Event organizers in GW’s School of Business and Public Management said they will educate themselves about the University’s alcohol policy after inadvertently violating it during a spring leadership retreat.
SBPM administrators serve alcohol at the annual spring leadership retreat for seniors, alumni, faculty and staff, Undergraduate Marketing Coordinator Linda Christensen said. She said event organizers were unaware that GW requires registration for all University-sponsored events where alcohol is served.
“We want to be in accord with University policy,” Christensen said.
Christensen said SBPM administrators did not check age identification at the event because she said the guests know each other well and therefore know everyone’s age.
Margaret Vann, director of Special Events and Information Services, agreed that the business school is a close-knit community and that the faculty would know the ages of all the guests. Vann said she did not know alcohol was served at any of the events.
Small, intimate events do not always require administrators to check identification as long as the group first has registered and received approval from the University to hold the event, Senior Assistant Dean of Students Mike Walker said.
Organizers can serve alcohol at University-sponsored events where a majority of people will be at least 21 years old, according to the University’s Alcoholic Beverage Consumption and Distribution Policy.
Sponsors of the event “must monitor all entrances to the activity at all times to identify persons who are 21 years of age or older and who are therefore eligible to be served alcoholic beverages,” according to the policy.
The University also requires that only guests who have reached the legal drinking age may be admitted to events where alcohol is being served. If underage guests are invited, then the organizers must implement a system, like placing wrist bands on those over 21, to identify those people who are not eligible to consume alcohol, according to the policy.
SBPM will meet soon to ensure administrators know GW policies and what they must do to comply, Vann said.
Christensen said the spring leadership retreats attract an older crowd. The majority of attendees are alumni and faculty, she said.
Vann agreed and said the University needs to make separate rules for graduate and undergraduate students.
“I don’t believe you should treat adults like children,” Vann said.
GW’s current alcohol policy has the same requirements for graduate and undergraduate students.
Christensen said she did not know how the alcohol was distributed at the events.
According to the policy, kegs and other common-source containers are prohibited, unless the event organizers get special permission after going through the registration process.
Walker said the University in the past has permitted some groups, including the GW Law School, to use kegs after the organizers went through the registration process and gained special permission.