Alcohol Policy

Possession, consumption, or being under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances (without a prescription from a doctor), or illegal drugs (i.e., marijuana) is prohibited at all events and activities sponsored, co-sponsored or hosted by a Rutgers University Registered Student Organization, where student fees are paying for all or part of the event.

There are limited instances where alcoholic beverages may be served with advance permission, requested at least thirty (30) business days in advance.  Alcohol use in the Student Centers must follow all University and State laws.  Organizations wishing to serve alcohol must gain approval of their Advisor and the Student Centers’ Meetings and Events Office by completing the required forms, applications, and approvals.  Alcoholic beverages may be served only to those of legal drinking age.

Submitting a request does not guarantee approval.

The following policies apply to all student organizations events:

  • No intoxicated individuals will be permitted in the Student Centers.
  • Disorderly persons will be barred and evicted from Student Centers in accordance with the normal operating procedures of the Rutgers University Police Department.

Registered student organizations are not permitted to hold bar nights.

Catering Options

Contact information for approved Student Center Caterers is maintained at the Student Centers website http://studentcenters.rutgers.edu/food-options-2/.

Student Center Cash Coupons are another option for catering your event, and provide an easy, affordable, and convenient way to provide meals for your event guests. They also provide an easy way to accommodate a variety of tastes. The coupons are accepted at all food vendors in the Student Centers. With six Centers and over 20 options, there is a favorite for everyone. For more information: http://studentcenters.rutgers.edu/student-center-cash-program/

For organizations wanting to subsidize the cost of catering, Rutgers University Dining Services offers two ways to allow guests to use meal swipes in advance for your event. The Meal Exchange Program and Meal Swipe for Catered Event Credit both provide food or meal credit for students who will attend the scheduled event. For more information, see the Meal Donation / Meal Exchange / Catered Event policy in the policy section of the Dining Services website at http://food.rutgers.edu/dining-hall-policies/

Homemade Foods

Homemade foods are not allowed to be served at meetings or functions at University facilities because they pose a risk to the health safety of the community.  Homemade foods/foods that have to be prepared (i.e., food that needs to be temperature controlled; sandwich fixings that are not from approved on-campus caterers) are not permitted at any programs, events, lectures, or meetings.  Bake Sales are the only instance during which the use of homemade food items is permitted and are subject to specific guidelines and procedures (See Bake Sale Sections).

Potluck

Potluck meals are not permitted due to potential risks related to transporting items that require temperature control (heating or cooling) and unsanitary food preparation conditions.

Cookouts, BBQs and Picnics

Cooking is NOT permitted and the use of open flames is prohibited. Food preparation will only be permitted by University approved caterers or by Rutgers University Dining Services. Student organizations wishing to hold picnics and BBQs are required to attend a Food Safety Workshop and obtain permission from their Advisor.

Beverages

All cold beverages must be Coca Cola products.

Specialty Catering

The Specialty Catering list is generated each year and is only to be used if University Caterers cannot meet the needs of a specific student organization event.  Specialty catering may not be used for general meetings.
Student organizations who would like to use an Specialty Caterer must consult Advisors at least 4 weeks prior to your event.
 Food and beverages are NOT permitted in classrooms and academic buildings.

Cook-Outs/Picnics

Student organizations may have barbeques and cookouts but must follow the following policies:

  • Cooking is NOT permitted and the use of open flames is prohibited.
  • Student organizations wishing to hold picnics and BBQs are required to attend a Food Safety Workshop and obtain permission from their Advisor.

Food Safety Workshop

A “Food Safety Workshop” is offered during the academic year through Rutgers Department of Student Involvement with the help of RU Dining Services.  This course is provided for students who want to have cook-outs and purchase food from Grocery Stores.  Unless this workshop is attended by those people handling food, no students will be allowed to pre-purchase any type of perishable foods to be prepared without the assistance of RU Dining Services, or another approved caterer/vendor under any circumstances.

RU Dining Services 

All student organizations that have NOT met with John Nason, the University Sanitarian, to go over the proper procedures for handling and cooking food MUST use RU Dining Services (to purchase the food and to have them prepare and cook all food items).

Food Safety Workshops are offered throughout the year as part of the Student Organization Management Workshop Series.  Please check our website and read the Officer Listserv for announcements regarding the workshops.

*Juicing events are not permitted.

Donated Food

 All donated foods must come from an approved food provider whose sanitation and liability insurance is approved by your Advisor and Student Centers or other University venue. In some cases, this would mean they should be recognized and registered by the Rutgers University Sanitarian.

Student organizations must meet with their Advisor to gain appropriate documentation in order for donated food to be approved.

Food at General Meetings

When is it appropriate for Student Organizations to have food at meetings?

  • When the meeting is a Recruitment meeting/program (i.e. first meeting of semester/year
  • Celebratory meeting (end of semester/end of year);
  • During trainings/retreats

Guidelines for Food at General Meetings:

  • Funding for food for general student organization meetings must come from GENERATED REVENUE or ORGANIZATIONAL MAINTENANCE (Line 137 or 317).
  • Food items must either be prepackaged or be catered by a Student Center vendor of Rutgers Dining Services.  Food at meetings must be approved in advance by the Advisor.  No contractual catering requests for meetings will be permitted unless there are circumstances approved by your Advisor.
  • Pre-packaged items may be provided by the student organization. This usually includes party size snacks (i.e. large bag of chips, cookies, pretzels, etc.).
  • Individually packaged snacks are preferred for safety reasons, party size are allowed on a case-by-case basis provided a meeting with your Advisor and strict adherence to food safety standards (gloves, tongs, serving utensils utilized at all times as necessary).
  • Pre-packaged items requiring temperature control (heating or cooling) are not permitted. 
  • All cold beverages must be Coca Cola products.

Food and beverages are NOT permitted in classrooms and academic buildings.

Food at Programs/Events/Lectures, etc.

Success of your event is directly linked to your level of preparation, the timeliness of your requests, and accuracy of details provided to University departments assisting with your event planning.  Food preparation will only be permitted by University approved caterers or by Rutgers University Dining Services.

Student organizations are encouraged to utilize the vendors in the Student Centers as well as Rutgers Dining Services for all of your catering needs.  Student Center vendors are paid via invoice while Dining Services is paid via contract.  Please have your Advisor sign Dining Services contract on behalf of your organization.

For a list of approved caterers for student organization events, please see:

 Student Center vendors

Dining Services

  • To allow for proper approval and coordination with Student Involvement, Student Centers and the catering provider, intent to provide food MUST be indicated during the reservation booking process, at least 4 weeks before the scheduled event date.
  • The RUSA Allocations processes allow for limited catering related to events.  If there are not enough funds for catering, Generated Revenue (Line 137) can be used to pay for the food that is pre-approved.

Specialty Caterers 

The Specialty Caterer list is generated each year and is only to be used if University Caterers cannot meet the needs of a specific student organization event.  Specialty catering may not be used for general meetings unless there are special circumstances approved by your Advisor.

Student organizations who would like to use an Specialty Caterer must consult Advisors at least 4 weeks prior to your event.

Homemade Foods

Homemade foods are not allowed to be served at meetings or functions at University facilities because they pose a risk to the health safety of the community.  Homemade foods/foods that have to be prepared (i.e., food that needs to be temperature controlled; sandwich fixings that are not from approved on-campus caterers) are not permitted at any programs, events, lectures, or meetings.  Bake Sales are the only instance during which the use of homemade food items is permitted and are subject to specific guidelines and procedures (See Bake Sale Sections).

Potluck

Potluck meals are not permitted due to potential risks related to transporting items that require temperature control (heating or cooling) and unsanitary food preparation conditions.

Beverages

All cold beverages must be Coca Cola products.

Food and beverages are NOT permitted in classrooms and academic buildings.

Meal Packaging Events

Student organizations may have meal packaging events, but must follow the following policies:

1.    Meal Packaging events should be for a specific community partner that has been contacted and agreed to accept the packaged meals.

2.    Student organizations may NOT use temperature controlled items when packaging meals (i.e. deli meats, mayonnaise, salads).  We recommend peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!

 3.    When preparing meals, student organizations must:

a.  wear gloves

b.  cover tables with plastic tablecloths

c.  use plastic utensils

d.  clean the space and throw away all used items

Sale of Food Items

Candy Sales

Fundraisers that include candy (i.e. Candy-Grams) are acceptable provided that all candy is prepackaged and individually wrapped. Unacceptable candy includes items such as M&M’s that are opened and sorted out or any type of bulk candy that is not individually packaged. You should never open or touch any candy that you are distributing to others as part of your fundraiser.

Bake Sales

Student Organizations who wish to hold a bake sale in student center or academic space can reserve a table by going to centerres.rutgers.edu and should abide by the Fundraising, Ticket, and Vendor Sales policies (See “Tabling in Student Centers” Section). Only homemade baked goods (items that do not have to be temperature controlled) may be sold at tables reserved for bake sales. No other foods are permitted.

  • At your Bake Sale, it is suggested you have available a list of ingredients for each item for sale, and REQUIRED that you have a visible and obvious sign that states
  • “Items for sale were not prepared in a commercial kitchen and thus may have a higher risk of allergens associated with foodborne illness.”

Bake Sales in Academic Space

Bake Sales in academic space are subject to additional guidelines and procedures to those in student center space. For complete guidelines, see the “Sales in Academic Space” section.