Alcohol in Perelman Quad Facilities

University Guidelines for Compliance with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Liquor Laws

Perelman Quad includes Houston Hall, Irvine Auditorium, Logan Hall, College Hall, etc.  In order to maintain compliance with the alcoholic beverage control laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the University of Pennsylvania has outlined the following requirements regarding the procurement and service of alcoholic beverages at on-campus events.  These requirements apply at all facilities owned by or leased to the University that are not licensed for the sale of alcoholic beverages by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.  The only University facilities holding licenses for sale of alcoholic beverages are the Penn Museum, the Inn at Penn, the Sheraton University City Hotel and the Steinberg Conference Center.  At licensed facilities, alcoholic beverages must be purchased through and served by the licensed operator, and all arrangements for alcoholic beverage service must be made through the University's licensed facility operator.  Houston Hall and Perelman Quad facilities are NOT licensed for the sale of alcoholic beverages.  The term "alcoholic beverages" refers to all liquor, wine, spirits, and malt and brewed beverages.  All entities, including affiliated and non-affiliated organizations and/or persons, are expected to adhere to these requirements. 

No charges for alcoholic beverages:

There can be no charge for receipt of alcoholic beverages at the event (e.g., a cash bar is not permitted).   Any charge that functions as an indirect payment for alcoholic beverages is also prohibited (e.g., charging for cups or glasses; charging for tickets to an event where alcoholic beverages are served or charging for tickets which are then used to obtain beverage service from the bartender, etc.)

No mandatory admission fee:

No mandatory admission fee may be charged for admission to events where alcoholic beverages are served.  Event hosts can recommend a donation from guests.  However, this donation must be an unambiguously voluntary recommended gift and cannot be mandated for entry or service of alcoholic beverages.  A sign must be displayed at the entrance to the event stating the voluntary nature of the donation.  If a guest chooses not to donate money, this person (if of legal age) must be permitted access to alcoholic beverages, even if he or she is not admitted to the event. 

Calculating entry charges or ticket fees:

Entry fees or ticket sales in the form of a recommended donation must be allocated to the recovery of food and service costs only.  All purchases of alcoholic beverages must be made before the event and invoiced separately and apart from food and service costs. This invoice must demonstrate that the alcoholic beverages were legally purchased at suggested retail prices from a licensed vendor or distributor.  If a ticket price or other entry cost is to be charged, calculation of entry fees or ticket costs must be based on the separate invoice(s) for food and related services (including bartending, corkage fees, etc.) by the caterer(s). 

Purchasing alcoholic beverages for events:

Alcoholic beverages must be purchased by the host and are deemed to be the host/purchaser's property at all times.  Frequently, a caterer will agree to make the purchase on behalf of the host, but these purchases must be made in the name of the host and the caterer must provide a receipt to the host evidencing the purchase.  All purchases of alcoholic beverages, whether for a catered event or otherwise, must be made at a Pennsylvania licensed establishment.  The caterer may not include a mark-up on the purchase price of alcoholic beverages, but the caterer may charge a commercially reasonable "corkage fee" for serving the alcoholic beverages as part of its catering service fee.

Leftover alcoholic beverages:

These alcoholic beverages cannot be purchased back by the caterer or by any other vendor.  There can be no credit given for unused alcoholic beverages and no reversal of sale.  Once purchased, the alcoholic beverages can only be donated or retained by the host/purchaser. All leftover alcoholic beverages must be removed from the event premises after the event has ended. No alcoholic beverages may be left unattended or unsecured on University property. The plan for removal of alcoholic beverages must be addressed either with the Office of Risk Management or, for student events, with the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Program Initiatives, before the start of the event.

Open bars:

Consistent with the regulatory framework described above, open bars (i.e., the sale and/or service of an unlimited or indefinite amount of alcoholic beverages for a fixed price) at University facilities that are not licensed for liquor service are not permitted.  In fact, service of alcoholic beverages on an open bar basis is impermissible in all instances except for catered events that have been arranged at least 24 hours in advance on a premises licensed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

Service of alcohol

1) In order to be served alcohol, participants must present appropriate identification (driver's license, passport, state-issued ID).  A Penn ID card is not a sufficient form of identification to acquire alcohol because it does not include a birthdate.

  • For events that include underage participants, efforts must be made to appropriately identify of-age guests, who may acquire alcohol.  Do not give wristbands or hand stamps to underage guests.  Use these methods to identify of-age people only.

2) Abundant food and non-alcoholic beverages must be served during the event. 

3) The amount of alcohol provided should not exceed one standard serving of alcohol per hour. One serving of alcohol is 12oz. of beer, 4-5oz. of wine, or 1.5oz of 80 proof liquor.


4) A University approved and trained bartender should be in control of the service of alcohol. Participants are not allowed to pour or control their own alcohol (i.e., self-pour bottles of wine on tables). 

5) Kegs are not allowed on campus.

6) Remaining alcohol must be disposed of properly.

7) Sober hosts should available to identify and manage any issues of concern.

  • Event hosts should be aware of risks associated with consumption of alcohol.  Hosts should monitor the consumption of alcohol by guests and should take appropriate action if any guest displays signs of intoxication.  Campus police should be contacted immediately if any guest appears to need medical attention: 215-573-3333 or 511 from a campus phone.