Homewood Undergraduate Alcohol Policies

Off-Campus Party Registration and Safety Policy

The Johns Hopkins University Homewood Undergraduate Off-Campus Party Registration and Safety Policy (the “Policy”) is one of a group of policies that apply to parties and student safety at the University. The primary aim of University policies in general, and this Policy specifically, is to ensure the safety and well-being of students and party attendees at off-campus residences. For information on events held at off-campus, third-party venues see Leadership Engagement & Experiential Development.

This Policy applies to Homewood undergraduate students, and University recognized student groups or organizations (“Recognized Student Groups/Organizations”). By way of example, Recognized Student Groups/Organizations include but are not limited to fraternities, sororities, athletic groups, and common interest clubs.


House: The term “House” means an off-campus house, apartment or other residence in which four (4) or more members of a Recognized Student Group/Organization reside.

Party: The term “Party” means any party, activity, or other event at a House (as defined above) that is attended by ten (10) or more individuals, whether residents or non-residents of the House, and at which alcohol is provided, served, and/or consumed. No party or other event’s attendance may exceed any fire code occupancy limit for that House.

JHU Affiliate: The term “JHU Affiliate” means a current student, a visiting student, a student who has matriculated at the University, and/or an individual who has completed all requirements needed to graduate but has not yet graduated.

Policy: The term “Policy” means this Homewood Undergraduate Off-Campus Party Registration and Safety Policy.

SPM: The term “SPM” means a Sober Party Monitor who meets the requirements described in this Policy.

Recognized Student Groups/Organizations: The term “Recognized Student Groups/Organizations” means Homewood undergraduate University recognized student groups and organizations.

Party Registration Requirements

a. Before a Party may be held at a House, the individual student(s) who reside in the House must have a check of the House performed annually by Public Safety (410-516-4671) to assess points of entry and exit, overall safety and security conditions of the facility, and provide guidance on the optimal deployment of SPMs. A Party may not be held at a House if this check has not been performed (or there is a lapse of more than twelve (12) months from the date of the prior check).

b. The individual student(s) who reside in the House must complete a registration form for a Party with Leadership Engagement & Experiential Development via Hopkins Groups at least 10 (10) days prior to date and time of the Party. A Party registration form must be reviewed by the Leadership Engagement & Experiential Development to verify the party requirements are met and that the organization is in good disciplinary standing

c. The individual student(s) who reside in the House will receive certain provisions (e.g., water, snacks) for an approved Party from Leadership Engagement & Experiential Development.

d. Any other Homewood undergraduate student(s) in private off-campus residences are also encouraged to register a party, activity or other events pursuant to this Policy. Further, Leadership Engagement & Experiential Development will upon request provide student(s) with information on hosting responsible parties and available resources, emergency contact information, and other applicable educational materials.

e. For policies pertaining to on-campus parties, activities or other events, please see the Student Leadership and Involvement Event Planning Guide.

f. Nothing in this policy restricts the Homewood Office of Student Life from limiting individual students or an organization from hosting a party for reasons of community safety and well-being.

Party Requirements

A party must meet all of the following requirements:

a. Points of Entry and Exit. A Party may have only one (1) designated point of entry, which must be under active access control (see below). A Party may have more than one point of exit, but those points of exit may not serve as additional points of entry. Any points of exit or entry should not be blocked in a way that might create unsafe conditions or violate any fire codes or other local and state laws; Campus Safety and Security can provide helpful information on safe party management, as well as fire codes and other local or state laws.

b. Access Control: A Party must have active access control in place for the entire duration of the Party that includes the presence of at least one (1) SPM (or a qualified third party vendor) at the point of entry, measures to check identification prior to allowing individuals to enter, and measures to ensure that individuals who are visibly and severely under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs are not permitted to attend the Party. SPMs must promptly communicate with Campus Safety and Security, the Community Liaison, HERU, and/or the Baltimore Police Department, as appropriate, to obtain any assistance needed.

c. SPMs: A Party must have two (2) designated SPMs (including the one for access control mentioned above) and one (1) additional SPM for every twenty-five (25) attendees. This means that if a party has 30 attendees, there must be at least 3 SPMs; if a party has 50 attendees, there must be at least 4 SPMs; if a party has 75 attendees, there must be at least 5 SPMs; etc. At least one (1) SPM must be a resident of the House in which the Party is held.

d. Attendees: Open Parties are not allowed. Only JHU Affiliates and/or invitees of JHU Affiliates may attend a Party. All attendees must be eighteen (18) years of age or older, or if younger than eighteen (18), must have a valid college identification card. The total number of attendees at a Party may not exceed the fire code capacity of the House or twenty-five (25) individuals per SPM as outlined above.

e. Guest Lists: Each Party must maintain and provide to the University on request a guest list of all attendees.

Sober Party Monitors (SPM)

First-Year students are not permitted to serve as SPMs. In addition to the responsibilities outlined above, SPMs must meet and comply with all of the following for the duration of the Party:

a. Completed training provided by University Health Promotion and Well-Being within the last twelve (12) months;
b. Wear a neon shirt provided by the University or another University-approved method of identification;
c. Carry a phone on their person at all times in case of emergencies, and have the phone numbers for Public Safety, the Community Liaison, HERU, and 911 programmed on their phones or immediately accessible;
d. Must not consume alcohol and/or illegal drugs and remain free of these substances for the entire duration of the Party and for eight (8) hours prior to the start of the Party;
e. Verify that the number of attendees does not exceed the fire code capacity of the House or twenty-five (25) individuals per SPM.
f. Circulate throughout the Party (including points of entry and exit), be vigilant for situations that may endanger the health, safety, or welfare of individuals, promptly obtain assistance from Public Safety, the Community Liaison, HERO and/or the Baltimore Police Department, as appropriate, and communicate with other SPMs regarding the foregoing; and
g. Speak with law enforcement and any neighbors who come to the House and ask to speak with someone regarding the Party.

Alcohol/Drug Related Policies/Restriction on Use of Hard Alcohol

Consistent with current Homewood Student Life policies, only beer and/or wine may be served at Parties. In particular, no “hard alcohol” (i.e. alcohol that is 30 proof or higher) may be provided or served at Parties.

Responsibility for Violations of this Policy

Individuals who violate this policy will be held responsible under the student code of conduct. Additionally, Recognized Student Groups/Organizations can be held accountable when members of the student group or organization violate this or other University policies. For student groups or organizations, possible sanctions include but are not limited to: a warning, probation, suspension, or de-recognition. For more information, see the Student Conduct Code.

Sanctions and Corrective Actions: Alcohol Policy Violations

The Sanctions and Corrective Actions described in the Student Conduct Code apply beyond the confines of this Policy to all students, whether on or off-campus when they are found in violation of Student Life alcohol policies. Learn more about the Amnesty and Responsible Action protocol.

Parent or Family Notification for Alcohol Violations

Consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents or legal guardians may be notified that their student was found responsible for disciplinary violation(s) of applicable law or policies governing the use or possession of alcohol or controlled substance(s) with respect to any such use or possession if the student is under the age of 21 at the time of disclosure to the parents, and/or whenever the University, in its discretion, determines such notification is necessary for the purpose of the health or safety interests, and/or as otherwise permitted by applicable law. Notification generally takes place via phone call within 48-72 hours once the determination of responsibility has been made. It is strongly recommended that students inform their parents of all incidents of conduct violations.

Student Activities Alcohol Provisions

Generally, alcohol is not served at events sponsored by University-affiliated student groups. If a student group does desire to sponsor an event at which alcohol will be served, it must receive permission of the Director of Student Activities prior to the event taking place. The conditions under which permission will be granted are as follows:

  • Only beer and/or wine may be served. Kegs and other bulk quantities are not permitted unless they are managed and served by a third-party vendor and approved by University officials.
  • The organization must agree to follow the procedures for assuring that persons attending the event who are underage will not be served (e.g. the employment of a licensed third-party security vendor). In addition, the organization and/ or individuals in the organization may be subject to University disciplinary action if underage patrons are served alcoholic beverages.
  • Publicity (posters, etc.) for events at which alcoholic beverages are served must not include any mention of beer/ wine. “Refreshments available” or some facsimile thereof will be acceptable. News-Letter ads may publicize beer/wine, but it cannot be the main thrust of the ads.
  • Persons who violate or attempt to violate these regulations (restrictions) will be asked to leave the event and may be subject to university disciplinary action. The Associate Dean for Student Conduct limits the number of events at which alcohol may be served. Organizations that violate the alcohol policy will lose the privilege of serving alcohol at their events and may be subject to University disciplinary action.
  • No alcoholic beverages may be purchased through student organization funds nor may the purchase of alcoholic beverages for members or guests be undertaken or coordinated by any member in the name of or on behalf of the student organization.
  • The sale of alcoholic beverages at Johns Hopkins’ student organization events must be through a State of Maryland licensed vendor and must be sold on a “per drink” basis to individuals; “open bar” events are prohibited. Beverages should be sold at reasonable market value and prices should be included in the event contract. Profit sharing is prohibited. Free drink vouchers are prohibited. The distributing of drink tickets/vouchers at student organization events is prohibited.
  • No member of Johns Hopkins’ student organizations, collectively or individually, shall purchase for, serve to, or sell alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21. It is the role of the third party vendor to acquire, distribute and monitor the alcohol.
  • Alcohol events hosted on campus by Johns Hopkins’ student organizations must comply with University policies regarding the reservation of adequate security and age verification procedures.
  • All recruitment activities hosted by a Johns Hopkins’ student organization must be dry, meaning no alcoholic beverages will be served.
  • Johns Hopkins University student organizations may not collect admissions fees (cover charges) in order to defray the cost of alcohol.

Last updated: 8/9/22