Alcohol Policy

Statement of Purpose 

Wellesley College is committed to providing an environment of well-being, learning, and accountability for its members. To this end, the Wellesley College Alcohol Policy is grounded in four community standards derived from the Honor Code.
(1)  compliance with governing law and College policies;
(2)  respect for this community, through the minimization of the impact of drinking upon others;
(3)  care for one’s own health and well-being; and
(4)  the seeking of assistance for self or others.   
This policy informs students of their individual and community responsibilities regarding alcohol, the college's response to Alcohol Policy violations, and the resources available for addressing alcohol-related concerns. Campus Police and Residential Life Professional Staff have primary responsibility for enforcement of this policy.  The Dean of Students or her designee has the right to or impose or modify sanctions as deemed appropriate.  Conduct in violation of the Honor Code that involves alcohol may result in separate Honor Code and Alcohol Policy charges. This policy applies to students whether they are on or off campus.

Community Standards:  

The first three community standards establish the basis for Alcohol Policy violations.

1)     Compliance with Governing Law and College Policies
Students are expected to comply with governing law and College policies. (See Appendices A and C: Procedures Pertaining to the Use of Alcohol at Student Events and Applicable Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Town of Wellesley Liquor Laws) Examples of behaviors that violate this Community Standard include, but are not limited to:

  • A person under 21 in Massachusetts attempting to purchase or purchasing, possessing, or otherwise having control of alcohol beverages, or making arrangements with any person to purchase or procure alcohol beverages. 
  • A person selling, delivering, furnishing, or otherwise providing alcohol to person(s) under the age of 21.
  • A person operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
  • Non-compliance with the requirements of the Student Events Policy.


2)     Respect for this Community, through the Minimization of the Impact of Drinking Upon Others
Students are entrusted with the responsibility of creating a respectful environment and of reducing the likelihood of negative outcomes related to alcohol.  Examples of behaviors that violate this Community Standard include, but are not limited to:

  • A person possessing an open container of alcoholic beverage in public/common areas or on the grounds of the College, except at registered events. (See Procedures Pertaining to the Use of Alcohol at Student Events, Appendix A.) Common areas include:
    • Any area within a residence hall other than a resident’s room.
    • Any outdoor area.
    • Any other College building or facility.
  • A person engaging in hazardous or disruptive conduct, which may include, but is not limited to, any of the following acts:
    • Engaging in drinking games or other potentially dangerous or illegal drinking behaviors, or encouraging others to do so.
    • Damaging or destroying College property or another person’s property.
    • Engaging in physically or verbally abusive behavior.


3)     Care for One’s Own Health and Well-being

Self-care requires informed decision-making and safe practices regarding the use of alcohol. An example of behavior that violates this Community Standard includes, but is not limited to:

  • A person being dangerously intoxicated, the signs of which may include, but are not limited to, a diminished ability to walk or stand, vomiting, or loss of consciousness.


The fourth community standard waives what would otherwise be an Alcohol Policy violation. 

4)     The Seeking of Assistance for Self or Others

Students are strongly encouraged to call Campus Police when dangerous intoxication requires prompt medical attention.

Responsible Action/ Good Samaritan Clause: A student seeking medical treatment or assisting another person in obtaining medical treatment for an alcohol or other drug-related overdose will not be charged with an Alcohol or Drug Policy violation for using alcohol or drugs or for providing alcohol or drugs to the person they have assisted.


A student for whom an Alcohol Policy violation is waived by the Responsible Action/ Good Samaritan clause is required to meet with a Residence Life Professional Staff member and either a health educator or a member of the Counseling Service.  Repeated waivers may be indicative of concerns sufficiently serious as to require additional response from the Dean of Students.

Parental Notification

When students engage in high-risk behavior(s), the Associate Director of Residential & Campus Life may notify a student’s parent(s) or guardian(s). Students are expected to participate in the notification process. A student can petition for a waiver of parental notification by submitting a written request to the Associate Director of Residential & Campus Life, who will review the request in consultation with the Director of Counseling Services or her designee. The student may be required to meet with the reviewers.

Follow Up and Sanctions

All students charged with a policy violation will be required to participate in a Health Education session, to meet with the Residential Life Professional Staff in charge of their residence hall, and to meet with the Associate Director of Residential & Campus Life.

Sanctions will be imposed in accordance with the severity of the violation and will be determined by the Associate Director of Residential & Campus Life (in consultation with the Assistant Director of Health Education or others), or a Hearing Panel if a charge is contested by the student.  The Hearing Panel will consist of the Associate Dean of Students, one Residential Life professional staff member and one student. Sanctions may include, but will not be limited to, the following:
  • Restorative action, which may include restitution for damages, community service, or an educational assignment.
  • Residential Probation, the duration of which will be determined on a case by case basis. During this period of time, any further violation of a College policy will jeopardize the student’s housing privileges.
  • Modification, suspension or loss of College privileges.
  • Suspension, dismissal or expulsion from the College.
Students will be notified of the sanctions via email and in writing. If a student fails to comply with any requirements or sanctions, the student may be charged with an Honor Code violation. When a student has been charged with an Honor Code violation related to an Alcohol Policy violation, which includes but is not limited to a charge for failure to comply with sanctions or requirements, the Associate Director of Residential & Campus Life will inform the Honor Code council of a student’s Alcohol Policy violation to assist them in the determination of sanctions. 



Sanctions may be appealed to the Honor Code Hearing Review Panel on the following grounds: discovery of significant factual material not previously available or significant procedural error. To file an appeal, a student must submit to the Dean of Students a written statement enumerating the grounds, along with any additional information.  The deadline for filing an appeal will be ten business days after notification of the sanction. The Dean of Students will review the written appeal to determine if it meets the threshold requirement of presenting facts which raise a genuine issue pertaining to the discovery of significant factual material or significant procedural error.  If the Dean of Students determines that this threshold requirement is met, the written appeal will be forwarded to the Hearing Review Panel. Upon consideration, the Hearing Review Panel may deny the appeal, reduce the sanction, dismiss the case, or remand the case for a full rehearing by a new panel.

Records & Documentation

Records maintained by the Associate Director of Residential & Campus Life for the Office of the Dean of Students will be retained for all Alcohol Policy violations. Alcohol Policy violations and Honor Code violations that include an Alcohol Policy violation will be disclosed according to the guidelines set forth in the Honor Code Procedures.  See



The College strongly encourages students to use the resources and supports available for addressing alcohol related concerns. Students seeking assistance through Health or Counseling Services will receive confidential services in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. College resources include:





Campus Police




Health Service



M-F business hours; clinician on call after hours 24/7 (academic term)

Health Education



M-F business hours (academic term)

Counseling Services



M-F business hours; counselor on call 24/7/365

Residential Life Prof. Staff



Staff in residence and on call 24/7/365


Anonymous on-line screening for alcohol use:   
Alcohol education at Wellesley College:                  

In addition, there are many off-campus resources available to students including SMART Recovery, Moderation Management, Al-Anon/Alateen and Alcoholics Anonymous.


Appendix A: Wellesley College Procedures Governing the Use of Alcohol at Student Events
Appendix B: Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act Codified as Part 86 of EDGAR (34 CFR Part 86)
Appendix C: Applicable Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Town of Wellesley Liquor Laws
Appendix D: Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (41 U. S. C. Chapter 10)
Appendix E: Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 94C - Controlled Substances Act



Contact Us

Office of the Dean of Students
Green Hall 344
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481

Linda Hilts
Executive Assistant
Tel: 781.283.2322