UNH Alcohol Policy

The University is committed to establishing and maintaining an environment that fosters mutually beneficial interpersonal relations and a shared responsibility for the welfare and safety of others. Because alcohol can have a significant effect on that environment, the University has adopted this policy for governing alcohol use by students, staff, faculty, visitors, and guests. The focus of University alcohol policy is to comply with local ordinances, state laws and federal laws that protect the health and welfare of individuals and the community. The possession, consumption and transportation of alcohol by persons under the age of twenty-one is illegal in New Hampshire. While University policy permits responsible consumption of alcohol at some places and times, the consumption of alcohol should never be the primary purpose or focus of an event and should always comply with applicable law. Alcohol-free social events are encouraged.

Service of Alcoholic Beverages at University Events

A request for approval to serve alcoholic beverages form must be submitted to Conferences and Catering for each function being planned where alcohol, beer or wine will be served. This form must be submitted 30 days prior to the event. All bar service must be provided by Conferences and Catering, as holder of the Liquor License. If requests are received with less than 30 days notice, Conferences and Catering has the right to deny approval and service will not be granted.

It is UNH’s general policy that alcohol is not served at undergraduate student events. However, UNH may authorize an exception to this general policy. Exceptions are more likely to be considered if the event attendees are expected to be of the legal drinking age, the event specifically focuses on seniors (e.g. award ceremonies for graduating students), and the sponsor of the event is a UNH department, rather than an undergraduate student organization.


The acquisition, distribution, possession, or consumption of alcohol by members of the UNH community must be in compliance with all local, state, and federal laws. Non-alcoholic beverages must be provided at events where alcoholic beverages are served.

Institutional policies on alcohol use on UNH property vary by location, and, in some cases, by time.

  • University residence halls and apartment complexes. UNH events with alcohol will not be approved in the residence halls or apartment complexes.
  • Dining halls. During periods when dining halls are not open to students and are assigned to workshops or conferences, alcohol may be served and consumed.
  • Field House. UNH events with alcohol will not be approved in the field house.
  • Whittemore Center Arena, Wildcat Stadium, Hamel Recreation Center, Memorial Union, and President’s Residence. UNH events with alcohol may be approved in certain spaces within these locations. Additional review/approval from the facilities manager of the building may be required.
  • Academic, administrative, and classroom buildings (any UNH building not included in the previous categories). UNH events with alcohol may be approved in certain spaces within these locations.
  • Outdoor Spaces. UNH events with alcohol may be approved in certain outdoor spaces.

Approval Process

Requests to serve alcohol at an event must also be approved by the dean or vice president of the sponsoring department or, in the case of a student organization, the Director of the MUB and Student Activities.

If a request to serve alcohol at a UNH event is approved, Conferences and Catering will send the event sponsor information on the required next steps. If those next steps aren’t followed, the arrangement to serve alcohol may be canceled.

UNH has an interest in off-premise events held in its name. If alcohol is used illegally or inappropriately at such events, the University may take steps to protect its interests.

Any request for variation from this policy must be submitted to Conferences and Catering.

Residential Alcohol Policy and Regulations (ad/ss)

As members of the University community, students are expected to obey the law and assume full responsibility for the choices they make regarding alcohol use. Students, not the University nor its staff, are accountable for all outcomes related to legal, illegal, and/or irresponsible use of alcohol. Following are specific tenets of the residential alcohol policy.

  1. Possession and/or consumption of alcohol is not permitted by anyone under age 21. A legal age drinker may have just one open alcohol container at a time for personal consumption.
  2. Possession or consumption of alcohol is permitted only in rooms, suites, or apartments where at least one of the assigned residents is at least 21 years old, and only by those of legal age.
  3. Alcohol is not permitted in any of the common or public areas of the residence halls or apartment buildings.
  4. Providing underage people with alcohol is illegal and, therefore, not permitted.
  5. All common sources of alcohol, including but not limited to kegs, punch bowls, beer balls, or excessive amounts of alcohol in bottles or cases, are strictly prohibited in residence halls and apartments. The host(s) of such activity may receive a sanction of eviction or greater.
  6. In all circumstances when staff respond to and confront an illegal drinking activity, empty alcohol containers may well be considered an aggravating factor connected with the current illegal activity.
  7. A person who is under the influence of alcohol and whose behavior leads to injury or illness may be considered to be in violation of the alcohol policy.