What constitutes private vs. common space?

Private spaces are student bedrooms with a closed door in all college residence halls. Common areas in all houses are considered private spaces except for White House (15 Howard St).

Everywhere else is considered common space unless an event has been registered for alcohol. Common spaces include student bedrooms with an open door, the exterior walkways, parking areas and grounds of the college, building entries, lobbies, balconies, bathrooms, hallways, kitchens, lounges, living rooms, porches, stairways, study rooms, laundry rooms; and any other areas accessible to all members of the Wheaton community.

What is the logic behind not allowing drinking games with or without alcohol?

Drinking games are prohibited at Wheaton College because the college recognizes the innate danger that the games create. This danger has been corroborated by numerous studies (Borsari, 2004). Furthermore, drinking games with water are prohibited because the college recognizes that water may serve as a proxy for alcohol in these games, and allowing such games makes it difficult for college staff to enforce the drinking game ban.

Do students with similar alcohol incidents receive similar responses?

Wheaton College values the individual student. As such, the Student Conduct Process considers each case individually using a similar process recognizing that there are a myriad of factors influencing every situation. Furthermore, the Student Conduct Process values education, and to reflect this, each student will receive a response that the Conduct Officer(s) deem the best way to allow the student to learn from the situation.

What happens if I get more than one alcohol incident?

If a student gets more than one alcohol incident, Wheaton College views that as a concern the student may be struggling with issues larger than the incident in question. Typically, the meeting with the student will be spent trying to understand why there was a repeat violation. Furthermore, the repeat incident raises the concern of Wheaton staff and consequently may be met with greater responses ultimately trying to get the student on the best and safest path to complete their college career at Wheaton.

What am I not suppose to do?

An easy way to interpret the alcohol policy is those under 21 years of age are not to possess or consume alcohol, and those over 21 years of age are not to possess or consume alcohol outside of private spaces unless otherwise designated, nor should they provide those under 21 years of age with alcohol. Furthermore, drinking games and intoxication are prohibited.

In what situations can I consume alcohol in a common space?

There are few times when this is allowed. Students may only consume alcohol in common spaces when there is a College-sponsored event. For example, on occasion there are events in the Balfour-Hood Atrium or Emerson Dining where alcohol is served. In these cases, only students who are 21 or older may consume alcohol, and they may only consume the alcohol that is provided at the event.

What is a common source?

A common source of alcohol is defined as kegs, beer balls, boxed wine, or any other source of alcohol that can be distributed or consumed by multiple people.

Can you be in a room where alcohol is being consumed when you’re not 21 years of age or older?

A student living in a room where both residents are under 21 years of age may not have any alcohol present in their room. This means that those people 21 years of age or older may not have alcohol in a room where both residents are under 21 years of age. If this happens, the residents of the room will be held accountable.

If both residents or one of the residents of a room are 21 years of age or older, a person under 21 years of age may be in the room when alcohol is present. However, it is strongly encouraged for the person or persons under 21 years of age to consider not putting themselves in dangerous or ambiguous situations so as to avoid any confusion about possession of alcohol or situations that may lead to bad choices.

How is behavior deemed problematic?

Wheaton College is committed to learning and, as such, expects all members of the campus community to behave in a manner conducive to that end. Any behavior that jeopardizes the ability of other students to achieve educational and personal goals, the safety of the individual, or the safety of the college community adversely affects the experience of students and the mission of the college, and is thus deemed problematic.  Additional problematic behaviors are when students present signs of intoxication, including not being able to care for oneself or perform basic functions due to alcohol consumption.

How does the alcohol policy reflect off-campus events?

Wheaton College is committed to the idea of a community. As such, the college recognizes that behavior that happens off campus affects the larger community as a whole. Therefore, students who are in violation of Wheaton’s policies or state and local laws off campus will be held accountable through the Student Conduct Process.

What is the policy concerning guests, does the host take responsibility for their guest’s drinking behavior?

All Wheaton students are responsible for their guests regardless of their affiliation with Wheaton. It is important to make sure that guests are acting in accordance with Wheaton’s Community Standards and values for the betterment of the community.

Can you store alcohol in a common fridge?

No, you may not keep alcohol in common refrigerators in residence halls. In these situations, underage students have unrestricted access to the alcohol which could result in the student inadvertently supplying underage students with alcohol thus being in violation of college policies.