Alcohol Service Guidelines

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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 the Vice President for Student Affairs, at


R. Gerald Turner

Please review the detailed information below on the guidelines and procedures for the service of alcohol.

Alcohol Policy
University Policy Number 1.15

The  Board  of  Trustees  of  the University  has  affirmed that  abusive  use  of  alcoholic  beverages  and the corresponding effects upon 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. The  possession  and  consumption  of  alcoholic beverages  in  public  places  on  campus  on  property owned or controlled by the University is restricted subject to the provisions set forth [in this policy].

[link to policy]

Alcohol Sponsorship Policy
University Policy Number: 1.16

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.

[link to policy]


Alcohol request forms are integrated into STABLE under the Events and Room Requests section and the appropriate Event Support widget. Event planners must complete alcohol service requests at least twenty days in advance of event allowing time to process the request prior to submitting to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).

The sale and service of alcoholic beverages on the SMU campus are authorized and regulated by the TABC and SMU policies and procedures, administered through the SMU Office of Campus Services.

SMU Hospitality (SMU Catering) continues to be the designated official vendor for food and alcohol sales and service for all events and venues on the SMU campus.

  • Review and understand the Policies and Procedures for Events on Campus.
  • ARAMARK/SMU Hospitality provides and serves alcoholic beverages for campus events.
  • Fees charged by TABC are passed to department sponsoring event.
    • $300 for applications received by TABC nine to seven business days before the event
    • $500 for applications received by TABC six to four business days before the event
    • $900 for applications received by TABC three to one business day before the event
  • Finally, by completing the Event Support request at least twenty days in advance of event, you affirm that you have read and understand the guidelines for the service of alcohol found here.

This submission is separate from any approval(s) that may be required by SMU Risk Management (Certificate of Insurance (COI) Request), the Office of Campus Services or the Office of Legal Affairs related to your event.

***University policy requires that food be served whenever alcohol is being served. ***