Student-Hosted Event Policy (SHEP)


NOTE: All approved hosts’ chosen names and Amherst College email addresses will be shared via community update web pages that require the Amherst College login. Hosts’ phone numbers and addresses will not be posted.

The Student-Hosted Event Policy and its Procedures 
(For reserving space in common rooms in the residence halls.)

Amherst College’s Student-Hosted Event Policy is designed to help students host safe, successful, and respectful events in select residence hall common rooms. The policy encourages forethought and responsible event management by student event hosts, ensures sufficient coordination time for necessary facilities, support services, and security, adheres to the Student Code of Conduct and Massachusetts state law. 


  • Student-Hosted Event: Any event or activity attended by twenty (20) or more individuals. Alcohol may or may not be approved. Proposed events that do not include alcohol and with an anticipated attendance of fewer than 20 persons may be requested under this policy, but it is not required (students may appreciate the opportunity to reserve space for club meetings or other small gatherings). Common room reservation requests are submitted via Residence Hall Common Room Reservation Request Form.
  • Event Host: For events at which alcohol is approved, hosts must be 21 or older and are expected to be sober, physically present at the event venue, and accessible by phone at all times during the event. For events at which alcohol is not requested or not approved, hosts’ ages are irrelevant. Hosts should be vigilant for situations that may endanger individuals' health, safety, or welfare and promptly obtain assistance from the College if there are any concerns. Hosts must be trained by Student Affairs (60-minute in-person training) before being eligible to request space reservations in the residence halls. You can find the Host Training sign up form here. If one of the times listed for host training does not work in your schedule, please email

Space Usage

The College has identified the following residence-hall event spaces that are permitted for reservation by students for the current semester and that are basic (not requiring enhanced staffing or setups). At least one of the Event Hosts must be an assigned resident of the hall that contains the requested venue. Buildings with multiple venues may only have one event per evening. All other residence hall venues not listed in the table below are unavailable for student-hosted events (20+ people) unless organized by College staff, such as Community Living students or professional staff. Unauthorized events will be immediately dispersed, and the students present may be subject to adjudication.

The following list is in effect for the Fall 2023 semester.

Name of VenueOccupancy Limit of VenueMaximum Frequency of Alcohol-Included Events*Maximum Frequency of Non-Alcohol-Included Events*


Living Room or Foyer

99 standing (living room)

75  standing (foyer)



Large Basement Common Room


99 standing



Large Common Room 
Small First Floor Common Room

99 standing (large common room) 

96 standing (small common room)



Living Room  
Dining Room

99 standing (living room)

99 standing (dining room) 



First Floor Common Room

99 standing2/week2/week



Common Room

99 standing




Large Common Room

99 standing2/week2/week


Large Common Room

99 standing2/week2/week

Morris Pratt

First Floor Common Room

99 standing2/week2/week


Living Room (the Newton Library is not an approved venue)

99 standing 2/week2/week


(living room)

75 standing 2/week2/week

Seelye (this venue includes the common room and the attached sunroom)


99 standing2/week2/week

*Drew, Hitchcock, and Humphries have unique setups, allowing two events to occur simultaneously. For Spring 2024, we will pilot allowing both spaces to be used in one evening. We welcome feedback from attendees, hosts, and residents about how two simultaneous events impact their experiences as students.


  • Students must request an Event Reservation 24 hours before their event or by 11:59 pm on the Thursday before their event. Events cannot be scheduled more than 14 days in advance. For example, an event request for a Thursday 8 pm must be submitted by Wednesday 8 pm. An event for Saturday 10 pm must be submitted by Thursday at 11:59p. Members of Student Affairs will review this registration. If the event is approved, the requesting student(s) will receive an email confirmation.
  • Events cannot be registered when classes are not in session.  Events will not be approved during Winter Recess, Spring Break, Reading Period, Exam Period, or Fall Break.
  • Approved events with alcohol may be held only on Friday and Saturday, starting no earlier than 8:00 pm ET and ending no later than 1:00 am ET.
  • Approved events without alcohol may be held on any day, starting no earlier than 6:00 pm ET and ending no later than 1:00 am ET.
  • No more than one event per space per night.
  • Student Affairs retains discretion to determine an appropriate number of daily approved events based on available staff resources.

Host Obligations (whether alcohol is approved or not) 

  • Each event will require one host per 20 people in attendance. An event with an expected attendance of 25 people would require two hosts. An approved event with fewer than 20 expected guests requires one host. 
  • Hosts must address unsafe conditions during the event, including unsafe intoxication of guests, overcrowding, and any guest behavior that creates a risk for other guests and/or facilities. Note: Please see amnesty policies below (Section 4.4 of the Student Code of Conduct). 
  • Hosts must request Amherst College Police, Community Safety Team, Community Service Officer, or other College assistance to address unsafe conditions that develop outside of the host’s reasonable control. All resources can be reached by calling the Amherst College Dispatch Center at 413.542.2291.
  • Hosts must return the event space to the same condition in which it was found at the end of their event. 
  • To the best of their ability, hosts must clean the space, including recycling, picking up decorations, and disposing of trash.
  • Hosts will be required to check in with a Student Affairs representative (usually a member of the Community Safety Team) at the beginning of their event. Hosts will likewise be responsible for remaining at the event venue for the duration of the event and for checking out with a Student Affairs representative after their event. 
  • Hosts must contact the Community Safety Team if they end their event early.
  • Hosts must email photos of the space before their event and photos of their space after their event. This will help ensure hosts are not held accountable for concerns arising after their event.

Event Attendees 

  • Hosts may identify their events as open or closed when registering. This will be reflected on the Approved Events Page. Open events welcome any attendee. Closed events are open to those invited or welcome into the event. Attendees should be able to produce their Amherst College ID. A host should deny entrance of prospective attendees at an event to ensure fire and safety protocols and egress. 

Alcohol-related Guidelines 

  • Only attendees who are 21 years of age or older may consume or possess alcohol.
  • Only beer, wine, and other lower-alcohol concentration beverages may be consumed. No unregistered kegs, hard alcohol (30% ethanol by volume or greater), bulk quantities, or common-source containers (e.g., beverage coolers with spigots) of alcohol are permitted.
  • Hosts may not provide alcohol in any quantity to their attendees.
  • Guests who are 21+ may bring, for their own personal consumption, a maximum of six 12 oz cans of beer OR one 750 ml bottle of wine (or their equivalents, depending on the volume of their original containers). 
  • Alcohol may not be sold at events. 
  • No student group funding may be used to purchase alcohol. This includes student fee monies allocated through the AAS or Student Activities, revenue funds from previous events held, or compulsory dues that are collected. 
  • Events may not include behaviors that result in the rapid consumption of alcohol, also known as high-risk drinking. 

Other Guidelines 

  • Student hosts or other students may not collect money from Amherst College students for entry or participation in the event, whether there is approved alcohol or not. 
  • Event publicity cannot contain images of alcohol, and the event’s primary purpose cannot be the consumption of alcohol. 
  • Participants must follow all instructions of College staff and first responders.

Violations of this Policy 

Events that fail to uphold the standards of this policy can be interrupted by the College and ended before their scheduled end time. Event hosts who fail to ensure a safe event will lose their eligibility to host future events with alcohol. Violations of this policy may result in a College adjudication under the Community Standards Adjudication Process. 

Students found responsible for the provision of alcohol to others, provision of common-source beverage containers (e.g. beverage coolers with spigots), or who are found to have facilitated or encouraged the rapid consumption of alcohol should expect suspension from the College to be considered if found responsible after the Community Standards Adjudication Process. 

Similarly, students found responsible for vandalism can expect to make financial restitution and/or should expect suspension from the College to be considered if found responsible after the Community Standards Adjudication Process.

Venues may be taken offline anytime for any reason.

Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Policies

Taken from the Student Code of Conduct 

Note: Underlined text serves to draw the reader’s attention to excerpts that are particularly germane to Student-Hosted Events.