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Student Organization Handbook

Chapter 4: Planning Meeting, Events and Activities

Event Policies and Procedures

Section 12: Food and Beverages     
Particular care must be taken at all stages of food handling, including transport, storage, preparation, and service by officially recognized student organizations and departments wishing to serve, sell or promote food.  People may potentially suffer from food poisoning or food-borne illness from contaminated food.  Auxiliary Services, the Department of Campus Life, and the university assume no responsibility for the quality of food served, sold or promoted on campus by recognized student organizations and departments, or for the health of individual preparers and servers.

Student organizations are responsible for cleaning up all facilities used according to the following standards:

  • Pickup and proper disposal of garbage
  • Remove all leftover food/beverage items
  • Leave room(s) in the same condition they were found
  • Immediately notify facility manger of any spills and/or stains on carpets and floors

Groups who fail to conduct the minimum standard cleaning requirements may be billed for cleaning expenses or forfeit the ability to serve food at future meetings. 

A. Food Service, Sale and Safety

1. Food Event Approval Process

a. For Auxiliary Services Facilities
Recognized student organizations and departments wishing to serve, sell, or promote food on-campus must obtain permission from Auxiliary Services and Campus Life at least one (1) week prior to the event.

b. Outdoor Events
For events planned in outdoor areas, requests must be submitted to and approved by Public Services via the Facility Reservation System (R25). 

c. Auxiliary Services Requirements
Exclusive rights to all catering on-campus have been granted to Sodexo Dining Services.  Auxiliary Services controls all commercial sales and representation on the GC campus.

2.  Fire and Electrical Safety

All campus event participants at Georgia College & State University are required to adhere to Fire Code regulations.  All participants in campus events shall comply with any request by an EPOS representative to ensure compliance with EPOS regulations.  

  • The following cooking methods are acceptable on campus: liquid propane gas appliances; electrical appliances or propane barbecues.  The use of charcoal and liquid starter fuel are prohibited. 
  • Each event where an open flame is located shall have a class "ABC" fire extinguisher within 10 feet of the flames at all times.  The location of the extinguisher shall be clearly marked and identifiable to everyone in the area.  At their own expense, each student organization or department is required to supply the fire extinguisher for their event.
  • All open flames shall be constantly attended by a person knowledgeable in how to use a fire extinguisher.  An attendant from your organization shall supervise the open flame until it has been extinguished. 
  • All approved events where an open flame will be present on campus locations, the open flame must be 100 feet away from all buildings.
  • Barbequing is approved for specific locations (e.g. Front Campus, West Campus Pavilion, East Campus Pavilion) and must be approved through Public Services via the Facility Reservation System (R25).  All barbequing events must be at least 100 feet from all buildings. 
  • Commercial barbecues or open flame cooking equipment shall not be located closer than 10 feet from any combustible materials.  Cooking equipment shall be separated from customer contact areas. 
  • Cooking may not take place in a tent or under a canopy.
  • Electrical cords shall be maintained in good condition and are not to be laid in an area that is wet or could become wet.  Electrical cords are not to be located in the main paths of travel and are to be covered. 
  • Extension cords shall be UL approved, heavy-duty, and 3-pronged grounded type.
  • Extension cords shall be plugged directly into an approved receptacle.
  • Extension cords shall be grounded when servicing grounded portable appliances.
  • Cords and circuits shall not be overloaded with excessive appliances unless an approved multiplying extension cord is used, extension cords shall serve only one portable appliance. 
  • Smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of propane gas containers, tables, and barbecue grills at all times. 
  • Parked vehicles, tables, or equipment shall not impede access to fire vehicle lanes, fire hydrants, pedestrians, or driveways.  A minimum of 20 feet clearance is required for fire lanes and a minimum 3 feet radius is required around fire hydrants. 

3. Catering
Exclusive rights to all catering on the campus have been granted to Sodexo Dining Services.  Call the Catering Office, (478) 445-3663, for more information.  Only under extraordinary circumstances will the use of an off-campus caterer or restaurant be permitted.  An off-campus source may be used only when Sodexo cannot meet the needs of a specific event, and they must provide proof of $1,000,000 in product liability insurance, demonstrate the ability to prepare, transport, store, and serve food on campus safely and without campus kitchen facilities, and by subject to oversight from the Emergency Preparedness and Occupational Safety Office and Campus Life.  Late fees will also be assessed if the petition to use an off-campus food source is not completed by the deadline.

4. Concessions
Exclusive rights for concessions at special events on campus are exercised by Auxiliary Services.  Groups planning events with food concession sales should contact Auxiliary Services at (478) 445-1976 for arrangements or to discuss possibilities for a waiver of concession rights.

5. Policy Enforcement
The above provisions must be adhered to for consumer safety and sponsor protection.  Food events will be monitored, and if health and safety guidelines are not being followed, food may be confiscated or the cooking operation shut down by EPOS.  If the above provisions are violated, the event may be terminated by Campus Life.  Future food events may not be recommended for approval by Campus Life. 

B. Food and Beverage at Off-Campus Events
The university does not issue food permits or conduct food service inspections for off-campus events; however; student organizations are encouraged to follow the Food Handling Guidelines listed below (adapted from materials produced by the Federal Food and Drug Administration).

C. Food Handling Guidelines
Practicing proper food handling techniques will protect your members and guests from food-borne illness and food contamination.  Here are some tips to keep in mind when preparing, storing, and cooking food. 

1.Wash Hands, Utensils, and Food Preparation Surfaces

  • Food safety begins with hand-washing even in outdoor settings.  And it can be as simple as using a water jug, some soap, and paper towels.
  • Consider using moist, disposable towelettes for cleaning your hands.
  • Keep all utensils and platters clean when preparing food.

2. Preparing Fruits and Vegetables

  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten, under running tap water before packing them.  Packaged fruits and vegetables labeled "ready-to-eat," "washed," or "triple washed" need to be washed. 
  • Rub firm-skin fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water.

D. Safe Grilling Tips

  • Marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter or outdoors.  If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion separately before adding the raw meat, poultry, or seafood.  Don't reuse marinade. 
  • Don't use the same platter and utensils that previously held raw meat or seafood to serve cooked meats and seafood.
  • If you partially cook food in the microwave, oven, or stove to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before the food goes on the hot grill.
  • When it's time to cook the food, cook it thoroughly.  Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached an adequate internal temperature before serving.
  • Ground pork and ground beef – 160°F
  • Ground poultry – 165°F
  • Poultry breasts – 170°F
  • Whole poultry (take measurement in the thigh) – 180°F
  • Fin fish – 145°F or until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork
  • Shrimp, lobster, and crab – the meat should be pearly and opaque
  • Clams, oysters, and mussels – until the shells open
  • Grilled food can be kept hot until served by moving it to the side of the grill rack, just away from coals where it can overcook.
  • Liquid starting fuel is prohibited.
  • Have a fire extinguisher available.

E. Serving Food Safely

  • Food should be handled with gloves and food service utensils or materials.
  • Keep cold food cold (below 40°F) and hot foods hot (above 140°F). 
  • Do not use a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood for anything else unless the plate has first been washed in hot, soapy water.
  • Foods like chicken salad and desserts in individual serving dishes can also be placed directly on ice, or in a shallow container set in a deep pan filled with ice.  Drain off water as ice melts and replace ice frequently.
  • Don't let perishable food sit out longer than two (2) hours.
  • Food should not sit out for more than 1 hour in temperatures above 90°F.
  • Keep food covered when not serving.
  • Ice used in beverages should be protected from contamination.  Do not use ice used for refrigeration.
  • No smoking should be permitted around food.
  • Individuals who are sick or have cuts or burns must not serve or handle food and beverages.
  • Keep pets away from areas where food is served or stored. 

F. Transporting Food

  • Keep cold food cold.  Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs.  Cold food should be held at or below 40°F.
  • Consider packing beverages in one cooler and perishable foods in another.  
  • Meat, poultry, and seafood may be packed while it is still frozen so that is stays colder longer.  Be sure to keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood securely wrapped so their juices don't contaminate cooked foods or foods eaten raw such as fruits and vegetables.
  • After washing fruits and vegetables, dry them with a clean cloth towel or paper towel before packing them.
  • Keep the cooler in the air-conditioned passenger compartment of your car, rather than in a hot trunk.  Limit the times the cooler is opened.

G. Alcoholic Beverages and Illegal Drugs
The possession, dispensing, and consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus are only permitted at special events specified below.  Alcohol at an event on campus requires an Alcohol Approval Request Form with the designated University Vice President's approval and signature. 

1. Types of Beverages
Beer and/or wine may not be served at events open to the public.  Attendance at events with alcohol must be limited to the organization's members and their invited guests.  Events at which alcohol will be served must have a preponderance of individuals over 21 years of age in attendance. 

2. Policy for On-Campus Events with Alcoholic Beverages
Subject to this policy, consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages is limited to beer and/or wine.  Distilled liquor is not permitted at any time.  In sponsoring a function with beer and/or wine is served, the organization and its officers accept the following responsibilities and conditions:

  • To observe all applicable state laws and university policies.
  • To pay for any/all damages incurred during the activity.
  • To clean and restore the facility to its original condition.
  • To maintain decorum appropriate to the university setting.
  • To limit participation in an authorized event to members of the sponsoring organization and its invited guests. 
  • Serving beer or wine must be clearly incidental and supplementary to the main purpose of the event.
  • To refrain from advertising to the public the availability of alcoholic beverages or otherwise using alcoholic beverages as an event inducement.  Events promoted to the public may not have alcohol served.
  • To only finance beer or wine from a club treasury, excluding use of SABC funds.  Unless a sponsor is licensed, beer and wine may NOT be sold at student-sponsored events nor may a specified amount or donation be collected. 
  • To also provide non-alcoholic beverages, to be served in the same manner as alcoholic beverages. 
  • To assure that no minor or intoxicated person is served alcoholic beverages.  It is the responsibility of the organization to ensure that only those of legal drinking age consume alcoholic beverages. 
  • Public Safety must be present to verify the proof of age of those being served.   Self-service is prohibited. 
  • A server must be at least 21 years old. 
  • Food must be served at all events at which alcohol is available.
  • Alcoholic beverages may not be removed from the room within which the serving of alcoholic beverages has been approved.  The organization must provide one or more individuals to be positioned by the exits for enforcement of this condition.
  • Alcoholic beverages may be served only in areas where food is normally served.
  • The amount of alcoholic beverages present must be appropriate for the nature of the event, the estimated attendance, and the amount of food and non-alcoholic beverages present.
  • For events on-campus, any alcohol must be handled through Sodexo Dining Services.  Self-service is not permitted.  Alcohol may not be sold for fundraising or offered as a prize in a "free drawing."
  • Approval must be granted by the Department of Campus Life.  Please complete a "Request for the use of Alcoholic Beverages" form. 

3. Alcoholic Beverages at Events Off-Campus
The following policies apply to all off-campus events sponsored, organized, planned, coordinated, financed, or promoted by the organization, any activity held at an organization-related facility, or any activity that an observer would reasonably associate with the organization.  For example, a social event where most of those invited members of the same organization would normally be considered to be an organization-related event.

  • Organizations are expected to be familiar with and comply with State of Georgia laws regulating the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. 
  • Unless held at a licensed establishment with professional bartenders, hard liquor (alcoholic beverages other than beer or wine) shall not be consumed at organization events.
  • Open parties, meaning those with unrestricted access by non-members without specific invitation, where alcoholic beverages are present are forbidden.  For events (except events for alumni and family members) where the number of guests is anticipated to exceed the number of members, a guest list must be submitted to Campus Life in advance of the event, along with the name of the member who invited each guest.  Members are responsible for the behavior (including underage drinking) of guests they invite.
  • In promoting events, alcoholic beverages may not be referred to in publicity, including signs, fliers, mailings, email lists, Web sites, and media (i.e., no pictures of kegs, cocktail glasses, beer mugs, etc.).
  • At all events where alcoholic beverages are consumed, except those held at licensed establishments where beverages are sold, provisions shall be provided for the free and conspicuous distribution of non-alcoholic beverages and food in adequate supply.  An "adequate supply" of beverages is a quantity sufficient to provide at least one beverage serving per hour for all members and guests who are under the age of 21.  An "adequate supply" of food is a minimum of one serving for all members and guests in attendance (for example, one large pizza for ten guests). 
  • No organization shall permit any person who is under the age of 21 or who is obviously intoxicated to consume alcoholic beverages at organization functions.  Use of wristbands and/or Public Safety hired to check age identification may be required.  At joint functions, each organization is responsible for keeping those under the age of 21 from consuming alcoholic beverages.
  • At events where the number of guests exceeds the number of members, Public Safety shall be responsible for checking the identification and providing wristbands or hand-stamps to persons over the age of 21 who wish to consume alcoholic beverages.  The Public Safety officers are responsible for patrolling the event to ensure that only those persons with the designated wristband or hand-stamp are consuming alcoholic beverages.
  • An organization sponsoring an event has an obligation to provide for the safety of any members or guests who exhibit intoxication.  This might require taking the person home or allowing the person to spend the night and ensuring that someone is present to monitor their condition until they are sober.  If the person is unconscious, is breathing irregularly, has a weak pulse, or has discolored skin, immediate medical attention must be sought. 
  • Unless the event is held within a half-mile of the campus, whenever alcohol is being consumed at an event and busses or public transportation are not being provided, the organization shall provide designated sober drivers to transport all members and guests.  The designated sober drivers shall not consume any alcohol whatsoever at the event or within six hours prior to driving.  If busses are provided, no intoxicated person shall be permitted to board the bus nor may alcohol be consumed or brought on the bus. 
  • No organization shall at any time compel individuals to consume alcoholic beverages. 
  • No money whatsoever, including "donations," entertainment fees, admission charges, etc., may be collected at any function where alcoholic beverages are provided, unless held at an establishment with a Georgia Liquor License. 
  • Organized competitions involving the consumption of alcoholic beverages are prohibited at all organization functions. 
  • Neither "grain alcohol" nor any such distilled liquor that exceeds 100 proof, or above 50% pure grade per volume (e.g., "Everclear," etc.), shall be present in any form or mixture during an organization event.
  • Unless a waiver is granted by Campus Life, an organization may not purchase or reimburse a person for the purchase of alcoholic beverages through the use of organization funds or credits nor may he purchase of the same be undertaken or coordinated by any member on behalf of the organization.  No organization members may provide alcoholic beverages directly or indirectly to members or guests by selling tickets or cups, by collecting admission fees or donations, by special assessments (e.g., a formal dance assessment that includes drink tickets), by taking a collection ("passing the hat"), by dues rebates, by maintaining a "social fund" or account, or by using any means of collecting monies from persons attending organization functions.  All alcoholic beverages consumed at organization functions held off-campus must be brought by the individual members and guests attending the function for their own personal consumption or through a cash bar operated by a licensed establishment where the function is held.  Drink tickets, regardless of how they are financed, cannot be given away at chapter events held at hotels, etc. – even if the tickets can be redeemed for either alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages.  Members must purchase their own drinks or drink tickets directly from the licensed establishment. 
  • The purchase and/or use of any bulk quantity of alcoholic beverages or providing a common source of alcohol (e.g., kegs, miniature kegs, alcoholic punch, coolers filled with canned beer, open bars, etc.) is expressly prohibited.  (A keg shell present on organization premises shall be considered evidence of a violation of this policy.)
  • At "BYOB" functions, individuals 21 years of age or older may bring not more than a six-pack of 12-ounce beers (two individuals arriving together may bring a twelve-pack or a four-pack of 12-ounce wine coolers).  
  • No alcoholic beverages shall be present at any organization recruitment function, regardless of location.  A recruitment function is defined as any activity where the primary purpose is membership recruitment. 
  • No alcoholic beverages shall be present at any pledge/associate/new member program or activity of social fraternities and sororities, including, but not limited to, initiation or pre-initiation activities, pledge or associate member retreats, pledge/new member exchanges, new member interviews, and big brother/sister revealing.  This includes bringing alcoholic beverages as gifts. 
  • The possession, sale and/or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance at an organization-related event or at an organization-related facility is prohibited.  If organization officers become aware of such activity, it is their responsibility to immediately terminate the activity and initiate disciplinary action against the responsible members.  If the organization officers fail to take such action, the organization assumes responsibility for the activity.  
  • Whenever a social event is taking place at organization-related facilities (such as fraternity and sorority chapter houses), all alcohol consumption is prohibited in bedrooms and apartments.  In organization-related facilities, bottles of hard liquor are only permitted in the rooms of residents who are over the age of 21.  No hard alcohol may be consumed during an event held at organization-related facilities.  During times when a social event is not in progress, only active members and alumni over the age of 21 (i.e., minors or guests) shall be allowed to consumer hard alcohol in the common areas of organization-related facilities. 
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