Policies and Guidelines Governing Campus Activities and Programs

Alcohol Service at Student Functions

Student organizations may request to have alcohol present at an official organization function. The following guidelines must be followed before alcohol may be served:

  1. The laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must be observed.
  2. All alcoholic beverages are to be obtained and served by Chartwells, Inc. (WPI Dining Services).
  3. During the week, alcoholic beverages may only be served after 4:00 p.m.
  4. Alcoholic beverages may be served at function in the following locations: Alden Memorial Hall, Alumni Gym, Daniels Hall, Ellsworth/Fuller Apartments, Founders Hall, Harrington Auditorium, Higgins House, Institute Hall, Morgan Hall, Sanford Riley Hall, and Stoddard Complex.
  5. All events where alcoholic beverages are consumed must be coordinated by the Events Coordinator of the university with approval, as appropriate, by a member of the President's Cabinet.
  6. Non-alcoholic beverages must be available at the same price or less than the price of the alcoholic beverages, and must be prominently featured.
  7. A reasonable portion of the budget for the event must be designated for the purchase of food items.
  8. No event may include any form of drinking contest in its activities or promotion.
  9. "All you can drink" events at which an unlimited amount of alcohol may be consumed for one fee, or special price promotions, are not permitted.
  10. WPI Campus Police must be present at all times during the event. The cost of the Campus Police is the sole responsibility of the sponsoring organization.
  11. Alcohol may not be used at membership recruitment functions by any student organization, nor may alcohol be used as an inducement to participate in a campus event.
  12. Alcohol may not be served, consumed, or otherwise be present at club sports events.
  13. Signs in which alcohol is the main focus of the advertising are not permitted in any area of campus.
  14. WPI accepts no responsibility through the adoption of these guidelines for the behavior of guests at these functions. This responsibility rests solely with the sponsoring individual/organization. WPI, through the Events Coordinator and Chartwells, Inc., reserve the right to schedule and manage each function in the best interests of both organizations.

During the academic year, residence hall students are expected to adhere to the Residence Hall Alcohol Policy.

Alcohol Service Application Process

Student organizations wishing to serve alcohol at an event should begin planning early. The licensing process can take as long as four (4) weeks to complete.

  1. Reserve a facility for your function through the Events Coordinator's Office. Inform them that you wish to serve alcohol and request that an Alcohol Service Request Form be sent to you.
  2. Complete the appropriate sections of the form and submit it to the Student Activities Office. This request will be forwarded to a member of the President's Cabinet for approval.
  3. Meet with WPI Dining Service and WPI Campus Police to discuss the details of your event, assuming that a license will be granted.
  4. If your request is approved by WPI, it will be processed for consideration by the Worcester licensing Board. The licensing Board meets twice a month to consider license requests. The request is made to the licensing Board by Chartwells, Inc., the license Application Petitioner.
  5. If a license is granted, a copy will be forwarded to Campus Police and the Events Coordinator's Office.

Alcohol Service in Higgins House

The WPI Higgins House has a standing license to serve alcohol. Student organizations wishing to use Higgins House for a function at which alcohol will be served must follow the guidelines listed above.

Movies for Public Showing

The current U.S. Copyright Act classifies viewing of movies into two categories (in addition to classroom use): Private home showings for members of a family and a limited number of guests; and Public performances at which anyone may attend or at which the audience is not a family. Public performances have been defined to include "semi-public" places such as clubs, lodges, factories, summer camps, fraternities, residence hall lounges, and schools. The above categorization holds whether or not admission is charged.

For each of the categories above - private showings and public performance - there is a different copyright royalty fee structure and contract which the renting agency signs. Generally, home use viewing carries a much lower royalty fee due to a supposed limited number of viewers. For this reason, local stores who rent videotapes "For Home Use Only" can rent DVDs at a much lower fee than standard public performance movie rental companies offer. (For the same reason, "movie channel" cable TV service cannot be installed in campus centers or residence halls without an extremely high monthly charge.) Royalty fees for public performance films are based on a larger number of people viewing the show - and thus the rates are higher.

When the WPI Social Committee brings current movies to campus, whether they be film or on DVD, it is paying the higher public performance royalty fees. Any student organization planning to show video movies as entertainment, whether to its members or to the "general public", should make sure that the appropriate royalty fees are being paid. Outright purchase of a pre-recorded DVD does not grant the tape owner the right to a public performance of that tape. Permission must be obtained - and usually a royalty fee paid - to the holder of the copyright.

Any willful infringement of the copyright "for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain" is a federal crime. The first offense (i.e., the first showing) is punishable by up to one year in jail, or a $25,000 fine, or both. The second and each subsequent offense is punishable by up to two years in jail or a $50,000 fine, or both. Even innocent or inadvertent infringes are subject to substantial civil penalties.

  • Email a Friend
  • Bookmark this Page
  • Share this Page