The Trinity College Board of Trustees approved the adoption of the Trinity College Alcohol Policy (March 29, 2019) on April 11, 2019.
Alcohol issues on campus are a shared responsibility. While the choice to use or not use alcohol is an individual one, the licensed and informal activities associated with alcohol use are an institutional responsibility. Trinity College takes the position that all its members, including students, have an obligation to make legal and responsible decisions concerning their conduct and alcohol use or non-use. The College will intervene when alcohol is used illegally or when its abuse leads to conduct that endangers the individual(s) involved or others, or that results in damage to the property of the College, disrupts its activities, or interferes with the rights of other persons.
The College is responsible for the effective implementation of this policy. A sub-committee of the Trinity College Senate, the Community Affairs Committee (CAC) will annually review the policies and procedures regarding alcohol service and education at Trinity College. This Committee will continue to review best practices regarding alcohol service, educational initiatives and risk management, review educational programs directed to students, employees, faculty, fellows and associates.
Trinity College is committed to a pre-emptive and proactive stance towards potential alcohol and substance abuse and the potential for negative consequences relating to its use by Trinity College students, employees, associates and fellows and their guests. The College will regularly provide required training, education, support, tools and resources to ensure that community members understand and adhere to the Alcohol Policy. For students, this will include required education.
To ensure a safe environment for College organized events, the organizers are responsible for ensuring that the practices adhere to this policy, comply with the law, and are consistent with the expected community standards.
Trinity College’s Senior Administration is collectively responsible to the Senate and Board of Trustees for ensuring legal compliance and enforcement of the Alcohol Policy, including conducting education sessions and other policy requirements.
CAC will determine the means for and conduct an on-going (suggested every 2-4 years) assessment of alcohol use in the community. This assessment will be conducted in association with the Dean of Students and will allow for an understanding of alcohol use within the community, helping to inform any future policy revision and restructuring. Major changes to the legislation and regulations will be presented by the Dean of Students to CAC and at periodic College-wide Staff Meetings, as relevant. Correspondingly, the policy will be reviewed by CAC, then discussed at Senate as necessary to ensure legal compliance.
General and Individual Conduct
Individuals who choose to consume alcohol, initiate or engage in activities or events with alcohol held on College property or in association with the College are responsible for their own conduct and for acting within the confines of the law and this Policy. Aggressive behavior, vandalism, creation or propagation of an unsafe environment, and other such conduct unbecoming of a member of College and damaging the community are unacceptable and will be subject to investigation and action by the appropriate senior College Officer (e.g., Dean of Students for student related matters). There may be cases where the University of Toronto Code of Student Conduct and/or Alcohol Policy are applied exclusive to or in conjunction with prevailing Trinity College policies.
Students: Oversight of the Alcohol Policy as it applies to students is primarily the responsibility of the Dean of Students and staff within the Office of the Dean of Students. The Dean will consult with student leadership and CAC as appropriate in order to prepare and deliver educative sessions.
Employees, External Service Providers, Contractors, Volunteers, Associates and Fellows: Oversight of the policy for employees, external service providers, contractors, volunteers, associates and fellows is primarily the responsibility of the Senior Officers of the College, as overseen by the Provost, who is accountable to the Board of Trustees.
Senior Common Room: The elected officers of the Senior Common Room (SCR) who facilitate service of alcohol to the SCR membership shall ensure consistent interpretation of relevant laws and policies, legal compliance and best practice in the use and service of alcohol on College property by their membership so that a safe environment is maintained as a top priority and legal and financial liability are minimized.
It follows that they shall also endeavour to support the broader mandate of Trinity College in supporting undergraduate College life by ensuring that their practices regarding alcohol use are reviewed and as necessary updated to ensure legal compliance.
Trinity College cannot approve or condone any event or behaviour that is illegal, or involves illegal acts, and is obligated to ensure that laws involving the sale and service of alcohol set forth by the Provincial and Federal governments are upheld. All Trinity College students, employees, external service providers, contractors, volunteers, associates and fellows, are fully responsible for their actions in association with the College – both on and off campus – and are bound by this policy.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is a Provincial regulatory agency, reporting to the Ministry of the Attorney General, and has responsibility for the administration of the Liquor Licence Act. The Liquor Licence Act (LLA), a statute enacted by the Ontario Legislature, covers most aspects of Ontario’s beverage alcohol laws. These laws provide rules for the responsible sale and service of beverage alcohol in the province of Ontario.
Duty of Care
The LLA imposes a duty of care on licensees, servers of alcohol and others who are present at any event involving the service and consumption of alcohol. Under the Ontario Occupier’s Liability Act, Trinity College is responsible for exercising reasonable care for the safety of anyone on its property, regardless of the nature and extent of risk. Courts have used the principles of Common Law, as well as sections of the Occupiers’ Liability Act, to extend the responsibilities outlined in the LLA. This duty of care extends to those who have some relationship (inviter-invitee, neighbour, friend, student leader/host, staff member) with individuals who are consuming alcohol. All those involved in the service or provision of alcohol have a duty of care that extends to third parties, even those with no relationship to those serving or providing alcohol.
The AGCO has developed many guiding documents that clarify the interpretation of the LLA and expectations for legal compliance. The AGCO information (i.e., website, documents and information found thereon) must be monitored regularly and as relevant applied at Trinity College.
Age of Majority
As stipulated by the LLA, only those aged 19 and older may consume alcohol on College property and at events held in association with Trinity College.
Provision of Alcohol
Minors (under the age of 19) may not be sold, served or provided with alcohol.
Level of Intoxication
Alcohol cannot be sold, served or provided to individuals who are intoxicated or apparently intoxicated.
College Organized Events Involving Alcohol
The College may from time to time, choose to sponsor events involving alcohol where the intention is something other than a student organized social event. In these circumstances, if the event is held in a public area of the College, a Special Occasion Permit (SOP) is required, and must be obtained
through the College’s contracted third-party food service provider. These events must also be staffed with contracted professional event staff and depending on the nature of the event, may require contracted security staff.
Sale of Alcohol
In the province of Ontario, alcohol can only be sold under the authority of a permit or licence issued by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). Students and Trinity College staff are not permitted to obtain Special Occasion Permits for College sponsored events involving alcohol, regardless of whether the event takes place on or off campus.
Members of the Trinity community cannot supply alcohol, including beer, wine and spirits, either directly or indirectly, to others in exchange for money. The acquisition of SOPs and the sale of alcohol must be organized through the College’s third-party catering provider.
Under no circumstance shall student fees be used to subsidize all or part of the cost of alcohol.
Public vs. Private Space
While publicly funded, Trinity College is a private corporation that is administered by the College Officers, reporting to the Provost and Board of Trustees. The College grounds contain both public and private areas, as defined by the LLA. The AGCO website states that “a private space is defined as an indoor place to which the public is not ordinarily invited or permitted and is not available for rent to the public for occasional use”.
A SOP must be acquired to hold events involving alcohol service in any College public spaces, such as common rooms (e.g., Seeley Hall, Divinity Common Room, Junior Common Room, Sub-Main Common Room) or outside public space (e.g., Quadrangle).
All areas, with the exception of the Senior Common Room, Provost’s Lodge and areas within the parts of the residences where there are student residence rooms, are considered public and therefore require acquisition of a SOP for alcohol service or consumption.
Note that while a SOP is not be required in areas of the College where student residence rooms exist, the areas considered to be part of the residence (e.g. hallways, kitchens, bathrooms common rooms), are governed through the Trinity College Community Standards.
Promotion of Alcohol Consumption
Any promotion, activities or serving practices that encourage over-consumption are strictly prohibited. As such, large vessels of alcohol (kegs, 60 oz. bottles of spirits, etc.) are not permitted within the residences. The Trinity College Community Standards outlines these expectations, along with prohibiting drinking games.
Student Organized Events Involving Alcohol
A student event held in association with Trinity College is defined as any event which takes place on College property or uses the name of the College or is supported in any way by student fees. Student organized events involving alcohol may only take place off campus, at permanently licensed establishments, where the size of the venue is appropriate for the proposed event.
Students and or student groups wishing to hold events that are associated with the College, at permanently licensed establishments, must follow the process as outlined by the Dean of Students in order to have events approved in advance to ensure associated risk and liability are minimized. Events held on University of Toronto property must be planned in accordance with the University of Toronto’s Alcohol Policy and accompanying Alcohol Regulations.
Advertising & Sponsorship
The LLA states that no person shall advertise liquor except in accordance with the regulations enacted pursuant to the Act. Section 87 of Regulation 719 and Section 5 of Regulation 720 under the LLA permit the holder of a liquor sales licence or a manufacturer of liquor to advertise liquor within specified criteria and in accordance with guidelines provided by the AGCO. Any advertisement for a student event involving alcohol must be approved by the staff of the Office of the Dean of Students. Advertising cannot precede approval by the Office of the Dean of Students.
Trinity College has an obligation to provide a safe environment for all members of its residential and extended community. Trinity College students, employees, associates and fellows are expected to follow the law and both the letter and spirit of this Policy. Failure to adhere to the law and this policy may result in disciplinary action by the College and/or legal proceedings brought by injured parties. In cases involving the University of Toronto, this may also include the relevant University of Toronto policies.
Students, faculty and employees who organize, host or otherwise are responsible for events held on the Trinity College campus are themselves responsible for ensuring that the provisions of both the Ontario Liquor Licence Act and regulations are observed, and may also be liable for any accidents or injuries that befall guests or are caused by guests who have consumed alcohol. Criminal charges under the Criminal Code of Canada can be laid.
The Trinity College insurance policies may not cover students’ or guests’ behaviour. Permit holders may even be held responsible for injury, accidental deaths or suicides by intoxicated guests. Failing to observe the Liquor Licence Act and regulations can result in fines up to $100,000 as well as a prison term of one year.
Trinity College Sanctions
Failure by students to uphold the above conditions and adhere to Trinity College’s Alcohol Policy in relation to the hosting of a social event or individual behavior as it relates to alcohol use may lead to sanctions both under the Trinity College Community Standards and by the Dean of Students under the Dean’s responsibilities under College Statutes. Staff who fail to uphold the regulations of this Policy will be subject to the sanctions imposed by the Trinity College Manual of Staff Policies, which includes the Trinity College Health and Safety Policy. SCR, alumni and other guests may be subject to sanctions or limitations at the discretion of the Provost, typically on the advice of senior administration and/or governance and/or College legal counsel.
University of Toronto Sanctions
Trinity College students are also University of Toronto students and as such are bound by the policies of the University of Toronto. There may be cases where the University of Toronto Code of Student Conduct and/or Alcohol Policy is/are applied exclusively to or in conjunction with Trinity Policies.
The Trinity College Board of Trustees approved the adoption of the Trinity College Alcohol Policy (March 29, 2019) on April 11, 2019. This policy replaces in its entirety the previous Trinity College Alcohol Policy (May 16, 2013).