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Guidelines on the Use and Management of Alcohol at University Functions

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Section 1 - Introduction/Background

(1) The University recognises that from to time there may be functions either on or off campus which involve the sale or supply of alcohol at University functions.  It is important that organisers of these events are aware of and ensure compliance to legislative requirements around the sale and supply of alcohol.

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Section 2 - Scope/Purpose

(2) These Guidelines provide staff members organising University based events and activities with an understanding of the legislative requirements and risks associated with alcohol misuse and their role in minimising this risk.

(3) These Guidelines are based on ensuring the University fulfils its duty of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all employees, students and other members of the campus community.

(4) The Guidelines apply to all events and activities, which have been approved by a Director/Executive Dean or other senior officer of the University, whether on campus or off-site. These Guidelines should be read in conjunction with the Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace Policy.

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Section 3 - General Principles

(5) A risk management approach should be taken in planning events/activities involving the supply or consumption of alcohol. Those responsible for the organisation of functions that involve alcohol, and those responsible for the management of venues at which alcohol is consumed, must ensure that such functions and venues are conducted and managed in a manner consistent with the current licensing legislation (see section 4) and these Guidelines.

(6) Alcohol misuse can lead to unsafe or unacceptable sexual and/or violent behaviour. Accordingly the University will not tolerate behaviour that endangers others or constitutes a violation of relevant law, these Guidelines or other University rules and regulations. Abusive consumption of alcoholic beverages shall not be seen to excuse unacceptable conduct.

(7) The University does not condone any social function that has as a purpose or focus the rapid or over-consumption of alcohol.

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Section 4 - Liquor License Regulations

(8) A liquor licence is required at any event where alcohol is to be sold. This includes events where alcohol is included in the ticket price or where a donation is required for entry to the event or where the cost of liquor is hidden in other charges such as membership fees.

(9) Alcohol can be sold or supplied at functions and events through the use of an existing caterer’s licence or through the use of a permanent liquor licence that already exists at the venue where the event will be held.

Regulations for the Service of Alcohol (Liquor Act 2007)

(10) Alcohol must not be provided to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is to be expected, for example, that a proportion of those attending functions during Orientation Week will be under 18 years of age.

(11) All holders of licences should be aware that heavy fines now operate if alcoholic beverages are served to under age drinkers. The licensee can be fined $15,000 for this offence.

(12) Alcohol must not be provided to anyone who is, or appears to be, intoxicated.

(13) On licensed premises, times when alcohol will be served must be specified. Service should adhere strictly to these times.

(14) At functions where under 18's are in attendance, a sign requesting Proof of Age must be displayed stating that proof of age is required to purchase alcohol.

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Section 5 - Categorising Circumstances in Which Alcohol may be Consumed and Specific Responsibilities

(15) These Guidelines contemplate five general circumstances relevant to the University in which alcohol may be sold/served/consumed. Each environment should be considered within the framework of Liquor Act, 2007 (NSW). Event or function organisers in all of the following circumstances MUST refer to Table 1 below and Appendix 1 to ensure appropriate steps have been taken to minimise risk of alcohol misuse at their event.

On University Premises

(16) The first circumstance includes functions or events held on University premises where the alcohol is supplied by a party who holds a liquor licence (i.e. UniBar, UniCentre, 67 Dining). Generally the principal responsibility for supply and service of alcohol at events in this category belong to the licence holder.

(17) The second circumstance includes University residences. Students living in residence should abide by the Code of Behaviour for Students, policies and Discipline Procedures as outlined in University of Wollongong Residence Handbooks. The Associate Director, Student Residence shall have responsibility on behalf of the University for ensuring all Student Residences have appropriate safeguards in place to ensure the responsible consumption and service of alcohol. The Head of each residence has responsibility for managing events and consumption of alcohol in premises under their jurisdiction.

(18) The third circumstance covers situations when a member of the University community wishes to serve alcohol on University premises other than in the situations described above.

(19) If alcohol is provided by an individual without a liquor licence, the organiser MUST have approval from Executive Dean/Director prior to service or consumption.

Off University Principles

(20) The fact an event or activity is held on University premises provides a very clear link to the University. However the link to the University is not as clear for events or activities held off campus and attended by staff and/or students from the University. An off campus University function is characterised by prior knowledge and approval by Executive Dean/Director and knowledge of planning and organisation by the relevant Head, Manager or Supervisor.

(21) The fourth circumstance involves the organisation of a function off campus at a venue, which holds a liquor licence. The principal responsibility for supply and service of alcohol at events in this category belong to the licence holder. Organisers should have prior approval and arrangements should align with these Guidelines. Individuals in attendance must accept responsibility for their own behaviour and a designated staff member must assume responsibility for ensuring appropriate steps have been taken to minimise the risk of alcohol misuse and the safety of those in attendance at the event.

(22) If an event is held in a private home, the host of the event is responsible for ensuring the safety of all participants and for ensuring that alcohol is not served to impaired or underage individuals.

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Section 6 - Risk Assessment Procedure for Events Involving Alcohol

(23) The following points should be followed to help complete a risk assessment for an event involving alcohol:

  1. plan your event and consider it in terms of the criteria provided in table 1.
  2. read through the descriptions next to each criteria and decide which one best represents your planned event, then using the vertical columns, assign a risk factor in order to determine the Low, Medium, or High risk to that particular criteria of your planned event.
  3. for each criterion that presents a medium or high risk, click on the link in the orange column and you will be provided with appropriate and workable control measures.
  4. consider how to further minimise the risk by referring to Appendix 1 Guidelines for the Responsible Service and Consumption of Alcohol.

(24) The overriding preference is that organiser of functions opt to hold the function at a premises/venues which hold a licence as this minimises risk.

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Section 7 - Roles and Responsibilities

Executive Deans and Directors

(25) Executive Deans and Directors are responsible for overseeing the implementation of these Guidelines in their area and for the approval of alcohol at events or activities emanating from in their faculty/division.

(26) Compliance with relevant University policies is also the responsibility of Executive Deans and Directors.

Heads of Department/Managers/Supervisors

(27) Heads, Managers and Supervisors are responsible for ensuring the Guidelines are implemented in their unit. This includes ensuring that:

  1. functions and activities are approved at a senior level and planned with full consideration of any alcohol related risks as outlined in Table 1 - Risk Criteria for Events Serving Alcohol;
  2. preference is given to a licensed venue when planning a University function at which alcohol will be served, however it is recognised this may not always be the appropriate venue for some events;
  3. intoxicated persons are not a risk to the health, safety or welfare of themselves or others (Within the context of a university function where alcohol is served);
  4. employees do not consume alcohol while on duty, other than in accordance with the Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace Policy; and
  5. compliance with relevant University policies.

Academic Staff

(28) Academic staff have responsibility for students in the educational context including fieldwork. This includes ensuring:

  1. student behaviour is monitored and observed to ensure the welfare and safety of the whole group.
  2. alcohol is not consumed in the teaching environment.
  3. end of session celebrations are planned within the provisions of these Guidelines.
  4. compliance with relevant University policies.

(29) Where a student's behaviour is inappropriate, staff should immediately address the issue to minimise harm to those present, then discuss the matter with the student in private, setting the parameters for acceptable behaviour.

(30) Student disciplinary procedures as to misconduct may be involved and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Individual Members of the Campus Community

(31) Individual members of the campus community are responsible for adhering to their duty of care and have specific obligations, which include:

  1. responsible behaviour to avoid any incidents from alcohol misuse, including unsafe practices, harassment, aggressive or disruptive behaviours or drink driving;
  2. observing all directions from their academic or workplace supervisor in regard to these Guidelines;
  3. advising their academic or workplace supervisor if they believe a peer presents a threat to the health and safety of themselves or others. Individuals should not feel embarrassed about raising safety concerns with senior staff in charge of an event or activity or with alcohol affected peers;
  4. professional and responsible behaviour and the use of good judgment when representing the University at functions sponsored by another organisation, company or institution, where alcohol is available;
  5. compliance with relevant University policies.

(32) As per the Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace Policy, students undertaking tasks categorised as medium to high risk and who display behaviours which indicate they are affected by alcohol, will be asked to cease that task and undertake other learning activities or go home.

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Section 8 - Appendix 1

(33) Guidelines for the use of alcohol at University functions appendix 1