I. Scope

This policy relates to student consumption of alcohol on Earlham’s campus.

II. Introduction

Earlham College’s approach to alcohol is designed to help students reflect on whether alcohol should be a part of their lives and, for students who do choose to consume alcohol, how to do so responsibly.

This approach encourages healthy lifestyles and supports students in their efforts to be accountable to each other for their actions related to alcohol use. We recognize that our community encompasses students below and above the legal drinking age of 21.

Earlham College acknowledges the developmental value of self-determination regarding the personal use of alcohol. Our approach seeks to ensure that alcohol neither becomes the focus of the College’s social life nor detracts from its educational mission.

The approach is designed to achieve the following goals:

  • Educate the Earlham community to recognize that students are responsible for their own well-being and the well-being of others.
  • Educate the Earlham community regarding the fundamental impacts of the abuse of alcohol on health and social relationships.
  • Promote personal responsibility in the use of alcohol.
  • Provide support resources for students struggling with alcohol-related concerns.
  • Promote an environment free from social pressure to use alcohol.
  • Reduce the negative secondary consequences of the illegal use or abuse of alcohol on the community.
  • Educate students regarding the value of and respect for public, community and individual living spaces, and the ongoing responsibility to care for them.
  • Foster an environment of open dialogue regarding the use of alcohol.
  • Ensure the existence and maintenance of alcohol-free spaces and social functions.
  • Comply with the Drug Free Schools and Community Act of 1989 and provide information regarding federal, state and local laws related to the use, possession and/or distribution of alcohol.

Leaders and participants of the College’s off-campus programs are encouraged to discuss carefully, as a group, the educational opportunities and challenges that arise when living in a culture whose prevailing attitudes, laws and expectations about alcohol use may be different from our own. Off-campus programs should develop a shared understanding of how best to balance the need to participate appropriately in another culture, to respect the sensibilities of individual group members and to best represent the Earlham community in other parts of the world.

III. Guidelines for Alcohol Use

In order to support a community with diverse cultural values, the presence of alcohol should not be at the center of events, parties or other social gatherings. Every member of the Earlham community is responsible for maintaining an environment that prioritizes academic success. The College will ensure the existence and maintenance of alcohol-free areas and social functions. Individuals publicly under the influence of alcohol at College-sponsored events, student-sponsored activities or College-owned House gatherings may be asked to leave that event.

A. Alcohol Consumption and Conduct

  1. This policy is the result of extensive consultation with students, faculty, staff, alumni and the Board of Trustees. This approach includes national research regarding alcohol use among college and university students, as well as data from the Earlham community. What follows reflects our expectation of personal responsibility and community care.
  2. All members of the Earlham Community are expected to review the guidelines for the use of alcohol and to provide appropriate identification and/or proof of legal age when requested by campus officials. Students whose guests include those not enrolled at Earlham are responsible for informing guests of the guidelines and ensuring their cooperation with staff as requested. Students entrust one another with a high degree of personal choice and an equal degree of accountability whenever alcohol is present. Every student is responsible for understanding and abiding by this approach.
  3. Students of legal age who consume alcohol are best guided by the phrase: “personal use in personal space.” ‘Personal use’ denotes the individual consumption of a reasonable quantity of alcohol that may be safely consumed by that individual. The possession or use of common source alcohol containers, e.g., kegs, pony kegs, beer balls, cases of alcohol or any other large scale container, is prohibited. Additionally, personal consumption should reflect the spirit of the Earlham College Approach to Alcohol with its emphasis on health and accountability. Therefore, high-risk use is considered to be abuse. Drinking games, funnels, doing ‘shots’, stands and any coercion or other pressure to abuse alcohol is prohibited.
  4. Providing alcohol to students under the age of 21 is prohibited. Students over the age of 21 who provide alcohol to underage students in any manner may be administratively moved from their housing assignment and will face disciplinary action. Alcohol may not be sold or purchased on any College property, including living spaces; no fee, charge or donation to any activity where alcohol is present is permitted.

B. Earlham College Grounds and Alcohol

Students are reminded that alcohol is permitted for personal use in personal space. ‘Personal space’ is defined as one’s living space only. Therefore, alcohol in or on other locations, including vehicles or personal property is not permitted. The possession and/or consumption of alcohol in public, within academic and co-curricular buildings, athletic and equestrian facilities, barns and maintenance facilities, and outdoor spaces or any other location other than those areas permitted, is prohibited. Additionally, operating or riding bicycles, skateboards, or operating any motor or electric vehicles while under the influence of alcohol is prohibited.

1. Residence Halls

Students who are 21 years of age or over may consume alcohol within their residence hall rooms only, unless they are residing in First Year halls. Alcohol is not permitted in common areas such as hallways, stairwells or elevators, lounges, kitchens or similar areas, including balconies. No alcohol (including empty containers, trophies, etc.) is permitted in the First Year halls. Events in other residence halls must be hosted in compliance with the event registration process.

2. College-owned Houses

  1. Students residing in College-owned houses may determine where alcohol may be possessed or consumed within the house by residents of legal age through consensus as a living group. Alcohol may not be possessed or consumed on any porches, balconies, fire escapes, roof/attic areas, stairs or the basement areas of the houses. No alcohol is permitted in the barn, coops, or other outbuildings. No fees, charges or donations may be taken or accepted at College-owned house events where alcohol is present. Empty containers in prohibited areas are prohibited. Empty containers or ‘trophies’ in in the possession or living space of students under the age of 21 are prohibited. Events at all College-owned houses must be hosted in compliance with the event registration process.
  2. The Office of Residence Life is responsible for designating residence halls and College-owned houses as alcohol-free or alcohol-permitted. The Office of Residence Life will consult with appropriate committees and bodies in making this designation, keeping relevant laws and policies, residential changes, and the needs of the College in mind.
  3. Students are expected to review their Housing Agreement carefully regarding conditions under which alcohol is permitted. Students may be administratively moved from their current assignment (including termination of the agreement) and/or face disciplinary action, if they are in violation of the agreement.

IV. Alcohol Education and Resources

All incoming Earlham students complete e-CHECKUP TO GO, an evidence-based online program, as part of alcohol education. This occurs prior to students receiving their initial housing assignment. The College also provides ongoing education beginning at New Student Orientation, whether through programs, peer education or more in-depth assessment. Students in need of more personalized intervention may contact Counseling Services for confidential counseling or referral for clinical treatment, including inpatient services or other off-campus support. Other on-campus confidential resources include Student Health Services and the Office of Religious Life.

Online Alcohol Awareness Program

As part of Earlham College’s commitment to wellness, we take seriously the impacts that abuse of alcohol can have on students’ academic success, health and relationships. Though most students choose not to drink, we want you to be aware of campus resources that can assist you or others you may know who would benefit from more information.

For this reason, the College asks you to complete the eCHECKUP TO GO. This online alcohol awareness program is confidential so only you will have access to your answers. All students are required to complete the program prior to arrival to campus.

The program takes approximately 20-25 minutes to complete. At the end, you will be asked whether you would like to electronically verify with a College official that you have completed the program.  The verification does not disclose your responses. You must fill out the fields for:

  • Your Name: (first and last, please)
  • Your Email Address: (the email you commonly use)
  • Earlham College ID Number: (simply type in four random numbers, i.e., 1234)
  • Send my verification to: (in the dropdown menu select – Shane Peters)  Shane Peters is the Associate Dean of Student Development.

Once your verification is received, your housing assignment and roommate information will be confirmed and released to you within two business days. 

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact the Student Life Office at 765-983-1311.

V. Health and Alcohol Use

Significant health risks associated with the abuse of alcohol are widely acknowledged. The College provides accurate, evidence-based information related to the impacts of alcohol abuse on academic performance, health and community life to students throughout their enrollment. In addition, the College expects students to take an active role in educating their peers about alcohol use.

Students may obtain more information regarding alcohol and health from Student Health Services as well as the following websites:

VI. Medical Amnesty

The purpose of Medical Amnesty is to remove barriers to help-seeking and, thereby, to increase the likelihood that students who require emergency medical assistance as a result of high-risk alcohol consumption will receive such assistance.

Individuals who become incapacitated, seriously injured, unconscious or are otherwise unable to care for themselves following alcohol consumption should never be left alone; they require immediate medical assessment and intervention. Therefore, students who seek medical assistance for themselves or others will not be subject to disciplinary sanctions related to the consumption of alcohol. This medical amnesty applies only to the consumption of alcohol. Students will remain liable under the Student Code of Conduct for secondary behavior that might occur while intoxicated, including, but not limited to, property damage, assault against another person or sexual misconduct.

Policy specifications

Last revision: 11/10/2023
Responsible office: Student Life
Public Safety
Approved by: President
Effective date: 08/24/2007
Related policies: Student Handbook
Associated division(s):
Associated audience(s):
Associated container(s):
Policy home: https://earlham.edu/policy/alcohol-policy-for-students