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Policy: XI.C.1

Issued: May 1, 1990

Owner: University President

Latest Review: December 1, 1999


1.0 Purpose

A policy is established through which certain University events may be approved for serving alcohol when University employees are among those attending. University officials who can grant such authorizations are identified, and conditions for authorization are described.

2.0 Policy [Top]

2.1 Classified Employees

The Employee Standards of Conduct, which apply to all classified salaried employees and are recorded in the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual, cite several alcohol-related offenses that when committed by an employee are subject to a range of administrative actions. Alcohol-related offenses are classed in the two most serious offense groups. "Reporting to work when under the influence of or when ability is impaired by alcohol, or the unlawful use of controlled substances" represents Group II offenses. The penalties include written notice, possible suspension up to 10 work days without pay, and termination of employment upon a second offense in Group II within three years. "Use of alcohol or unlawful use or possession of controlled substances while on the job" represent Group III offenses. Such offenses normally warrant termination of employment. Less severe penalties from Group III offenses range from a written notice, which remains active for four years, to suspension for up to 30 days without pay. Both Group II and Group III offenses could result in demotion or transfer.

2.2 All Other Employees, Including Faculty

The Policy Statement on a Drug-Free Workplace (Amended November 21, 1989), which is consistent with the above Standards of Conduct in its implications for classified salaried employees, broadens prohibitions on alcohol and drug-related activity to all employees, including part-time, temporary and student workers, as well as all faculty. As the policy states: "The use of alcohol while on University of Virginia-owned or -controlled property, including meal periods and breaks, is absolutely prohibited except when authorized by the University for approved University functions. No employee will report to work while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Violation of these rules by an employee will be reason for evaluation/treatment for a substance use disorder or for disciplinary action up to and including removal." Although the University does not encourage the use of alcoholic beverages and strongly discourages the illegal or otherwise irresponsible use of alcohol, there are some official University activities at which alcohol may be served and consumption by employees may be permitted. Despite that exception, it is important to reiterate that the University expects no employee to report to work while under the influence of alcohol. Generally, "under the influence" can be defined as a condition in which the affected employee is impaired in the performance of his or her duties due to consumption of alcohol. The purpose of the following policy is to outline a method by which permission may be granted for an event involving employees to include alcohol. Even when such events are approved by this policy, they are regarded as acceptable, not desirable, by the University.

2.3 Requesting Authorization

The following policy describes how to request authorization allowing the presence and consumption of alcohol in and on University-owned or -controlled property with University employees in attendance. The policy contains six primary elements:

1. Activities by students, student organizations, and contracted independent organizations (CIOs) are subject to the review of the Vice President for Student Affairs and responsibility for authorization of the serving of alcohol at such events is delegated to that Vice President. Section Two of the University Non-Academic Rules and Regulations (printed in the University Record), titled "Alcohol," provides greater detail about regulations applying to students. Organizers of events involving alcohol on the University Grounds, when such events are intended to include both students and University employees, must seek approval both from the Vice President for Student Affairs and appropriate officials identified in this policy.

2. Certain University locations and operations may request prior multi-event approval and are not required to make separate requests for individual events. Such locations include, but are not limited to, the Colonnade Club, the President's residence, and Carr's Hill. Multi-event approvals are not to be presumed and require written notice from the appropriate University official. Multi-event approvals may be granted for up to one calendar year, and generally will take effect on January 1, with expiration on December 31 of the same year. Students, student organizations, and CIOs holding events in multi-event authorized locations still must seek approval for specific events through the Vice President for Student Affairs.

3. Functions within private, non-student residences on University-owned or -controlled property are not subject to this procedure or the policy on which it is based, except in the case of an "open" invitation (in which invitations are not individually addressed) to a group or groups of students. For example, if a faculty member who lives on the University Grounds wishes to invite all the members of a particular residence hall to a social event that involves alcohol, that faculty member must seek approval from the Vice President for Student Affairs.

4. Requestors from areas reporting to the Vice President for Health Sciences should seek approval from that Vice President. Requestors from all other University operations except those reporting to the President should seek approval from their appropriate vice president. Requestors reporting to the President should seek approval from the President. Requestors at the University of Virginia's College at Wise should seek approval from the Chancellor. In each case, the identified official may designate an administrator reporting directly to that official as the person responsible for administering the procedure. Regardless of any delegation of the decision process, each official identified above is responsible for ensuring that such decisions are consistent with this procedure and the policy on which it is based.

5. Requestors should complete the request forms as models for the information to be provided for each request, and should address the request to the appropriate University official. "Approval Request for Alcoholic Beverages at a University Function" forms are available on the University Web Forms Directory. This form is a PDF document.

6. Any request involving the use of space controlled by a University unit, department, school or division should be accompanied by an indication of approval from the appropriate deans and department heads. Any approved University function is expected to be conducted in accordance with University Non-Academic Rules and Regulations referring to alcohol and with Virginia state laws concerning the purchase, possession, consumption, sales and storage of alcoholic beverages, including but not limited to the following.

a. Any sale of an alcoholic beverage requires an ABC license.
b. Alcoholic beverages are not to be given or sold to persons under the legal drinking age.
c. Alcoholic beverages are not to be given or sold to persons who are intoxicated.
d. State law prohibits drinking in public; possession of an alcoholic beverage by a person under the legal drinking age; falsely representing one's age for the purpose of procuring alcohol; and purchasing an alcoholic beverage for a person who is under the legal drinking age.

2.4 Exemptions

Some locations on the University Grounds but not operated by the University, such as Sponsors Hall and the Judge Advocate General School's officers' club, are not subject to this policy. Functions within private, non-student residences on University-owned or -controlled property are not subject to this policy, except in the case of an open invitation to a group or groups of student as noted on element three above.

2.5 Results of Violation of Approval Policy

Violation of this policy by planning or organizing an event without seeking appropriate approval to allow the serving of alcohol will result in disciplinary action directed at the planners or organizers. Appropriate disciplinary action will include the entire range of options up to and including removal. While this process and the policy on which it is based are directly primarily at the concept of the "workplace," the disciplinary consequences for an employee who reports to work "under the influence" of alcohol are much more broad in nature. The consequences of "reporting to work under the influence" of alcohol, or of consuming alcohol (even at authorized events) while on duty to the point of working "under the influence," should be regarded as applying to any employee who is engaged in the work for which he or she is paid by the University regardless of location. Also, at no time is the storage or display of alcoholic beverages or their containers on University property acceptable, except when associated with activity satisfying the conditions listed above or when they are part of substance abuse education programs. Violations may result in any of the full range of disciplinary actions, up to and including removal.

3.0 Definitions [Top]

4.0 References [Top]

5.0 Approvals and Revisions [Top]

       Previous version in effect from 5/1/90 to 12/1/99 available in policy archive.

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