol, are strictly prohibited.

7.5 All faculty and staff are required to adhere to their respective responsibilities as outlined by the Fitness to Work Guidelines.

7.6 Except in designated licenced areas, alcohol may not be consumed in public areas of University Property.

8. Policy Violations

8.1 In addition to actions applied under the LLA, any violation of this Policy shall be referred to the appropriate body for further action under the applicable policy/procedures (i.e. adjudication, sanctioning). Reports from these bodies may be requested by the Alcohol Working Group for the purposes of the annual review or policy revisions.

Questions regarding this Policy or for concerns related to potential violations of this Policy should be directed to the first point of contact as follows:

Alcohol Policy Content Examples First Point of Contact
Liquor Licence Compliance

Sales or service of alcohol

Special Occasion Permits

On Campus Pub Operations

On Campus Pub Training

Executive Director Housing and Ancillary Services
Off Campus Events with Alcohol

Off Campus Event Approval Process

Bus Transportation to Off Campus

Executive Director Risk and Safety Services
On Campus Event Planning with alcohol Questions related to the planning of an event on campus involving alcohol Associate Director, Event Services

On Campus Events

Concerns for alcohol related behaviour

Alcohol Deliveries on Campus

Response to on campus violations around possession, consumption, sale, or law regarding alcohol.

Response to alcohol delivery service on University Property.

To report a concern around alcohol 24/7.

Campus Security and Emergency Services (available 24/7)
Alcohol Working Group

General questions around the Alcohol Policy

Questions around the university’s inventory of policies, programs, services and informational resources available to students at Queen’s

Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs

Advertising, Promotion & Solicitation

Trademark and Licensing

Questions around the use of the university’s trademark.

Advertising Concerns

University Communications or Office of Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs
Alcohol Education & Training

General questions around the education of alcohol on campus.

General questions around the training available around alcohol.

Manager, Health Promotion, Student Wellness Services


Contact Officers Risk and Safety Services & Office of Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs
Policy Review Body Senior Leadership Team
Liquor Licence Holder Queens University
Authorization Provost and Vice-Principal Academic Vice Principal, Finance and Administration
Date for Next Review 2023/05/26
Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines

Student Code of Conduct

Residence Community Standards

Athletics & Recreation Non-Academic Misconduct Policy

Beverage Service and Operating Procedure

Off Campus Activity Safety Policy

Special Events on Campus Procedure

Events Requirement Bus Transportation

Guidelines for Execution of Advertising Where Alcohol is Involved

Fitness for Work Guidelines

Agreement with Alcohol Sale Providers

Advertising and Commercial Activity Framework and Guiding Principles For Developing a New Policy

Policies Superseded by This Policy Alcohol Policy 2012


1 Orientation week typically begins the last week of August and continues until the Sunday of the first full week of classes.

2 Peak periods will be defined by the LLHD on behalf of the university.

3 Pub operation staff should refer to pub operation manuals for additional information on managing last service.

This does not prevent a licence facility from offering a replacement beverage at no additional charge in response to a server error.

Advertising is considered coercive if it promotes the irresponsible or illegal use of alcohol, associates alcohol with social or personal achievement, requires consumption for contests or promotional requirements or implies that people “love” or “live for” (or have similar attachment) to the product.(referenced from the Advertising Standards Canada Alcoholic Beverage Advertising Clearance Guide)