UMass Boston News

Alcohol Policy

General Guidelines

Persons wishing to serve or sell alcohol at an event may do so after requesting and receiving approval. Any department hosting an event on campus where alcohol is to be served should review the university policy on alcohol, which can be read here.

Approval to Serve Alcohol

Approval to serve alcohol on campus is a two-tiered process. You must fill out the online alcohol request form.  Or you can download the Word document and send it to Student Affairs.  This should be completed at least two weeks before your event to gain internal approval.

The caterer must fill out a City of Boston license to serve alcohol.  Here are Boston's requirements for special license applications. This license is for one day only and is venue specific. It is needed no matter what is being served (beer, wine, liquor) and no matter how it's being served (open bar, cash bar, wait-service). The application should be completed by the catering company. Once completed it should first be submitted to UMass Boston's Department of Public Safety and upon their approval and signature must go to the Boston Police District C-6 (101 West Broadway, South Boston) for their approval.  From there the application must to go Boston City Hall for final approval.

The caterer should bring the one day license to the event and after the event is finished you should keep a copy of the license for your files.

University Faculty and Staff Responsibility

A request to serve alcohol must be received by Student Affairs at least two weeks prior to the date of the event.

  • When submitting a space request you must notify the campus venue if you plan to serve alcohol at your event.
  • Fill out the alcohol request form (or fill out the electronic form) and submit it to the Office of Student Affairs for approval.
  • If your request is approved it then goes to the Department of Public Safety for approval.
  • If your request is approved you will receive a copy of the approved form via interoffice mail.
  • If your request is denied you will receive a phone call or email from the Office of Student Affairs stating the reason for denial.
  • Per the discretion of Public Safety, a police officer (or officers) will be assigned to your event at your expense.
  • Your scheduling venue (Athletics, Campus Center, Community Relations, Event Services, or Marine Operations) will alert you of any overtime charges associated with serving alcohol at your event (Public Safety Detail) and ask for account information for payment.
  • You must attach the approved alcohol request form when submitting your catering invoice to the Controller's Office for payment.
  • Your caterer should follow the process for obtaining a one-day liquor license.

Venue and Caterer Responsibility

The university does not have a liquor license. The university requires that the caterer obtain a one day license to serve alcohol from the City of Boston for each event where alcohol will be served. This applies to both UMass Boston Dining Services (Sodexo) and off-campus caterers. This license is needed no matter what is being served (beer, wine, liquor) and no matter how it's being served (open bar, cash bar, wait-service). A one-day liquor license can take up to five or more days to secure and the permit must be received by the scheduling venue at UMass Boston no later than five business days prior to the event date. Click to read Boston's requirements for special license applications and download the application. The application must be submitted to Boston City Hall with signatures from both UMass Boston Police and from Boston District C-6 Police. The scheduling venue and UMass Boston Public Safety will ask the caterer to provide a copy of the one-day liquor license as well as any necessary insurance paperwork before the event takes place. The caterer must also have the original license in hand and it should be prominently displayed at the event.

The university requires that alcohol and food are provided by the same catering company to ensure that there is an appropriate balance of food and alcohol served. Alcohol must be purchased and served by the caterer, and cannot be purchased or served by department or organization staff or volunteers.

One or more UMass Boston police officers are assigned to the event to protect the interests of the university (underage consumption, disorderly conduct, liability, permit compliance, etc.) and ensure for the well being of guests and attendees. The scheduling venue (Campus Center, Marine Operations, Athletics, Customer Service, or Community Relations) will contact you to confirm any overtime charges that may apply to your event.

Steps to secure a one-day liquor license

  1. Obtain and complete an application from the City of Boston.
  2. Receive approval and signature from the Department of Public Safety at UMass Boston, located on the 1st floor of the Quinn Administration Building, 617.287.7799 /
  3. Receive approval and signature from the Boston Police, District C-6, located at 101 West Broadway in South Boston, 617.343.4730
  4. Submit your application, complete with two signatures to Boston City Hall, One City Hall Square, by the Monday of the week preceding the event.
  5. Provide the UMass Boston venue (Campus Center, Marine Vessel, etc.) with a copy of the permit at least 5 days prior to the event.
  6. Have the original permit on hand at the event.