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Interim ETSU Alchohol Policy


The Interim ETSU Alcohol Policy, adopted by the University Council on August 14, 2017, was developed to reflect the needs of the institution by providing greater flexibility in the serving of alcohol at ETSU-related events, both on campus and off, while maintaining compliance with federal, state, and local laws.  Universities once under TBR were bound by TBR’s alcohol policy, which did not allow those institutions the latitude needed for the serving of alcohol at select university functions during which alumni, donors, and other special guests are entertained.

While many TBR-based policies have been and may continue to be adapted for use as ETSU policies, the TBR alcohol policy meets neither our current nor anticipated needs.  Therefore, the University Council has endorsed and implemented an Interim ETSU Alcohol Policy to provide guidance to ETSU on the possession, use, and purchase of alcohol until such time as a permanent policy can be developed.  Based on feedback from the University Community on the interim policy during a 30-day Public Comment opportunity, the University Council and the President will develop an ETSU Alcohol Policy that will be submitted to the ETSU Board of Trustees for review and adoption.

Posted on: 8/15/2017
Closes on: 9/13/2017
Archived on: 9/13/2018

Primary Documents

The Request for Comments has been closed


First, please add the parking lots to the list! Others have suggested this, and I'm in agreement.

Second, please consider adding beer sales to ETSU football games. There is a precedent, and several D-1 programs big & small have sold beer at their football stadium, to mostly considerable success.  U. of Minnesota and Ohio State from the power 5, but several others from the Sun Belt (more similar to ETSU) including Troy, UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe, and others. I think we need to check a cost-benefit analysis. This is something ETSU could offer that many others cannot, and something to consider to enhance student and others attendance for football games.


Commentor: Russell Brown
Submitted on: 8/16/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

I am in agreement with the suggested new policy but noted the following:

  • This policy does not address campus tailgating in the parking lots prior to football games.
  • Regarding the student policy; why are students-of-legal-age not allowed to possess/consume alcohol in their residence if they live on campus.This policy creates two problems: 1) students-of-legal-age are incentivized to live off campus; 2) encourages students-of-legal-age who do live on campus to engage in rule-breaking behavior. In it unreasonable to assume this policy will prevent students who wish to consume alcoholic beverages from consuming.

Commentor: Jonathan Peterson
Submitted on: 8/16/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

Under Approved Purchasing Processes regarding the use of Foundation funds - a clearer statement would be "If an ETSU Foundation fund purpose and restrictions allow, funds may be allowed upon approval for the purchase of alcohol."

Commentor: Leisa Wiseman
Submitted on: 8/15/2017
On behalf of: Individual Staff

I see no reason to change the current policy which has server ETSU for over 31 years that I know of.


Commentor: Marian Young
Submitted on: 8/15/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

The Interim Alcohol Policy refers to the University Catalog for the current policy regarding student possession and consumption of alcohol. I went to that policy and found that the wording is ambiguous and confusing:

ETSU's Policy Statement on Drug-Free Campus prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of alcohol and illicit drugs on the ETSU campus, in the workplace (on- or off-campus), on property owned or controlled by ETSU, or as part of any activity of ETSU.

Starting the list with “unlawful manufacture” leads one to read the rest as unlawful (i.e. the unlawful possession) and since it is legal for a student who is 21 or over to possess and consume alcohol the statement can easily be construed as only applying to underage students. If the university wants to say that students may not possess and consume alcohol, etc., even lawful possession, it would be better to leave out the word unlawful: ‘prohibits the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of alcohol and illicit drugs on the ETSU campus’.

Commentor: Linda Sweeney
Submitted on: 8/15/2017
On behalf of: Individual Staff

I recommend that either credit be given to UTK's policy (from which much of the language in the proposed policy is taken verbatim) or sufficient changes be made so that it isn't plagiarized. See:

I agree with others that adressing tailgating is also an important consideration. Most of the universities I have been affilitaed with that allow tailgating, permit alcohol consumption as long as appliable local laws are obeyed. I have few doubts that there will be alcoholic beverages at tailgates, therefore it would be a good idea to address this in the policy (one way or the other).

Commentor: Patrick Brown
Submitted on: 8/15/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

Thanks for sharing the policy for public comment.

Section: Approved campus locations

Consider adding Sherrod Library, Slocumb Gallery, and Tipton Gallery as approved campus locations. 


Commentor: Phyllis Thompson
Submitted on: 8/15/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

I think it would also be nice if there was an approved site to consume alcohol on the medical campus, such as in the lobby of Stanton-Gerber Hall. It may allow for the medical school to have formal dinners with alumni in that area. These types of events could potentially help with fundraising efforts.  

Commentor: Patrick Bradshaw
Submitted on: 8/15/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

Thank you for considering the following minor editorial comments:

The latter part of the Objective is a bit unclear, as my understanding is that alcohol cannot be purchased on campus (only served at functions when entertaining alumni, donors, and special guests as stated in the policy) and a campus policy cannot regulate the purchase of alcohol off campus for purposes not related to the university.

Suggest revising last sentence under Procedures to state "his or her designee."

Under Stadium and Arena Suites section, is "Department of Athletics" accurate?  Department generally refers to an academic unit, whereas Office is more typical for non-academic units.

Commentor: Cheri Clavier
Submitted on: 8/15/2017
On behalf of: Individual Administrator

The Department of Art & Design has a gallery on campus, Slocumb Galleries, which should be included as a venue for alcohol due to the nature of public receptions.  This is in keeping with other Visual Arts Galleries around the country. 

Commentor: Mira Gerard
Submitted on: 8/15/2017
On behalf of: Department of Art & Design and Slocumb Galleries


It would definitely increase turnout and ultimately increase revenue. If you use the Johnson City Cardinals as an example, their revitalization efforts have been incredibly successful, of which efforts have been their decision to sell alcohol at games ( If it's revenue and maintenence of interest you're concerned with, I think selling booze would be an incredible business opportunity.

People are going to drink regardless; you just have to decide if you want to make money off of them.



Commentor: Caleb Bailey
Submitted on: 8/15/2017
On behalf of: Individual Student

Thank you for sharing this.

I would suggest alphabetizing the approved campus locations by the name of each location, with qualifiers like "skyboxes" or "select areas" in parentheses after the name. ... the current list begins with "skyboxes..." and then the next six items are alphabetized, then the last two items are again out of alphabetical order...

Two questions, basically to confirm what the policy already implies:

One, does this document, then, prohibit students over the age of 21 from consuming alcohol at these designated places?  Thus, a graduate student in their, say, 40s, cannot have wine at a reception at the Reece museum? Or a faculty member taking a graduate class, or auditing an undergraduate one...? I just wanted to clarify that all students are prohbited from the consumption of alcohol on university premises at all times...

The other topic that, I think, looms over this but is not addressed is tailgating - in two weeks (ish) there will be football games on campus, and football means tailgating - to be clear, ETSU is going to prohbit the consumption of alcohol at tailgating on campus prior to football games?

Best to each of you that reads this,


Commentor: Brian Maxson
Submitted on: 8/15/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

What about donors who also happen to be enrolled as students?

Commentor: Susan Epps
Submitted on: 8/15/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

Section: Approved campus locations

"The University also recognizes at select university functions the serving of alcohol is appropriate as alumni, donors, and other special guests are entertained."

  • Suggest rewording: "The University also recognizes the serving of alcohol at select university functions is appropriate as alumni, donors, and other special guests are entertained."

All the locations are specific except for "Select Areas of Thomas Stadium" - do the areas at Thomas Stadium need to be specified in order to be consistent with the other named locations?

Is the Ward Room going to be used for Global Sport Leadership? If so, then it should be removed from the list.

the "Lobby" of the Mini-Dome - is that the main concourse area?

"The Outdoor lobby of Brown Hall"  - should be "outdoor lobby" 

Section - Procedures

Last paragraph - "The President or his designee..." - suggest changing to "The President or the President's designee" OR "The President or his/her designee"

Section - Stadium and Arena Suites

First sentence "Alcohol may be stored and served inside the suites stadiums..." should be "stadium suites"

Reference to the "stipulations issued by the Department of Athletics" - what are those stipulations? Should the UC review those in conjunction with this policy?

Section - Approved Purchasing Process

This doesn't read like a process but rather rules about purchasing/selling alcohol.

Commentor: Susan Epps
Submitted on: 8/15/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty