Alcohol & Other Drug Policy Statement

Sacred Heart University is dedicated to creating an environment that allows students to achieve their educational goals and grow spiritually, intellectually and socially. The University is also committed to supporting students in demonstrating responsible conduct in the best interest of their personal health and well-being, the community’s general welfare, and the rights of others.

The University does not condone the illegal or otherwise irresponsible use of alcohol and other drugs. Every member of the University community is encouraged and expected to be aware the risks associated with alcohol and drug use and abuse. This responsibility obligates students to know relevant University policies and federal, state, and local laws and to conduct themselves in accordance with these laws and policies. Students are expected to assume responsibility for their behavior and must understand that being under the influence of alcohol/drugs in no way lessens accountability for their actions.

Sacred Heart University complies with and enforces all federal, state, and local laws that regulate or prohibit the possession, use or distribution of alcoholic beverages or drugs. To these ends, the University publishes the following information regarding University policies and sanctions; laws and penalties concerning substance use and abuse; health and behavioral risks of drug use, and resources for treatment and educational programming.


Sacred Heart University acknowledges the fact that alcohol is a part of society, and supports the contention that use and abuse of alcohol is one of the most serious issues facing University students nationwide. Therefore, we strive to educate students about alcohol effects and the prevention of alcohol abuse.

Alcohol Guidelines & Regulations

The University maintains the position of zero tolerance for those underage students consuming alcoholic beverages.

  1. No person under the age of 21 may acquire, purchase, obtain, possess, be in the presence of or consume alcoholic beverages.
  2. Use or possession of alcoholic beverages and their sale, delivery, or service to individuals under the age of 21 is prohibited.
  3. No person regardless of age is permitted to possess or consume alcohol within the on-campus residential areas (Roncalli Hall, Seton Hall, Merton Hall, Christian Witness Commons, and Scholars Commons) of the University.
  4. An individual, 21 or older, may consume alcohol on University property or at University sponsored events (Red’s) only in areas where the University expressly allows the sale and consumption of alcohol.
  5. Any alcoholic beverage out of the original container or having a broken seal is considered an open container, which may not be carried or consumed on SHU grounds (except pub area), and related facilities without authorization through an approved alcohol registration form.
  6. Students in residence hall rooms where alcohol is present may be considered in violation of this policy for not leaving or reporting violations.
  7. Residents are responsible for the actions/behaviors of their guests/visitors regarding alcohol possession and use and are expected to inform the guest of such policies.
  8. Possessing, furnishing, consuming or serving from a common source of alcohol (i.e. kegs, beer balls, punch bowls, trash cans or other excessive equivalent number servings.) is prohibited.
  9. Kegs and beer balls are not permitted on University property.
  10. Creating, offering, or engaging in drinking games and contests (i.e. beer pong etc.) and other behaviors designed for the purpose of becoming intoxicated through the abusive use of alcohol is prohibited.
  11. No person may use a fake ID, the driver’s license or SHU ID card of another, supply such cards to another, furnish false information in obtaining such cards, or deface or alter such cards.
  12. Possession or using alcohol paraphernalia or beverage containers whether full or empty (including but not limited to beer bottles or cans, alcohol bottles, beer funnels, beer pong tables are not allowed in University residence facilities.
  13. The use or possession of grain alcohol, regardless of age is prohibited.
  14. Any public or private use of alcohol by students that leads to public or obvious intoxication to include but not limited to: (slurred speech, difficulty walking, requiring medical assistance, intrusive, destructive, disorderliness or violent behavior) is unacceptable for a Sacred Heart University student and will be treated as a disciplinary matter.
  15. All students are responsible for discouraging alcohol-related behavior that is abusive to themselves or to others. Any effort to induce or force a student to drink against his/her expressed desire is prohibited.
  16. Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is prohibited.
  17. Open containers including cups and squeeze bottles of alcohol are not permitted in public areas such as hallways, lobbies, stairwells, elevators, balconies, porches, community or common areas at any time.
  18. Alcohol use is allowed for students of legal age (over 21) who reside in THE RIDGE, TAFT, PIONEER GARDENS, and OAKWOOD and only in apartments in which all the residents as well as their guest(s) who are of the legal drinking age of 21. All other residence halls and apartments in The Ridge, Taft, Pioneer Gardens, and Oakwood are considered "dry," and no alcohol or alcohol containers are permitted in these areas.

This handbook section defines terms and identifies alcohol guidelines related to students:

Legal Age
State law states that only individuals who are 21 years of age or older may purchase, possess and consume alcohol.

State law states that individuals under 21 years of age may neither, possess, consume nor purchase alcohol.

No student may be intoxicated while on-campus.

No one may purchase for or provide alcohol to anyone underage. It is the responsibility of the host to comply with state and local laws. A social host may be held responsible for injuries and damages caused by a minor who is served alcohol.

Open Container
Any alcoholic beverage out of the original container or having a broken seal is considered an open container, which may not be carried or consumed on SHU grounds (except Red’s area) without authorization through an approved alcohol registration form.

Kegs/Beer Balls
Kegs and beer balls or common containers over 64 ounces are not permitted on campus (except in Red’s) without an approved alcohol registration form. Also, alcohol "punches" using wine or hard liquor are not permitted on campus.

Sale of Alcohol
Beer is sold only in Red’s area during designated hours. Any other sale of alcohol on campus must have approval through an alcohol registration form and State resources. Employees of Red’s have the right and responsibility to deny the sale of beer to anyone under the age of 21, anyone using or presenting a false ID, anyone intoxicated and for any other reason deemed necessary.

If illegal use or possession of drugs or alcohol is presumed to be taking place behind closed or locked doors in a residence facility, the Residential Life staff will address appropriately. An announcement will be made that entry to the room will take place. If the occupants of the room do not voluntarily allow access, access will be made by the use of a key.

Events with Alcohol (for student groups and organizations)
Every event with alcohol at Sacred Heart University must be registered and authorized through the Student Affairs Office by the Associate Dean of Students. This is necessary for adherence to state and SHU guidelines for legal sale, distribution and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Failure to do so will result in event cancellation.

All applicants must make an appointment with the Associate Dean of Students no later than 2 weeks before the event date (if a Connecticut state-issued temporary permit is needed, applicants will need to make an appointment no later than one month before the event date). The purchase of alcohol for an event cannot be made using money allocated by Student Government. Alcohol must be ordered by the Associate Dean of Students. An event representative must be present to accept delivery and transfer alcohol to event location. All events with alcohol REQUIRE THE ATTENDANCE of the CLUB/ORGANIZATION ADVISOR throughout the entire event. State law and SHU policy mandate that no person under the age of 21 years can purchase, obtain/possess or consume alcoholic beverages.                                       

All events at which alcohol beverages are being sold (entrance fee or per drink charge) must be in compliance with state law, requiring a permit from the Department of Liquor Control. Information on obtaining temporary permits can be found in the Student Union office. Students who wish to hold an event with alcoholic beverages must contact the Associate Dean of Students in the Student Affairs Office for event registration, guidelines, authorization and ordering. Any event not properly registered through the Student Affairs Office and/or State of Connecticut, will be canceled. Any function which provides an alcoholic beverage must also provide a non-alcoholic beverage alternative in sufficient quantity and food must be available and featured prominently. Consumption of alcohol is not an acceptable excuse for any behavior deemed inappropriate or in violation of University rules and policies.


The possession, use, misuse, manufacture, distribution, improper possession, possession with intent to sell and/or sale of illegal/unauthorized harmful drugs, prescription medication,  drug paraphernalia (including but not limited to hookahs, pipes, bongs, bowls, etc.) misuse of any product to act as a drug is a violation of state and federal laws, and is contrary to Sacred Heart University policies. Students found responsible for violating any part of this policy, are subject to University disciplinary action and/or arrest and prosecution by state and/or federal authorities.

For students with alcohol or drug addictions, the Counseling & Health service Offices serve as a resource to assist the student in receiving the appropriate assistance for recovery.