Stay safe, smart, and informed: Don't forget alcohol policies in Geneseo

With a new school year underway, many students enjoy going out to celebrate—oftentimes drinking alcohol. As with anything else that has age restrictions, there are some things that need to be kept in mind when going out with friends. Underage drinking is illegal. Unless you are 21 years old or older, you could get in trouble. That's commonplace knowledge, of course, but there are other rules in place on the Geneseo campus which students tend to be less familiar with.

Geneseo is not a dry campus; students of legal age are permitted to have alcohol in their dorms. Alcoholic beverages may only be stored and consumed in designated areas, however, and only with others 21 years old or older. For example, it is within the rules to store and consume alcohol in a personal dorm room, but not public areas like building lounges, rec rooms or laundry rooms.

According to Geneseo’s “Policies and Procedures” section of the student handbook, even in a personal room, a student of legal drinking age cannot have in possession more alcohol than what is considered enough for “private, individual consumption.” Additionally, students of any age are not permitted to drink at college-sponsored events unless it is otherwise stated.

There are a few other common things that one can get in trouble for. According to New York State law, charging or asking for “donations” for entrance to an event where alcohol is freely provided is illegal—especially if the organization does not have a liquor license.

In addition, the purchase of alcohol for a minor is illegal, and the use of fake identification is a class D felony in New York. By using one, you put a lot at stake and can suffer severe legal consequences. Another important rule to keep in mind is that open containers in public are always prohibited, regardless of one’s age.

A final thing to remember is a new law regarding parties that was unanimously voted on by the Village Board of Geneseo this past spring on April 20. This Social Host Law drastically alters the punishment for hosts of gatherings at which alcohol or illegal substances are provided to a minor. Hosts can now face up to $500 as well as possible jail time. Such significant consequences should be taken seriously and strongly considered when making party-planning decisions.