Alcohol Information

As an educational institution, Colorado College attempts to educate its community members about unlawful use of alcohol and to encourage appropriate, responsible behavior. Abiding by this policy is a condition of continued enrollment for students. However, no policy can cover all possible situations. When this policy is not specific on a certain point, students, student organizations, and employees are expected to conduct their activities in a socially responsible manner, and sanctions may be invoked for failure to do so. The college encourages bystander intervention, and therefore reserves the right to offer a reprieve from sanctions in certain situations involving the abuse of alcohol. This is outlined in the Student Conduct Procedures section of the Student Code of Conduct.

These policies are intended to be applied within the context of Colorado Law, in compliance with the 1989 Amendments to the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, and in the spirit of responsible drinking. When applying these policies, the relationship of the student or student group to the college, the type of situation, and the location are all factors of consideration.


Individual Students/Unofficial Groups of Students

  • Students may be held accountable for individual violations of this policy.
  • Students who are members of an unofficial group (such as students who share an apartment or off-campus house may be held accountable to the policy as both an individual student and a member of a group.

Registered Student Organizations/Officially Recognized Groups of Students

  • Student organizations and other officially recognized student groups will be held accountable through the Guidelines for Student Organizations, NCAA Guidelines, and other such group regulations. In addition, individual members may also face individual sanctions for their behaviors.


There are two common types of situations with alcohol. The first are officially registered and approved events at the college. The second is any event/occasion with alcohol that is not approved by the college as a function. These events are still subject to the alcohol policy. Students who live in the Western Ridge Apartments may also register to host events in the privacy of their apartment. For more information on these procedures, please refer to the Western Ridge Hosting Guidelines in the Residential Life and Housing procedure section.


Residential Facilities

Students residing in college residential facilities are expected to uphold state and federal laws as well as demonstrate consideration of neighbors and peers. The following policies relate to alcohol consumption and use in student residence halls:

  • Students who are 21 years old and older may only possess and consume alcohol in the privacy of their own rooms/apartments or in the privacy of the room/apartment of another student who is also 21 or older, provided they have permission from the hosting student(s).
  • Open containers of alcohol are prohibited in all common areas of student residential buildings and surrounding outside areas, with the exception of registered campus functions.
  • If all of the students assigned to a room are under the age of 21, it is not permissible for them to ever have any type of alcohol in their room (even if someone visiting is over the age of 21). Underage use of hard alcohol (anything above 25 percent alcohol content by volume or 50 proof) may warrant an elevated response from the college as underage use of such beverages results in significantly greater risk of substantial impairment or alcohol toxicity (alcohol poisoning).
  • Kegs, keg shells, kegerators, mini-kegs, or other keg accessories are not permitted.
  • Drinking games and the behaviors that they encourage are prohibited at Colorado College.
  • Brewing and/or distilling alcoholic beverages is not permitted.
  • Large quantities of empty alcohol containers may not be stored or placed in windows, as they may block possible fire exits.
  • Disruptions in any residential community (noise, fighting, vandalism or property damage, and/or leaving toilets uncleaned after vomiting) as a result of alcohol intoxication will not be tolerated and may result in elevated sanctions.

Other Campus Facilities

Alcohol is not permitted on or in any other campus property or facility unless it is at a pre-approved function. This includes academic buildings, athletic facilities, and outdoor locations. In addition, alcohol is prohibited for both players and officials at indoor or outdoor intercollegiate, intramural, or club sport activities.

Outdoor Campus Locations

In accordance with the Colorado Springs Open Container Law, the college prohibits alcohol in outdoor campus areas, unless contained within the established perimeter of a pre-approved function.

Off-Campus Houses and Surrounding Properties

  • Surrounding property may be subject to the Colorado Springs Open Container Law.
  • Students who host parties in off-campus houses are subject to the spirit of social host liability as well as any laws and college policies that apply. (Refer also to "Off-campus Hosting and Behavior" in Student Code of Conduct section.)

In addition to internal disciplinary sanctions, any student who is convicted of unlawful use, possession, distribution, manufacture, or dispensing of illicit drugs or alcohol may be subject to applicable criminal sanctions under local, state, and federal law. Penalties range in severity from relatively minor fines to fines of several million dollars. Imprisonment is also a possibility, for terms ranging from six months to a life sentence.

College Response

Because of the risk to students from binge drinking, students who drink to the point of sickness, disorientation, or a semi-conscious or unconscious state have endangered their health and will face a response from the college, including potential contact of parent(s) or legal guardian(s). For further discussion about this issue, please see the Parent Notification statement in the Guide for Parents section of the Student Code of Conduct.

In addition, intoxicated students who disrupt residential communities with arguments or conflicts, noise, vandalism, and/or vomit left in bathrooms or other areas, risk removal from the college, having demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to respect the educational environment.

Students concerned about possible conduct ramifications that might arise from providing the college with notice of potential acts of misconduct or that might arise from seeking medical assistance when someone has over-consumed alcohol, should understand that there can be a reprieve from sanctions under appropriate circumstances. Please see information found within the Philosophy section of the Student Code of Conduct for more information about reprieves from sanctions.

Guide to Registering Functions


While the college's alcohol policy reflects current interpretations of federal, state, and local laws governing the possession, distribution, and use of alcohol, it also expresses the college's commitment to responsible drinking and behavior. The following regulations apply to all functions sponsored by college groups on and off campus. Non-college groups that use college facilities may not serve alcohol.

Colorado Law

Colorado law prohibits consumption of alcoholic beverages by people under age 21. The law also imposes social host liability on people who serve alcohol, or permit it to be served, to minors, visibly intoxicated persons, or habitual drunkards.

Sale of Alcoholic Beverages

Any attempt to sell alcoholic beverages without a license violates the Colorado State Liquor Code and is subject to college disciplinary action. A special events permit can be obtained from the Colorado Springs city clerk's office in order to sell alcoholic beverages at a particular college event.

Definition of a Function

For the purposes of this policy, "function" is defined as a gathering sponsored by Colorado College, or any of its officially recognized constituent groups, at which alcohol is served. Functions must be approved in advance by the process described below. The presence of alcohol at these functions creates a need to manage the activity with care and to be more concerned with the conduct of those present. Those who plan or choose to attend functions where alcoholic beverages will be served and consumed must assume responsibility for the consequences of their actions.


Function registration offers a number of benefits to the college community and the function sponsors: it requires the sponsors to think through their plans carefully and to recognize their liability in sponsoring a function with alcohol. It allows college staff to communicate directly with the function sponsors if a problem occurs, as an alternative to security inspecting the function. Function registration is not for the purpose of disciplining students, but rather to promote safety and communication between college staff and students.

The college holds hosts of student functions and officers of student organizations specifically responsible for the activities of their organization, members, and guests. Any student or student organization that intends to sponsor a function will be required to:

  • Have two members of the organization responsible for the function attend a college-sponsored alcohol education orientation.
  • Meet with the Associate Dean of Students for approval of the function.

Off-Campus College Functions

College functions that take place off-campus at establishments licensed to sell alcohol are subject to the college's alcohol policy, and are subject to the procedures for off-campus functions.

College functions that take place off-campus at locations not licensed to sell alcohol are governed by the college's alcohol policy.

Federal, state, and local laws (and not the college's alcohol policy) govern off-campus employee-sponsored functions, such as class parties and field trips; however, sponsors have the right to prohibit alcohol consumption.

The Stabler-Gilmore cabin and Baca campus are considered on-campus and are governed by the college's alcohol policy.

Procedures for Student Functions On Campus When Alcohol is Served

  1. Student functions must be approved by the Chief of Staff. Registration forms should be received by the Chief of Staff at least two weeks prior to the function. Sponsors must follow the "Procedures for Student Functions On Campus When Alcohol is Served."
  2. Locations must be fitting for the event. Approval will depend upon time, intent, and expected attendance.
  3. A standing permit for the sale of alcoholic beverages is in place for Worner Campus Center. Permits allowing the sale of alcohol outside of Worner Center are available on a limited basis. The Campus Activities Office will manage the assignment of these permits to specific events.
  4. Appropriate custodial services must be arranged at least seven days in advance per the approval of the associate dean of students.
  5. Beer and wine are the only two alcoholic beverages that may be served at student-sponsored functions.

Student Functions with Beer:

  1. Hosts for events serving beer must attend a college-sponsored alcohol-host responsibility training.
  2. Beer must be sold at a minimum cost of $3 per beer, unless an alternate arrangement is discussed and approved by the associate dean of students.
  3. Beer must be served by trained Bon Appetit staff or by a licensed bartender. Official identification must be checked to verify legal drinking age.
  4. Professional security must be hired based on the following: a minimum of one guard for every 100 persons expected. Additional security may be required at the discretion of the Associate Dean of Students.
  5. The amount of beer permitted will depend upon the number expected to attend who are over age 21. Amount approved will be no greater than one keg per 50 legal drinkers expected, dependent upon length of event and approval.
  6. Non-alcoholic beverages and food must be available throughout the entire event. The continuance of alcohol service is dependent upon the availability of food and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the duration of alcohol service.
  7. Campus publicity for functions may not include reference, verbal, written, pictorial, or otherwise, to the availability of alcohol. Failure to observe this policy may result in cancellation of the event or other disciplinary action.

Student Functions with Wine:

  • Hosts for events serving wine must attend a college-sponsored alcohol-host responsibility training.
  • Wine may only be served at functions whose attendance is determined by an invitation list.
  • The number of students in attendance must not exceed 25 unless approved for a greater number by the associate dean of students.
  • More than ½ of the students in attendance must be over the age of 21.
  • Functions which involve use of wine must be dinners or receptions with "significant food" as approved by a Residential Life and Housing coordinator or the associate dean of students.
  • Functions hosted by a Residential Life and Housing community and which take place in a residential common area may be approved by the responsible Residential Life and Housing coordinator.
  • Functions which take place in any campus multi-purpose space (reserved through Worner Center Desk) must be approved by the associate dean of students.

Health Risks and Resources

The health risks associated with the abuse of alcohol and the use of illicit drugs are numerous. They include malnutrition, brain damage, heart disease, pancreatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, emotional illness, coma, and death. In addition, use during pregnancy endangers the fetus. Personal relationships and the ability to work and study are at risk. There is also the possibility of blackout (temporary amnesia) when a person consumes a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time.

The college recognizes that chemical dependency of any sort is a major health problem and encourages students who need help in overcoming such dependency to use the counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation programs described in this policy.

College Resources

Drug and alcohol confidential assessment, referral, and counseling are available to students at Boettcher Health Center (for more information contact 389-6093). The Residential Life and Housing staff, student life administrators, legal counsel, human resources, and Boettcher Health Center counseling staff can provide information or counseling on the physiological, psychological, and legal aspects of drug and alcohol use. For more information, please contact their offices.

Community Resources

The following community counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation programs are available to students:

The Center for Behavioral Health/St. Francis Health Center
Riegel Center
Referral Center

Alcoholics Anonymous (24 hour) 573-5020
Al-Anon 632-0063
Cocaine Hotline 1-800-262-2463
TESSA 633-3819
El Paso County Health Department, Drug Treatment Clinic 578-3150
Narcotics Anonymous 637-1580
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol & Drug Information 1-800-729-6686
Pikes Peak Mental Health
Chemical Dependency Emergency (24 hour)
Crisis Center
General Information

Suicide Prevention Partnership
Crisis Center
Youth Power 1-800-258-2766
Report an issue - Last updated: 01/25/2021