FAQ about Registered Parties

FAQs - General

  1. What kinds of events does my group have to register?
    Any event that your organization/house is hosting, co-hosting, sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or advertising with your organization's name on it must be registered.

  2. Do all registered events have to be large and open?
    No, any size event  -- large, medium, and small (i.e. a date party or a party for seniors only) -- that your organization is hosting is subject to the registration policy. If any alcohol will be provided, you must register the event, regardless of the number of guests anticipated.

  3. Do we have to have food and non-alcoholic beverages?
    Yes, any event with alcohol, regardless of location, must feature appropriate amounts of appetizing food, non-alcoholic beverages, and water for your guests. 

  4. How many sober hosts do I need for my event?
    You are required to have one sober host for every 30 guests at on campus events and 1 sober host for every 50 guests at 3rd party venue events.  Sober hosts play a critical role in the success of registered events.  Your organization relies heavily on the sober hosts the night of your event.  Sober hosts must be sober for the duration of the party and take ownership of the event to ensure a positive experience for all attendees.

  5. Are there restrictions on event advertising?   
    Be smart with your advertising.  Do not include inappropriate messaging (i.e. getting drunk, sexual in nature, etc.).  Be sure to use advertising that displays a positive, inclusive message about your student organization and the specific event.  For 3rd Party Venues, you can not include specific drink specials in your advertising.  

  6. Where can I get wristbands?
    Security guards will bring wristbands to your event.

FAQs - Events in On-Campus Locations or Off-Campus Residences

  1. For events in on-campus locations or off-campus residences (University-owned or non University-owned locations), do we have to hire university-approved bartenders and security?
    Yes, university-approved bartenders and security are required.  It is highly recommended that the number of bartenders be adequate for the number of guests expected.  For example, one bartender is not adequate for a party of over 200 guests.  Outside security is also required. AOD will help arrange security guards for your event, but your organization/house will be responsible to cover the cost of the security guards. The guards work in pairs with a minimum of 4 hours per event. The cost is $32.5/hr per guard. Again, the number of security hired should be appropriate for the anticipated size of the party.

  2. What kinds of alcohol and how much of it can we serve?
    You are able to serve beer (in cans) and wine. Mixed drinks may be served, however there must be a guest list and less than 150 people attending your event, and AOD must approve of the mixed drinks being served. Because most events are four hours long and it takes one hour to process one drink, you should make available no more than 4 alcoholic beverages per of-age guest.

  3. What is an Event Observer?  What is their role on campus?
    Event Observers are part-time staff members of the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Program Initiatives. The observers roam campus on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights to ensure that the University alcohol policy is being followed.  

FAQs - Third-Party Venues

  1. Is there a list of preferred bars/clubs/restaurants that I have to choose from when holding an event at a third-party vendor?
    There are no restrictions on the type of bar,club, or restaurant you book to host your event in. Some third-party vendors are easier to work with and give better deals, but there is no "preferred list."  The Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and/or the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Program Initiatives are willing to review any contract you have been given to sign to make sure there are no high-risk issues present.  This is not an official legal review but an opportunity to identify potentially unsafe issues. This is especially recommended in the case of bar minimums and bar guarantees.

  2. Is there a list of bars, clubs, or restaurants that have already provided copies of their liquor licenses and insurance certificates?
    Yes, please contact Noelle Melartin (melartin@upenn.edu) for that information.

  3. Can we have bar minimums, open bar, or bottle service?
    Open bar and bottle service are not permitted. Bar minimums are strongly discouraged, as many groups have trouble meeting the minimum and are forced to make up the cost, but if it is necessary for your organization to secure the venue please talk to a staff member of the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Program Initiatives to ensure that the bar minimum is appropriate for the number of guests at your event.