Alcohol Service Guidelines & Procedures

Guidelines for the Service of Alcohol on the SMU Campus

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Message from the President

Dear Members of the SMU Community:

The United Methodist heritage that guides our University provides us with strong values of civic responsibility and concern for the welfare of our students. In keeping with the principles and values expressed by SMU's founders, we aim to provide the best possible environment for learning and enrichment, not only among our students, but also among members of the community who gather at SMU for special events. Toward this end, I urge all members of the SMU community to consider the presence of alcoholic beverages on campus with responsibility, prudence, and moderation.

The Purpose of this Guide for Service of Alcohol on the Southern Methodist University Campus is to provide you with the policies and procedures for serving alcohol at SMU as well as background information as to why our particular policies, in addition to state laws governing alcohol, exist.

I encourage you to read this guide thoroughly prior to submitting a request for approval to serve alcohol on-campus. Please direct any questions related to this Guide to Dr. K.C. Mmeje, Vice President for Student Affairs, at


R. Gerald Turner

Alcohol Sponsorship Policy
University Policy Number: 1.5.2

It is the policy of the University* to endorse the United Methodist Church's position of abstinence from the use of alcohol, realizing that this recommendation of abstinence is not a new legalism nor a moralistic prohibition but a matter of conscience and personal discipline (The Book of Discipline, ¶ 162L). At no time shall the University, through sponsorship or agreement, give the impression of endorsement or provide a forum which suggests an institutional posture affirming the use of alcoholic beverages.

*Approved by Board of Trustees September 28, 1990.

Alcohol Policy
University Policy Number 1.5.3

The possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places on campus property owned or controlled by the University is restricted subject to the provisions set forth below.

All members of the University community should at all times be cognizant of and comply with all applicable liquor laws. The University expects each individual and group within the University community to obey these laws. Failure to do so will subject the offender(s) to potential University action and/or action by civil authorities.

The Board of Trustees of the University has affirmed that abusive use of alcoholic beverages and the corresponding effects up on persons constitute one of the more serious problems in our nation.

In keeping with the University's heritage as an institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the Board of Trustees has urged all members of the University community to consider use of alcoholic beverages with responsibility, prudence, and moderation.

As a University community which espouses the value and worth of persons in an environment of free and open inquiry and expression, it is recognized that individuals must be free to follow their own conscience regarding the use of alcoholic beverages; provided, however, that such freedom does not imply license to violate the law or University policy.

All members of the University community are expected to maintain self-control and to uphold their dignity and that of the University at all times in all places on or off campus. Conduct should be consistent with ideals of excellence of mind, healthy bodies, and responsible social behavior, including recognition of the rights of others. Intoxication and alcohol abuse are inconsistent with the spirit of the University and will not be tolerated. In recognition of this fact, the University reserves the right to initiate disciplinary action when individuals and groups neglect or abdicate their responsibility to observe the Student Code of Conduct of which this policy is a part.

The authority to approve the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages on property owned or controlled by the University is delegated to the President of the University, and the President or his/her designee shall have the right and discretion to prohibit, or place restrictions and conditions upon such activities he/she deems appropriate and in the best interest of the University. The President may adopt rules and/or approval procedures governing the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on property owned or controlled by the University consistent with this policy. Such rules and procedures may limit or restrict areas where possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages will be permitted.

For procedures for the sale and service of alcohol and for more information regarding the process for the approval of alcohol service on property owned or controlled by the University, please see

*Approved by Board of Trustees February 21, 2014.

Procedures for the Sale and Service of Alcohol

Pursuant to Southern Methodist Policy 1.5.3, Alcohol Policy, the University adopts the following Procedures for the Sale and Service of Alcohol.

Service of alcohol on campus is limited to beer, wine and champagne, except for those locations that have received exceptions in writing for the service of liquor and/or mixed beverages. Kegs are not allowed on campus at any location.

A. For the sale and service of alcohol to occur on the SMU Campus, SMU Catering must receive the following documents no later than 10 business days prior to the event:

  1. For SMU events, a signed copy of the alcohol authorization form from the Vice President for Student Affairs and the address, floor plans, and areas in the event space designated for alcohol service. This diagram must show location of bars, buffets, rounds, etc., plus the location of entrances and exits.
  2. For non-SMU events, a copy of the Certificate of Insurance ("COI") applicable to the event, naming SMU as an additional insured, as approved by the Office of Risk Management is required. Only SMU Catering may service non-SMU events where alcohol is sold and served.

B. The following procedures must be observed at all events where alcohol is sold and/or served.

  1. All outdoor events are required to have a fenced perimeter when serving/selling alcohol. Entrances and exits must be staffed by trained personnel to ensure that no alcohol enters or exits the area.
  2. All ID checkers must have a current, active, and valid training certification through the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission ("TABC"). For all student events there must be at least one certified ID checker per every 100 guests. All students who are 21 years of age or older are required to have an event specific wrist tag throughout the event.
  3. All bartenders must have a current, active, and valid training certification through TABC. There must be a minimum of one certified bartender per every 100 guests. This is in addition to the ID checker.
  4. The service of alcohol is limited to 3 1/2 hours including a reception and dinner. Alcohol service must end by 1:30 a.m.
  5. SMU Catering must remove any unused alcohol from the venue after each event. Event sponsors utilizing SMU Catering are not allowed to remove unused alcohol from the venue. If an outside caterer provides the alcohol, they are responsible for its removal.
  6. Alcohol billing will be person/drink, not by consumption. A variety of packages will be available.
  7. Cash bars are permitted but SMU Catering must service them. Any exception to this must be requested in writing from the Vice President for Student Affairs. If another caterer is utilized, they must adhere to the same processes and procedures that SMU Catering follows.
  8. Outside caterers must provide proof of appropriate liability insurance listing SMU as an additional insured and SMU's Office of Risk Management must receive a copy of the outside caterer's permit for the specific event to review at least 10 business days prior to the event.
  9. The Associate Vice President of Campus Services or his/her designated representative will serve as the point of contact for outside caterers to ensure that all processes and procedures are followed.
  10. An SMU Department may provide its own alcohol, but SMU Catering must service the alcohol.
  11. A sufficient amount of non-salty foods and non-alcohol beverages must be served at events where alcohol is served. The amount of food and non-alcoholic beverages must be in proportion to the expected attendance.

For SMU Athletics Events

SMU Catering/Aramark is the only organization which can sell and serve alcohol in Moody Coliseum and Ford Stadium. The procedures for the service of alcohol in Moody Coliseum are outlined in "Appendix A - SMU General Procedures and Guidelines for Alcohol Sales and Service in Moody Coliseum," and for Ford Stadium in "Appendix B - SMU General Procedures and Guidelines for Alcohol Sales and Service in Gerald J. Ford Stadium."

For Student Events

For any student or student organizations wishing to seek approval for the service of alcohol on campus, which includes but is not limited to parties, alumni events, academic events, parent events, and the Boulevard, please see the Office of the Dean of Student Life's website at for the specific process for approval of the event.

Approved Locations for Alcohol Service

  • Collins Executive Education Center (Common Area and Dining Room)
  • Cox School of Business (Dean’s Parlor, Ernst and Young Gallery)
  • Dedman School of Law
    • Karcher Auditorium
    • The Pit – Underwood Law Library
    • Lawyers’ Inn, Carr Collins
    • Law Quad
  • DeGolyer Library (Stanley Marcus Reading Room, Texana Room)
  • Embrey Engineering Building (Huitt Zollars Pavilion)
  • Fincher Building (JP Morgan Parlor)
  • Hughes-Trigg Student Center (see Hughes-Trigg Student Center website for specific information.)
  • Legacy Campus (Office Suites, Auditorium)
  • Letterman's Hall
  • Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom and Patio
  • Meadows School of the Arts
    • Dean's Suite Lobby
    • Bob Hope Lobby
    • Taubman Atrium 
  • Meadows Museum
    • Founder's Room and South Lobby
    • Red Room, Jones Hall
    • Permanent Collection Galleries
    • South Plaza
  • Prothro Great Hall
  • Simmons Pavilion
  • SMU Faculty Club
  • Moody Coliseum
  • Ford Stadium
  • “The Boulevard” (Home football games only)


By clicking on the Alcohol Approval Request button below, you affirm that you have read and understand the policies and guidelines as outlined above.

Alcohol Approval Request Form

Last update - 12 July 2017