Serving alcohol at campus events

Before planning to serve alcohol at your event on campus, familiarize yourself with important UBC policies and information.


The university has a policy that relates specifically to the serving and consumption of alcohol on campus. Event organizers are responsible for reviewing this policy and ensuring that their event complies with this policy. It is important to note that many members of the university community do not consume alcohol for a variety of reasons. Licensed events should not solely be about consuming alcohol. The main activities of the event should be open and inclusive to all individuals—whether or not they chose to consume alcohol at the event.

Event organizers should make sure to review and ensure that their event complies with UBC Policy #13: Serving and Consumption of Alcohol at University Facilities and Events. Depending on your type of event, there are specific forms that must be completed to book a space on campus and obtain a Special Occasion License. 

Hosting an event with alcohol

UBC student event organizers must follow the rules below if they plan to serve alcohol at the event: 

  • As the organizer, you are required to be present for the entire event.
  • The organizer, servers, and security must not consume alcohol during the event.
  • The event must be inclusive and supportive of those members of the University population who cannot or choose not to drink alcohol.
  • Do not encourage over-consumption. If you serve alcohol to someone who becomes impaired as a result, you may be held legally responsible for their actions under the influence.
  • You are responsible for your guests. As licensee, you have a duty of care to protect patrons at your event and others from harm that may be associated with drinking. This includes harm which may occur on the premises of your event, as well after the patron has left the premises.

Planning your event

Make sure you understand the following requirements when organizing your event

  • Alcohol may not be used as an enticement to attend the event. The focus of the event should not be the alcohol or the alcohol consumption, but the activities being planned (concert, music, games, etc.). The promotions and marketing materials should reflect this as well.
  • No indication may be made about the availability of alcohol when promoting the event.
  • Depending on your type of event, there are specific forms that must be completed to book a space on campus and obtain a Special Occasion License. Review the processes for getting a license for an indoor space and outdoor space.
  • The RCMP will determine the amount of alcohol you can purchase.
  • The purpose of your event cannot be to make a profit.
  • An exception may be made if the LCLB is satisfied that the purpose of the function is to raise funds for a legitimate charity.
  • If the event is outdoors, the area in which alcohol is to be served must be well illuminated and enclosed; entrances and exits must be adequately monitored.
  • The event should be scheduled within legal serving times.
  • All outdoor events on campus, regardless of whether alcohol will be served, must be concluded by 10:00 p.m (serving times may be extended with permission by RCMP before approval of Special Occasion License). Indoor events must be concluded by 1:00 a.m.
  • Leave your event venue clean.
  • Make arrangements ahead of time to make sure you leave the room as you left it. 
  • For licensed events with a capacity of 100 or more patrons, the licensee must provide an event Safety and Emergency Plan to Campus Security, the RCMP, and the Fire Department.

Serving alcohol at your event

  • Get certified. 
    All managers and paid servers must have Serving It Right certification and be able to provide proof that you are certified.
  • Provide food for your guests.
    Make sure you provide a generous variety of food and alcohol-free beverages that are readily accessible and reasonably priced or free.
  • Offer non-alcoholic beverages and water.
    Water should be readily available, free of cost to all attendees to ensure appropriate hydration. Ensure that non-alcoholic beverage options are readily available, and if possible, maintain some distance between the serving areas of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to avoid unintentional mixing. This ensures that those who do not want to access or be seen to be accessing alcoholic beverages are comfortable. 
  • Sell responsibly. 
    To support responsible drinking, alcohol may not be sold for less than $2.00 per drink. Alcohol may not be sold at prices exceeding the maximums set in the LCLB Liquor Price Schedule.
  • Display your Special Occasion License (SOL).
    Make sure it's visible where the alcohol is being sold or dispersed.
  • Check guest IDs. 
    Plan to check identification to make sure no one who is underage (under 19) is served alcohol.

Make your event safe

Additional resources