Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

This policy affords recognized student groups, faculty, and staff the privilege of serving alcohol at certain events.

As adults, members of the MIIS community are expected to know and abide by all applicable state and federal laws and MIIS policies and procedures. Hosting a MIIS-sanctioned event is a privilege, not a right. Ensuring the safety of all participants is central to this policy.

This policy applies to all MIIS-sanctioned events both on and off-campus. A “sanctioned” event is one that is officially approved and registered under the auspices of a student club, student council or Institute department and one where student club, student council, Department or Institutional funding is used.

Sanctioned Events

  • Are scheduled through the President’s Office
  • The scheduling form clearly indicates that alcohol will be served
  • The President’s Office has informed Campus Security that an event involving alcohol has been scheduled
  • When alcohol is allowed, it can be served for a maximum of two hours. This would be an approved, predetermined time.

On-Campus Events

  • Alcohol is limited to beer and wine—no hard alcohol, no exceptions
  • No alcohol from the outside will be allowed to be brought into on-campus Institute events by attendees
  • Regardless of the size of the event, alcohol must be served (not self-service) by an individual who is of legal age to serve alcohol (21 and over in the state of California)
  • Biodegradable cups will be provided by the event organizers for all events. The standard cup size will be nine ounces, with a six-ounce pour of wine or beer. Attendees are encouraged to re-use cups throughout the entire event, to reduce the amount of waste. No cups from the outside will be allowed. Only one cup will be provided per guest, per event.

Off-Campus Events

  • No alcohol will be allowed at MIIS-sanctioned off-campus events unless the event is held at a legitimate commercial entity (i.e. – restaurant, bar, lounge)

Responsible Contact

At least one person from the sponsoring group must be designated as the Responsible Contact for an event. Responsible Contacts will be sober and not consume alcohol immediately prior to or during the event.


  • Responsible Contacts are responsible for overseeing and ensuring the safety of the event and the implementation of this Policy
  • Responsible Contacts must be present for the entire event
  • Responsible Contacts are to introduce themselves to campus security and serve as the point persons
  • Responsible Contacts, with the assistance of Campus Security as needed, must be able to shut down an event if this policy is not being followed or if other problems arise
  • Responsible Contacts will insure food and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided at all events where alcohol is served and must be free and displayed in an attractive and easily accessible manner. Water should be one of the non-alcoholic beverages provided. The food and non-alcoholic beverages should be replenished several times throughout the program so that they are constantly available
  • If the Responsible Contact is uncomfortable or unable to manage an issue, (s)he should contact Campus Security immediately to assist
    • If the event is off-campus, the Responsible Contact should contact the appropriate person on site (manager, owner, etc.) to assist with any issues 
    • Any violations of this policy that arise at both on and off-campus events should be reported to the following:
      • Student Club and Student Council events: Ashley Arrocha (aarrocha@miis.edu)
      • Institutional/Departmental events: Barbara Burke (bburke@miis.ed) or the appropriate Dean

Regardless of the size of the event, students and any other attendees who appear to be below the age of thirty must be required to show a legal proof of age (a valid driver's license, state issued liquor identification card, or a passport) plus a MIIS ID if applicable.

Alcohol may not be served to individuals who appear to be intoxicated. In addition, prudence dictates limiting the number of servings of alcohol per person. The consumption of more than one serving of alcohol during the course of one hour may lead to a blood alcohol concentration greater than the legal limit for driving in California.

Note: Because many of the Institute’s events take place in the hour before the end of the work day, we need to be especially conscious of this issue.

Alcohol is prohibited in classrooms, as part of scheduled classes and workshops. This includes semester-end parties, etc. 

Approved Events

Alcohol is approved for serving at the following events without the need for a licensed bartender. 

  • Presidential and Institutional Advancement Events
  • GSIPM, GSTILE, Non-Degree Programs, and Center events
  • Student Council Social Hours
  • Student Services Events
  • CACS Networking Receptions
  • Commencement Receptions
  • Alumni Receptions
  • Receptions for large student club conferences included but not limited to:
    • Trade Conference
    • Net Impact
    • Conflict Resolution Association
    • SEGP
    • Amnesty International
    • Others as determined by Assistant Dean of Student Services or Director of Student Life
    • Student Council Commencement Graduates’ Reception (2 per year)
    • International Bazaar

All other receptions/events will be approved for non-alcoholic beverages only or on a case-by-case basis with the requirement that a licensed bartender manage the bar. 

The quantity of alcohol purchased for events will align with guidelines below. More detailed information can be found in Appendix 1.    

  • One 750-ml bottle of wine or sparkling water can serve 4 glasses based on an average 6-ounce pour. Bottles of wines should be split evenly between white and red. A keg of beer contains 165 servings of beer, and pony kegs contain 82.5 servings. A 12 oz. can of soda contains 1.5 servings.
  • Based on a standard 2 hour reception, for every 50 attendees, assume that 40 guests will consume alcohol and 10 will consume non-alcoholic beverages. Suggested purchase for the event is 9 bottles of red wine (36 glasses), 9 bottles of white wine (36 glasses), 1 case of beer (24 bottles), and 4 large bottles of sparkling water (16 servings), 1 diet soda six-pack (9 servings), 1 soda six-pack (9 servings), and still water.
  • Provide enough beverages so that each guest may have 2 servings during the event. It is ideal if you can assess the overall demographics of the attendees and history of the group in order to estimate the amounts of beverages that will be consumed.

Additional Policy Specific to Student Council & Student Club Events

Permission to serve alcohol at a club event is a privilege, not a right. The following rules must be observed when hosting an event that may serve alcohol to club members.

  • The permission for distribution of alcohol at club events is at the discretion of the Assistant Dean of Student Services or Director of Student Life
  • Club events serving alcohol are restricted to members of the MIIS community including: students, two guests per student, faculty and staff. If alcohol is served no admission fee may be charged and no charge or donation for alcohol can be asked or made
  • Club events that are open to the community outside of the Institute are prohibited from serving alcohol
  • Club members must ID students, their guests, faculty, and staff who are attending a club event where alcohol is being served to ensure that alcoholic beverages are not served to persons under the legal drinking age (21)
  • The sale of goods for the purpose of admission, the raising of funds or the exchange of money of any kind at an event where alcohol is being served is not permitted. This constitutes the sale of alcohol which is against the law without an issued license
  • The host and or server could have personal liability if someone is knowingly over served and is injured or injures someone else
  • The sponsoring group will be held accountable for any and all violations of this Policy
  • Sanctions for a violation may include, but are not limited to, loss of space reservation privileges, loss of student group recognition, or fines for property damage

Appendix 1

Beverage Guidelines 

There are 25.4 ounces in a standard 750-ml bottle of wine so you can typically get 4-5 glasses of wine per bottle depending upon how large of a pour per glass you are doing. A standard pour at a restaurant is just about 6 oz. In order to make your wine go further, you can pour smaller 4 oz. servings and get 6 servings per bottle. A bottle of champagne will serve 5 glasses per bottle if you have a typical 4 oz. pour.

There are 15.5 gallons (1984 ounces) in a U.S. keg of beer also known as a half-barrel. A typical serving of beer is 12 oz. so you would be able to get 165 servings from a keg. If you want to serve larger 16-ounce pints, you would only get 124 servings. There are 7.75 gallons (992 ounces) in a U.S. pony keg also known as a quarter keg. You would be able to get 82.5 servings of beer if each serving is 12 ounces. Keep in mind standards for European kegs are different from U.S. kegs.

One liter of water will serve 4 guests. A 12 oz. can of soda serves 1.5 glasses based on an 8 oz. serving.

As a general guideline, guests will consume 1.5 glasses of beverages during the first hour of an event and one drink during subsequent hours. If you are having a reception lasting 2 hours, estimating 2-3 beverages per person will be sufficient and ensure you will not run out. If you are having a reception followed by a dinner, you can estimate one drink during the reception and two glasses during the dinner. It can be difficult to determine the amounts of each type of beverage as each group and each event is different. The more choices you provide, the more complicated estimating becomes. Generally, 80% of guests will drink alcohol and 20% will select a non-alcoholic beverage i.e., soda, juice, still or sparkling water. For those partaking in an alcoholic beverage, generally 80% will select wine and 20% beer.

Example, if you planning a 2 hour reception for 100 guests, you can estimate that 80 guests will select an alcoholic beverage and 20 guests will select a non-alcoholic beverage. Assume 60 guests will drink wine, 20 will drink beer, and 20 will have water/soda. It would be wise to purchase 1.5 cases of red wine (72 glasses of red) and 1.5 cases of white wine (72 glasses of white)  which will give you 36 bottles equivalent to 144 glasses allowing each of the 60 guests to have 2-3 glasses of wine during the event. Two cases of beer (equivalent to 48 bottles) are sufficient to serve the 20 guests. Eight bottles of sparkling water is recommended (32 servings) along with two 12 packs of soda (one diet 18 servings and one regular 18 servings). The above example gives you a total of 260 servings (68 non-alcoholic and 192 alcoholic servings).

It is ideal if you can assess the overall demographics of the attendees in order to estimate the amounts of beverages that will be consumed i.e., younger group of men may consume a higher quantity of beer than an older group of women. However, never plan to over-serve any guest alcohol. As noted in the above guidelines, you cannot serve guests who appear to be intoxicated. The nature of the event should also be considered (is it happy hour or dinner) and time of year (more red wine is consumed in the winter). If history of the group is available, that will be ideal when estimating amounts of beverages. Generally speaking white wine tends to be more popular than red wine; however, again it depends upon the guests’ preferences which can be difficult to assess in advance. If in doubt, it is safe to do a split 50% red and 50% white.