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Tailgating Using the Updated Risk Reduction Policy

Updates from Lexington


Each fall brings the return of the excitement of college football. Coincidentally, it seems each fall we release a new article providing guidance for chapter-sponsored tailgate events (like this one we released last September). Going into every football season the chapter’s Risk Reduction Committee should review in detail the chapter’s protocol for chapter-sponsored tailgate events. With the recent updates made to the Risk Reduction Policy, the chapter should take particular note of changes the updated policy may necessitate to how the chapter organizes and manages its tailgatethis fall. Here are a few specific items to consider: 

Does the Risk Reduction Policy apply to tailgate functions?

Short answer – YES. If the event is organized and/or sponsored by the chapter, it is a chapter event, just like a regular social event, and all corresponding policies and expectations of the Fraternity/IFC/University must be followed. 

Does the “hard alcohol ban” apply to tailgate events? 

Yes, all aspects of the Risk Reduction Policy apply to chapter-sponsored events, including the prohibition of alcohol above 15% alcohol-by-volume (ABV) at the chapter facility and at chapter events, unless served by a licensed and insured third-party vendor via a cash bar setup.  

What should we do if an alumnus tries to bring liquor to our tailgate event? 

First and foremost, the chapter should try to get the word out to general alumni about the updated policy, in particular, the prohibition of alcohol above 15% ABV, using existing communication platforms the chapter has in place (e.g. alumni newsletter, alumni Facebook group, chapter website). Second, work with the chapter’s alumni leaders to devise a plan for how to address an alumnus, member parent, or other guest bringing hard alcohol to the chapter house or chapter tailgate event.  

For a general alumnus, ideally an alumni advisor, possibly with a chapter officer, should address the alumnus. For a member parent, that member should likely be the one to ask his parent(s) to remove the hard alcohol from the event/chapter property. For a guest, the member responsible for that guest should likely be the one to ask he or she to remove the hard alcohol from the event/chapter property. 

Keep in mind that these individuals are likely unaware of the policy prohibiting hard alcohol on chapter property and at chapter events. So a quick point of information to them about the new policy and respectful request they remove the hard alcohol, so to keep the chapter in compliance with Fraternity policy, will most likely be well-received. Similar to a prohibition of one’s family dog from a company picnic event or a ban on alcohol at a public beach, events at the chapter facility or events sponsored by the chapter have certain policies, including a ban on alcohol above 15% ABV, that must be followed.  

What is an okay set up for alcohol? 

The same expectations apply for tailgate functions as they do for social functions. Alcohol can only be present via a BYOB setup or through a cash bar operated by a licensed and insured third-party vendor. In only the cash bar setup can alcohol above 15% ABV be permitted.  

Given the chapter’s tailgate location is probably amidst numerous other tailgate parties, additional controls should likely be in place, such as additional sober monitors in place monitoring the bar area and/or unique color wristband placed on tailgate attendees, to ensure alcohol consumption is restricted to only the chapter’s members and guests of legal drinking age. 

For more resources and guidance on organizing chapter social events, including tailgates, check out the Fraternity’s Social Planning Webpage. 

The Delta

© 2015-2022 Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.
9 North Lewis Street, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Phone: (540) 463-1869 | Fax: (540) 463-1669 | Email: headquarters@sigmanu.org

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