Responsible Drinking

Being a good neighbor is a Husky tradition.uchoose

It is important to remember you are not only a member of the St. Cloud State University community, but also the St. Cloud community. Your behavior reflects on you and the school.

Whether you choose to host a party or attend a gathering or spend time with friends in a local bar or restaurant, university policies on conduct apply.

Alcohol Safety & COVID-19

Drinking while partying can feel like a rite of passage, an opportunity to hang out with friends, meet new people or de-stress. At SCSU 40% of students choose not to drink. If students do drink, they have about three drinks per week. As much as we wish we could have a normal campus experience, the reality is that hosting or attending large social gatherings and parties will jeopardize our ability to maintain an in-person campus environment.

If you choose to drink and party, keep these things in mind.

Keep Your Group Small

  • Many of the positive COVID-19 cases of people aged 18-29 have been a result of frequenting bars or large parties where physical distancing was not maintained.
  • Stick to no more than 10 people and avoid parties and other large gatherings. Large groups of people increase your risk of contracting COVID-19 and spreading it from person to person.

Protect The Pack

  • Wear a face covering, wash your hands frequently, don’t share cups or beverages and keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Avoid large groups of people and try to stay outdoors whenever possible. Encourage your friends to do the same.

Have a Plan

  • Going out can be fun, but if you’re tired, need to study or just need some down time, it’s okay to stay in!
  • If you do go out, know how you’re going to get home before you go out — be it a ride from a non-drinking friend, Uber/Lyft or public transportation. 
  • Download the Safe@St.Cloud The app features a Mobile BlueLight, Friend Walk and campus safety resources.

Set a Limit & Stick to It

  • Bring your own non-alcoholic beverages or consider alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to control the amount you drink and aid in hydration. 
  • Avoid mixing prescription drugs with alcohol. This is the most common cause of overdose. If you ever feel pressured to do things you’re uncomfortable with, trust your gut and say “no”.

Take Care of Your Friends

  • Know the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning — vomiting, shallow breathing, pale skin color, passing out, etc.
  • If you see a friend exhibiting these signs call or text 911 and get help immediately. Don’t assume they’ll “sleep it off” or be OK because they normally drink a lot. 
  • St. Cloud State has a Good Samaritan policy that offers you protection if you get help for a friend — even if you’ve been drinking yourself.

Consent & Drinking

  • Consent is compromised when one or both partners have been drinking.
  • Remember FRIES. Consent needs to be Freely given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic, Specific

If you're the partygoer

Before the party

  • Eat a full meal containing protein to slow down the absorption rate of alcohol.
  • Set a limit for the party and stick to it. Remember: 1 drink = ONE 12 oz. beer, or ONE 5 oz. glass of wine, or ONE 1.25 ounce 40 percent hard alcohol. It's OK to have just one or two drinks or not to drink at all.
  • Use the buddy system with your friends.
  • Arrange a safe ride to the party and back home or plan to have a Designated Driver.

What is a standard drink?

5% alcohol
12% alcohol
40% alcohol

During the party

  • Keep an eye on your drink and your surroundings. Dump out your drink and get a new one if you suspect it has been tampered with. Drugs and alcohol do not mix - find out why!
  • Pace yourself and alternate your drinks with water. (It takes your liver about 1 hour to process each alcoholic drink, depending on your size, food consumed and other factors.)
  • Stick with one type of alcohol. Alternating types of alcohol can make you more sick because of different sugar levels between beer, hard alcohol and wine.
  • Avoid drinking games. It’s hard to judge how much you are drinking.

As BAC Increases, So Does Impairment

Arrow top0.31 - 0.45 percent

Life Threatening

  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Danger of life-threatening alcohol poisoning.
  • Significant risk of death in most drinkers due to suppression of vital life functions.

Arrow middle0.16 - 0.30 percent

Severe Impairment

  • Speech, memory, coordination, attention, reaction time, balance significantly impaired.
  • All driving-related skills dangerously impaired.
  • Judgment and decision-making dangerously impaired.
  • Blackouts (amnesia).
  • Vomiting and other signs of alcohol poisoning common.
  • Loss of consciousness.

Arrow middle0.06 - 0.15 percent

Increased Impairment

  • Perceived beneficial effects of alcohol, such as relaxation, give way to increasing intoxication.
  • Increased risk of aggression in some people.
  • Speech, memory, attention, coordination, balance further impaired.
  • Significant impairments in all driving skills.
  • Increased risk of injury to self and others.
  • Moderate memory impairments.

Arrow bottom0.0 - 0.05 percent

Mild impairment

  • Mild speech, memory, attention, coordination, balance impairments.
  • Perceived beneficial effects, such as relaxation.
  • Sleepiness can begin.

After the party

  • Watch out for your intoxicated friends. If any show even one sign of alcohol poisoning, call 9-1-1 and get them the help they need. Don’t let your friend “sleep it off.”
    • If your friends are experiencing symptoms of alcohol poisoning:
      • Call 911 immediately.
      • Lay your friend on his or her side to prevent choking.
      • Stay with your friend while waiting for help.
  • Make sure you and your friends have a safe ride home.
  • Leave with the friends you came with.
  • Drink water to counteract dehydration.

If you're the party thrower

As the host, it is your responsibility to look out for the safety of your guests. While you may not be able to monitor every guest's drinking, you can limit the negative outcomes and still have a fun and safe party.

Before the party

  • Educate yourself about St. Cloud's ordinance and policies (below) on noise, mass gatherings, and alcohol.
  • Let your neighbors know you are hosting a party, and give them your number. That way, if there is a problem, they can call you first instead of the police.
  • Consider your neighborhood; don’t let the noise get out of control.
  • Lock your valuables.
  • Discuss the party end time with your roommates.

During the party

  • Create a guest list and check ID's at the door. Having a list can help avoid uninvited guests. Ensure those consuming alcohol are of the legal drinking age. You can be held criminally responsible for providing a space for minors to consume alcohol.
  • Serve non-alcoholic beverages such as non-alcoholic punch, mocktails, fruit juice or soft drinks. This allows guests to alternate non-alcoholic beverages with alcoholic ones if they are choosing to drink.
  • Having water on hand also will help keep your guests hydrated. This may help reduce the effects of hangovers.
  • Serve food! While food does not prevent intoxication, it does slow down the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the body.
  • Call 911 immediately in the case of an emergency.
  • Should the police show up, allow the officers to do their job without interference. Follow their instruction.
  • Make sure that your guests have safe ways to get home. You may consider the St. Cloud Metro Bus.

After the party

  • Make sure that you clean up any trash after the party. If you keep the neighborhood clean, your neighbors are less likely to have problems with future parties.
  • Talk with your neighbors. This will allow you to receive feedback on how the party went from their perspective.

Conduct on and off campus

St. Cloud State University Code of Conduct

You will be held accountable on-campus for your off-campus behavior.

St. Cloud State receives the weekly report from St. Cloud Police Department and examines it for university connections.

If you are found to be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct, you will be called to meet with a Student Conduct Administrator.

St. Cloud Ordinances and Policies

As a member of the St. Cloud community, you can be cited for breaking the law. Here are some ordinances to be aware of:

Social host ordinance

  • The social host ordinance holds individuals (social hosts) criminally responsible for hosting or permitting an event or gathering on private or public property where persons under 21 years old possess or consume alcohol, regardless of who supplied the alcohol.
  • This ordinance applies to situations in which the social host knows or has reason to know that alcohol is being possessed or consumed by people under 21 at their gathering.
  • Under this ordinance, the social host does not have to be present at the party, event or gathering to be criminally responsible.
  • A violation of this ordinance is a misdemeanor, subject to a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Loud party/noise ordinance

  • It is illegal to host a gathering of people where the noise can be heard from more than 50 feet or to an adjacent apartment or hallway.

Keg ordinance

  • To possess a keg, you must first obtain a permit from the City of St. Cloud.

Open container citation

  • It is illegal to possess an open alcohol beverage in the street, sidewalk, or alley way in the City of St. Cloud.

Trash citation

  • The City of St. Cloud issues citations for trash left in yards for more than 24 hours and for overflowing dumpsters.
  • A violation of this ordinance is a $250 fine.

Underage consumption citation

  • Consuming alcohol if you are under the age of 21 is illegal.
  • If you receive an underage consumption citation, you may be eligible for the Diversion program, or must appear in district court. This citation is a misdemeanor, subject to a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Disruptive intoxication

  • Excessive behaviors such as yelling, urinating in public, causing damage, and lewd and combative conduct are subject to a misdemeanor citation, subject to a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.