Guidelines for Serving Alcohol on the Amherst College Campus

In order to assure that the celebration you are planning for graduation is safe, we have established the following conditions for the service of alcohol. 

All Massachusetts State laws and local ordinances need to be followed:

  • No one under the age of 21 will be served alcohol
  • No one who is highly intoxicated will be served alcohol
  • No more than two drinks will be served to the same person at the same time
  • All kegs must be licensed at least 14 days prior to the event. To obtain a license, an application must be filed with the Town of Amherst at no charge to the applicant. The town will call the Amherst College Police to verify that the applicant has a registered party, liability insurance and TIPS servers. Once all of the information is verified, the license will be issued. 

All alcoholic beverages served at the tent or related space must be served by an Amherst College TIPS certified server.

  • The server will check the identification of guests
  • The server will pour the alcohol regulating the strength of drinks
  • The server has been trained to identify the signs that someone is intoxicated to the level that it is not only inappropriate to serve them at the time, but to serve them would be against the law

Amherst College reserves the right to disperse the party and confiscate the alcohol if there is an apparent violation of any of the above. The TIPS servers have been asked to notify campus police if the server encounters any problem. There should always be a minimum of two TIPS servers present (two TIPS servers should be hired if the party is 40 attendees or under). Parties that have more than 40 attendees should hire additional TIPS servers in proportion to attendance.

Other safe service recommendations include:

  • Limiting the amount of alcohol available
  • Providing non-alcoholic beverages
  • Limiting the hours in which alcohol will be available
  • Providing food

Additional information on TIPS servers will be distributed to Commencement celebration organizers in the spring.