This committee is responsible for providing an adequate and timely supply of food/drinks at headquarters.


If classes wish to supplement the regular meals available for a fee at Valentine, Amherst College Caterers or one of the other approved local caterers may be able to cater at headquarters or supply informal buffets, barbeques and platters for pick-up over the weekend. Food and Beverage Chairs will receive the previous year’s menu from Amherst College Catering in the fall; as prices may change, an updated one will also be mailed in the spring. Most classes have an open bar and dinner Friday evening, a continental breakfast Saturday morning, a more formal cocktail reception, dinner and party Saturday evening and a brunch or continental breakfast Sunday morning. Some begin Thursday evening with an optional dinner or a more casual buffet. Classes have found that if an organized gathering and event is planned on Thursday evening, it encourages classmates to arrive early.

Tablecloths and Paper Goods

Please remember that while the College does provide tables and chairs for your headquarters, it does not provide tablecloths. You should communicate with your caterer to determine what they will be providing. The College strongly encourages the use of compostable tableware, including plates, cups, napkins and utensils. In addition to food, you can purchase compostable Amherst-branded cups, compostable plates, napkins and utensils, as well as purple disposable tablecloths from Amherst College Catering. Your Class Assistants can pick up more of these items at the Valentine loading dock, when it is open, throughout the weekend. Classes can also source compostable products through caterers and other outside vendors.


Class Assistants are able to pick up ice from Valentine Catering during set hours for use in soft and mixed drinks. Ice is not available to cool kegs. Please arrange with your bar supplier to purchase ice for your kegs. You must also arrange for a cooler to transport ice from Valentine and keep ice cold behind the bar.


You will need to decide if you want to offer a full bar throughout the weekend, or simply provide beer, wine and soft drinks. We suggest you order a good supply of soft drinks, bottled water and other non-alcoholic beverages. Many alumni will bring their children to Reunion and will want child-friendly drinks (including non-caffeinated options). Arrangements for all beverages should be made directly with the supplier. Please make arrangements to have your kegs returned or collected at the end of the weekend. The College cannot be responsible for empty keg shells. Class Assistants will be provided with a bar kit from the College with an ice bowl, scoop, bar rag, corkscrew, shot measurer and water pitcher. You should plan for any garnishes you will want behind your bar as well as the equipment to prepare them (knives, cutting boards, etc.).

Alcohol: What You Need to Know

Bar Hours

Bars at headquarters will close no later than 12:30 a.m., with last call taking place at midnight. Guests may remain in the tent/venue, but all bar materials must be secured immediately after bar closure.

Who can pour?

For safety and liability reasons, no alcoholic beverages may be served at functions on College property (including Reunion bars) by anyone except TIPS (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) certified servers. BYOB events are not allowed under College policy. Alumni and Parent Programs will hire Class Assistants for your class and will ensure that they have undergone TIPS training. The College may also hire professional bartenders. All alcoholic beverages—including beer, in kegs or otherwise—must be kept behind the bar and be served by a trained person.

Who can drink?

No one under 21 may be served. Class Assistants are instructed not to serve any students who are 21 or older, unless that student is a guest of the class (your class budget does not need to subsidize the weekend for student workers at Reunion). If you are hosting student guests who are of age and would like them to be served, please let your Class Assistants know and they will card and serve them according to TIPS regulations. It is a state law that parents may not serve alcohol to their underage children on a licensed premise, which the campus is.

IMPORTANT: Reunion volunteers have a responsibility to back up Class Assistants if they determine that it is unsafe or unwise to further serve a guest. Plan to designate one person each night from your committee who can be a backup to the Class Assistants if they need help managing a classmate who needs to slow or stop their consumption of alcohol in order to be safe. The students will have emergency numbers at their bar including Alumni and Parent Programs staff and Campus Police to call if they have concerns or there is an issue of safety. The College and your student/professional servers share potential liability for any alcohol safety issues that may arise.

Bar Setup

Bar setups must be arranged so that bar materials can be stored on a secure back bar (e.g. tent flaps behind an outdoor bar/a wall behind an indoor bar). Food and Beverage Chairs will be provided with diagrams of recommended setups for each headquarters location.

Other information

Cash bars are unlawful without a specific license and cannot be permitted at Reunion. This includes the selling of tickets separate from a bar but used for redemption at a bar. This does not include the establishment of some charge for beverages incorporated in a class total Reunion fee structure. You can, therefore, include beverages as a budget item—along with food, band, tent, souvenirs, etc.—when setting a class fee.

The Town of Amherst strictly enforces its “open container” law. It prohibits the public consumption or conveyance of alcohol in open containers. Do not walk on the streets or sidewalks or appear on the town common with an alcoholic beverage in your hand. Do not drive with any open containers in your vehicle.

The Town of Amherst requires a license for all kegs. Alumni and Parent Programs will obtain a keg license to cover all Reunion classes.