The Sigma Alpha Mu Risk Management Policy is at sam.org/risk. Per the Risk Management Policy, the chapter is required to review this at the first meeting of each semester/term.
Below is a breakdown of policies outlined in the Alcohol and Drugs section of the Risk Management Policy.
Don’t break the law
The chapter, members and guests must comply with all federal, state, and local laws. No person under the legal drinking age may possess, consume, provide or be provided alcoholic beverages.
It’s pretty simple: the drinking age is 21 in all states, and anyone (a member, new member, or guest) who consumes alcoholic beverages underage runs the risk of trouble.
No illegal drugs in the chapter
The chapter members and guests must follow the federal law regarding illegal drugs and controlled substances. No person may possess, use, provide, distribute, sell and/or manufacture illegal drugs or other controlled substances while on chapter premises or at any activity or event sponsored or endorsed by the chapter.
This one is cut and dry. There is ZERO TOLERANCE for chapters who have illegal drugs or controlled substances on chapter premises or at chapter events.
No bulk quantities
Common sources of alcohol, including bulk quantities, which are not being served by a licensed and insured third party vendor, are prohibited. (i.e. amounts of alcohol greater than what a reasonable person should consume over the duration of an event.) In today’s college culture, bulk quantity of alcohol translates to most observers as an opportunity to binge drink, which creates the risk for things like alcohol poisoning, falls, deaths, and other injuries. This means that kegs, cases, and other mass quantities of alcohol are a HUGE risk and liability.
No Chapter Purchase
Alcoholic beverages must not be purchased with chapter funds or funds pooled by members or guests (i.e. passing the hat or venmoing all one member to get the alochol)
THE FRATERNITY IS NOT A BAR, so we shouldn’t be in the business of providing alcohol. When we do, we take on a huge risk.
Third-Party Vendor or BYOB; No Hard Alcohol
Alcohol beverages must either be:
The presence of alcohol products above 15% ABV is prohibited on any chapter premises or at any event, except when served by a licensed and insured third-party vendor.
Simply put, chapters do not have liquor licenses and therefore cannot provide alcohol. Alcohol above 15% ABV (bourbon, gin, rum, vodka, etc.) is not allowed on chapter premises (including your bedroom if you live on a chapter premises) or allowed during BYOB events. It can only be served by a third-party vendor.
No Open Parties
Attendance by non-members at any event where alcohol is present must be by invitation only, and the chapter must utilize a guest list system. Attendance at events with alcohol is limited to a 2:1 maximum guest to member ratio and must NOT exceed local fire or building code capacity. Ultimately, it’s important for you to know who your guests are.
No Co-sponsorship with distributors
A chapter must not co-host an event with a bar, event promoter, or alcohol distributor; however, a chapter MAY rent a bar, restaurant, or other licensed and insured third-party vendor to host chapter event.
All or Nothing Rule
A Chapter must not co-host or co-sponsor, or in any way participate in, an activity or event with another group or entity that purchases or provides alcohol. Any chapter that co-sponsors or co-finances an event with other chapters is equally liable for an incident if any of the groups purchase alcohol. That means the chapter shares the risk even if they are following every other part of the risk management guidelines.
Substance-Free Joining Process & Candidate Education Meetings/Activities
Any event or activity related to the new member joining process, i.e. recruitment) must be substance free. No alcohol or drugs may be present at any recruitment and new member activities meetings. This includes but not limited to Big night, Big Little Night and Initiation.
Let me be very clear. NO alcohol at recruitment events and candidate events/meetings.
No Drinking Games
The chapter members or guests must not permit, encourage, glorify or participate in any activities involving the rapid consumption of alcohol, such as drinking games.
Just like bulk quantity, “drinking games” encourage high risk drinking, which increases the risk of an accident. Chapters that don’t permit, tolerate, encourage, or participate in such antics significantly reduce their risk.