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The On-Campus Alcohol Policy
  • The possession or use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in ALL Penn State on-campus undergraduate residence hall buildings, including White Course Apartments, Nittany Apartments, and Eastview Terrace. This policy applies to all students and GUESTS regardless of whether they are 21 years of age.
  • Residents and guests are also prohibited from being in the presence of alcohol in the residence halls.
  • The host of a gathering in the residence halls may be subject to additional charges such as party responsibility and/or distribution of alcohol.


Living Smart in the Residence Halls
  • Limit the number of visitors in your room.
  • Make sure you know your visitors and they know the rules.
  • Keep the volume down, including music, video games, and voices.
  • Don’t keep alcohol bottles or drug paraphernalia in your room.
  • Make a plan with your roommate not to have alcohol in your room and stick to it.

 If an RA Knocks on Your Door

  • Open the door without delaying. A delay suggests you might be hiding something.
  • Stay calm and be polite.
  • Provide correct identification.
  • Do no leave the area until the RA says it’s OK to leave.

If you fail to do these things, the police may be called.

 Fact: It is a violation of the code of conduct to consume, possess, or be in the presence of alcohol in your residence hall room.

Three things you need to know if you live in the Borough of State College

Be a Good Neighbor 

Nuisance Property Points

All rental properties are subject to the Rental Sus- pension Ordinance. This means if your rental proper- ty accumulates 10 points within 12 months, the own- er could lose his or her ability to rent the property
at the end of the current lease. Properties may have pre-exisitng points assigned to their rental permit at the time you begin your lease. To learn more, go to

Refuse Ordinance 

It is illegal to improperly dispose of reguse (garbage) or recyclables, including party materials such as cans, cups, and bottles. Party related trash and recyclables should be cleaned up immediately after a party. A citation can be issued for repeasted or egregious circumstances. Fines range from $300 to $1,000.

Noise Ordinance 

If noise from a residence is considered unreasonable, the police can issue a citation at any time. The ordi- nace can be enforced when complaints are made orwhen of cers observe unreasonable noise. There isno legal right or guarantee to a warning.

The following factors will be taken into account when deciding to issue a citaiton, but are not limited to, the intenisty of the noise, time of day, day of week, duration of noise, if the sound is temporary, and

if the property has received prior warning or com- plaints.

Fines include: $750 for the rst offense and $1,000for any subsequent offeses in any 120-day period or30 days in prison if nes are not paid.

How to Throw a Safe and Trouble-Free Party
  • Keep the size within occupancy limits. Everyone should fit in the space you have. Don’t overflow the driveway or the neighbor’s yard.
  • Be a good neighbor and tell your neighbors about the party. Encourage them to contact you FIRST if there’s a problem. Give them your name and phone number so they can call you.
  • Know your guests. Only invite people you know and trust. Turn away anyone who is visibly intoxicated. You are legally responsible for the actions of everyone at the party.
  • Keep the noise within reason. If your party is too loud, the police are likely to show up.
  • Provide non-alcoholic drinks and food.
  • Designate a housemate as the sober host. This person can keep tabs on the noise, number of guests, and other potential problems.
  • Don’t serve alcohol to minors. Don’t over-serve alcohol to guests.
  • Provide trash and recycling containers. Clean up any trash as soon as the party is over to avoid getting a fine.
On and Off Campus

If you are involved with a violation or an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct, on or off campus, you may be charged criminally by local authorities and face fines, jail and other penalties for the incident. Additionally, the incident will be reviewed by the Office of Student Conduct and you may face sanctions by the University. These are separate and distinct processes and in such cases you will likely have to respond to both the University’s Conduct Process as well as the Criminal Process for the same event. For more information on the Code of Conduct, visit the Office of Student Conduct.

Avoid getting an Alcohol Violation:

  • Don’t carry an open container of alcohol.
  • Don’t draw attention to yourself (i.e., by being loud or by urinating outside).
  • Don’t be visibly drunk in any public place, on or off campus. This includes tailgate areas and any area on or off campus. This is a violation, regardless of age.
  • Don’t walk home alone. Have a friend with you or use Penn State’s SAFE WALK, 814-865-WALK (9255).
  • Don’t drink if you are under 21

First Violation

If you accept or are found responsible for a first-time violation for underage consumption or possession, you will receive, at a minimum, a conduct warning. You will also be required by Penn State to attend the BASICS program which has a $250 fee. The local magistrate may also require you to complete a Youthful Offenders Program. In State College, the fee for YOP is $250

If you accept or are found responsible for a first-time violation for excessive consumption or driving while impaired, at a minimum, you will be placed on conduct probation. You will also be required by Penn State to attend the BASICS program which has a $250 fee. A letter will also be sent home as part of our parental notification policy for any alcohol or dug violation.

Remember: The Code of Conduct applies to conduct that occurs on University premises; at University sponsored activities; at functions, activities or events hosted by recognized student organizations, and other off-campus locations, when the behavior affects a substantial University interest.

Penn State’s Code of Conduct applies both on and off campus.

Alcohol Laws in Pennsylvania

Furnishing to Minors

It is illegal to knowingly sell or furnish, or purchase with the intent to sell or furnish, any liquor malt or brewed beverage to a person who is less than 21 years of age. You can be convicted of furnishing alcohol even if you are under age 21. The fine for a first offense is at least $1,000 and a second or subsequent offense is $2,500. Jail is up to one year for an offense. This offense may result in a permanent criminal record.

Underage Drinking

It is illegal to consume an alcoholic beverage if you are under 21. It is also illegal for anyone under 21 years or age to attempt to purchase, consume, possess, or knowingly and intentionally transport any liquor, malt, or brewed beverage. Penalties may include:

Offense Fine Jail
1st Offense 0 - $500 0 - 90 Days
2nd Offense 0 - $1,000 0 - 90 Days
Subsequent Offense 0 - $1,000 0 - 90 Days

Police are required by law to notify parents or guardians of all underage drinking violations.

Carrying False I.D.

It is illegal for anyone under 21 to possess an ID card that falsely identifies the person by name, age, date of birth, or photograph as being 21 or older. If the ID is a fake driver’s license more serious penalties may apply.

Offense Fine Jail
1st Offense 0 - $300 0 - 90 Days
2nd Offense 0 - $500 0 - 1 Year
Subsequent Offense 0 - $500 0 - 1 Year

Public Drunkenness

It is illegal to be in any public place under the influence of alcohol to the degree that you may endanger yourself or other persons or property, or annoy others in your vicinity.

Offense Fine Jail
1st Offense 0 - $500 0 - 90 Days
2nd Offense 0 - $1,000 0 - 90 Days
Subsequent Offense 0 - $1,000 0 - 90 Days

FACT: The underage drinking law includes possessing and transporting alcohol - not just consumption. Remember, it’s illegal to drink if you’re under 21.

Tips for Interacting with a Police Officer:

  • Stay calm and be polite.
  • Provide your correct identification, if asked.
  • Do not run from or fight with the officer.
  • Ask if you are free to leave.

Failing to provide ID, running, fighting, arguing, or trying to avoid answering your door will likely result in more serious charges. Following these tips will minimize negative outcomes.

Driving Under the Influence

It is illegal for anyone under 21 to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .02 or higher. It is illegal for anyone 21 and older to drive with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. If you have a first-time violation, under certain circumstances, you may qualify for an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. 

If you are convicted of a DUI when under 21 and have a blood alcohol content below .16, penalties may include:

Penalty* 1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
Fine $500 - $5,000 $750 - $5,000 $1,500 - $10,000
Jail 48 hours - 6 months 30 days - 6 months 90 days - 5 years
License Suspension 1 year 1 year 1 year

Alcohol Highway Safety School

Court Reporting Network File

Alcohol Highway Safety School

Court Reporting Network File

Drug & Alcohol Evaulation

Court Reporting Network File

*Penalties differ based on age, blood alcohol content, and other factors.

State College Ordinances You Need to Know

Public Urination and Defecation Ordinance 

It is illegal to urinate or defecate in/on a public area, on private property where the public is admitted or on private property without the consent of the owner. It is illegal to urinate or defecate in any public place other than in an appropriate sanitary facility. Fines include $750 for the first offense and $1,000 for any subsequent offense plus court costs for each violation.

Open Container Ordinance 

It is illegal to have an open container of alcohol in any public area (i.e., parking lot, parking garage, public street, sidewalk, alley, or park) in State College. Fines include $250 for the first offense; $500 for the second offense, and not less than $1,000 for any subsequent offenses in any 120-day period, plus court costs or 30 days in prison if fines and costs are not paid.

Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol Poisoning is a Medical Emergency

Know the Signs:

  • Passed out or difficult to wake.
  • Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin.
  • Slowed breathing.
  • Vomiting while asleep or awake.

Know How to Help:

  • Turn a vomiting person on his or her side to prevent choking.
  • Clear vomit from the mouth.
  • Keep the person awake.
  • NEVER leave the person unattended.

If you suspect that someone may need medical assistance, call 911. You could save someone’s life.

Top 5 Smarter-Drinking Strategies Used by Penn State Students
  1. Eat food or a meal before you start drinking.

  2.  Set a limit of how much you’ll drink before you start pre-gaming.

  3. Keep count of your drinks, including the pre-gaming ones.

  4. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

  5.  Keep it to a out one standard drink per hour.


ScreenU is a free and anonymous online screening tool available to all Penn State students. It can be completed in as little as 2-3 minutes and can help you identify problematic habits and behaviors.

What is a Standard Drink Size?

The following quantities of alcohol equal one standard drink because they all contain 0.06 fluid ounces or 14 grams of pure alcohol. 

Beer - 12 ounces (355mL); about 5% alcohol by volume

Wine - 5 ounces (148mL); about 12% alcohol by volume

Malt Liquor - 8 or 9 ounces (237-266mL); about 7% alcohol by volume

Shot - 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor (44mL); about 40% alcohol by volume

1 Mixed Drink - made with 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor (44mL); alcohol by volume varies 

Alcohol and Consent

Most cases of sexual assault at Penn State involve drug or alcohol use by one or both of the people involved. At Penn State, like most other college campuses, alcohol is the most commonly used substance in drug-facilitated sexual assault.

What Is Consent?

At the heart of consent is the idea that every person has the right to determine whether or not they engage in sexual activity. Consent exists when there is clear, knowing, and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent may be communicated through verbal or non-verbal expression, and cannot be inferred from the absence of a “no.” Consent cannot be gained by threat, coercion, intimidation, or force. Silence does not necessarily constitute consent.

Why is Alcohol So Common In Sexual Assault?

Perpetrators often use alcohol to compromise an individual’s ability to consent to sexual activity. 

Alcohol inhibits a person’s ability to resist and can prevent them from remembering the assault. 

Survivors of sexual assault often blame themselves but it is never their fault. It is always the fault of the perpetrator, who chooses to take advantage of another person.

Fact: An individual who is incapacitated due to alcohol or drug consumption or who is asleep or unconscious cannot give consent to engage in sexual activity.

What to do if a Friend has Been Sexually Assaulted

  • Get the victim to a safe place as soon as possible.
  • Try to preserve all physical evidence. 
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible
  • Contact a close friend who can be with the victim for support.
  • Consider talking to a counselor.
  • Visit for more information.

How to Support a Friend who has Been Assaulted

  • Believe your friend.
  • Never blame your friend.
  • Be non-judgmental.
  • Respect your friend’s decisions
  • Validate your friend’s feelings.
  • Encourage your friend to get support.

TIP: If you see your friend leaving a party with someone, check to see if they are OK. If your friend seems out of it, then have them leave the party with you. Walk your friend home.

What Resources Are Available for Sexual Assault?

University Resources

The Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Response 

The Gender Equity Center 

Counseling and Psychological Services

University Health Services
24/7 Nurse Advice Line

Student Conduct

Penn State Police

Community Resources

Centre Safe
814-234-5050 (24-hour hotline)

Mount Nittany Medical Center

State College Police

Getting Help: the 3 D's

At Penn State we care about each other and we take action. If you are ever in a situation where another student needs help, Penn State wants you to help that person. There are three ways to take action. We call them the 3-D’s.


Interact with the people involved and address the things that concern you. Examples include:

  • Ask “Are you OK?”
  • Say to the person who needs help: “I’m worried about you, can I help you find your friends?”
  • Say to the other person: “Why don’t you get their number and call them tomorrow.”


If you see a situation where someone might be in danger, try causing a distraction. Examples include:

  • Stick around and don’t leave the two individuals alone.
  • Tell the person who needs help that their friends are looking for them.
  • Offer to do something with one of the people, like dance or go outside for air.


When you recognize a concerning situation and feel like someone else is better suited to handle it, ask someone else to help you. Delegating informs someone else that something needs to be done. Examples include:

  • Tell a Resident Assistant (RA).
  • Talk to the friends of the student who needs help. Ask them to check-in with their friend and get them home safely.
  • Call the police.
If I’m under 21 and get help for someone who is passed out, will I get in trouble?

On-Campus Resources 

Emergencies (Penn State Police): 814-863-1111

Penn State Crisis Line (24/7): 877-229-6400

Counseling and Psychological Services: 814-863-0395

Health Promotion and Wellness: 814-863-0461

University Health Services: 814-863-0774

24/7 Advice Nurse: 814-863-4463

Penn State SAFE WALK: 814-865-WALK (9255)

Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response: 814-867-0099

Off-Campus Resources 

Centre Safe: 814-234-5050

Community Help Center: 814-237-5855

Mount Nittany Medical Center: 814-231-7000

Emergencies: 911

State College Borough: 814-234-7100

State College Community Engagement Office: 814-234-7110

Legal Resources

Penn State Student Legal Services: 814-867-4388

Mid Penn Legal Services: 814-238-4958

Police Resources

Penn State University Police Services: 814-863-1111

State College Police: 911 or 814-234-7150 (for non emergencies)