Alcohol, Drugs, and Other Intoxicants

Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 2.5(5)
Reviewed and Updated: August 9, 2016
Contact: Senior Vice President for Operations and Finance


This policy addresses alcohol, drugs, and other intoxicants. The purpose of this policy is to clarify the rules regarding possession, consumption, and distribution of intoxicants within university owned or operated buildings, property and grounds including administrative, instructional and research facilities. This policy applies to all university employees, students and visitors. This policy supplements Iowa Administrative Code Section 681-13.17(2). In all instances this policy will be construed so as to comply with federal and state law.

Policy Statement

Drugs and Other Intoxicants

Drugs that are not legally available shall not be used, possessed, sold, or distributed on campus. Moreover, the unauthorized distribution of prescription drugs on the campus by a person to another person is prohibited. Misuse of drugs and other intoxicants is also prohibited.


Possession or Consumption

The possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on the Iowa State University campus will be permitted in accordance with state law. Pursuant to the Board of Regents policies, the consumption of alcoholic beverages on the campus will generally be permitted only where approved by the senior vice president for operations and finance.

Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages is permitted in university housing according to the policies established by the Department of Residence and only for those persons having attained drinking age as stipulated in the laws of the State of Iowa.


Recognition or Fundraising Purpose

In the case of a specific reception and/or dinner function, alcohol may be served in situations deemed unique or unusual. The events should involve unique recognition and/or specific fundraising efforts. They would not normally involve routine continuing education, lectures, or other professional programs that frequently occur on the campus. Normally, alcohol will be not utilized in regular campus buildings for seminar speakers, staff recruitment, or similar events. If alcohol is desired, the permission of the senior vice president for operations and finance is required.

Because the majority of the undergraduate student body is not of legal drinking age, events involving alcohol should be ones where the participants are not primarily from the undergraduate student body.

Research, Academic and Administrative Areas; University Grounds

The consumption of alcoholic beverages in research, academic or administrative areas or on university grounds will not be permitted except under specific authorization through the office of the senior vice president for operations and finance. The conditions under which possible distribution of alcohol will be considered are as follows:

  • An appropriate liquor license is obtained or university catering services that are licensed to serve alcohol are used.
  • The necessary dram shop insurance is obtained.
  • Conformance with state distribution policies is assured.

Cash Bars

Cash bars are permitted only when an event is catered by the ISU Dining Services, the Iowa State Center, Reiman Gardens’ contracted caterer, or other authorized caterer as approved by the senior vice president for operations and finance. The cost of alcoholic beverages may be included in the charges associated with an event or dinner.


Alcoholic beverages may be permitted in a limited number of cases where special social events are being scheduled. Requests for the use of alcohol must be made to the senior vice president for operations and finance well in advance of the event to allow adequate time for due consideration and a decision. Specific requests must meet the following conditions:

  • The facility or building area involved is not open to the general public during the time of the event or access to the area is managed and restricted to the invited participants.
  • The audience is a specifically invited group with the majority of the participants being of legal drinking age.
  • The event is being held outside of normal office or business hours.
  • Individuals and/or bartenders involved in serving alcohol must have completed the training for intervention procedures by servers of alcohol or the techniques for effective alcohol management programs offered by the Iowa State Center, ISU Dining, the National Restaurant Association, or other recognized training sponsor.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages will also be served along with appropriate food.