The College will disseminate, in compliance with the Drug Free Workplace and Drug Free Schools and Communities acts, an annual statement outlining the College's policies.

Cornell College respects the rights of individuals to consume alcohol in a legal and responsible manner. The College expects students to participate in educational programming and discussion about the effects of alcohol use and abuse. The College's policies concerning alcohol use are intended to promote personal responsibility in regard to an individual's decisions concerning alcohol use or abstinence. It is expected that these decisions will be based on personal values and social responsibility, conform to the laws of the State of Iowa and to the health and welfare of oneself and others. Anyone who chooses to use alcohol will be held fully responsible for his/her behavior while under the influence of alcohol. Violations of the College alcohol policy are grounds for conduct action.

 The responsible use of alcohol includes:

  • Compliance with State and Federal statutes regarding alcohol use, possession, and distribution;

  • Making informed decisions about whether and/or when to use alcohol;

  • Knowing your alcohol tolerance limits and not exceeding them;

  • Behaving in a way that is not disruptive or otherwise harmful to you or others when you are consuming alcohol;

  • Assuming accountability for your actions while under the influence of alcohol;

  • Avoiding binge drinking. The Harvard School of Public Health has established a nationally accepted definition of binge drinking as:

    • For women, drinking four or more alcoholic beverages per drinking occasion.

    • For men, drinking five or more alcoholic beverages per drinking occasion.

    • One alcoholic beverage is defined as one 12 oz. can/bottle of beer, one 5 oz. glass of wine, or one shot (1.5 oz.) of hard liquor.

  • Not coercing or forcing anyone of any age to consume alcohol;

  • Not coercing or forcing anyone to engage in sexual activity when either or both of you have been consuming alcohol;

  • Refraining from engaging or participating in drinking games. 

Cornell Alcohol policies

1. Irresponsible use of alcohol is prohibited.

2. Students age 21 or over may possess and consume alcohol in a responsible manner in the privacy of their own residence hall room or the room of someone who is age 21 or over. Students, regardless of their age, may not possess or consume alcohol on a substance-free residence hall floor.

3. Open containers containing alcohol are not permitted in public areas of the residence halls or campus.

4. Alcoholic beverages may be served or consumed in any public area of the campus only with prior approval by the Dean of Students or Chaplain.

5. Any sale or serving of alcoholic beverages in public places on campus must be coordinated by the College's dining services vendor.

6. Advertising of alcohol for any event is prohibited, except where prior permission is granted by the Dean of Students.

7. Funds from the Student Activity Fee may not be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.

8. Possession of a keg or common container (e.g., beer bong, party ball, etc.) of /for alcohol on campus is prohibited unless that container of alcohol is preapproved by the Dean of Students and is provided by the College's dining services vendor.

Iowa Statutes on Alcohol Use

Cornell students are expected to know and observe state statutes regarding the sale, possession, provision, consumption, and use of alcohol. In Iowa it is unlawful:

1. to provide alcoholic beverages to any person under the age of 21

2. for a person under 21 years of age to possess or consume alcohol

3. for a person under 21 years of age to misrepresent his/her age for the purpose of obtaining alcohol

4. to consume alcohol on public streets, highways, or in public places

5. to be intoxicated in a public place or to simulate intoxication

6. to serve alcohol to an intoxicated person

7. to sell alcohol without a vendor's license

8. to operate a motor vehicle if you are 21 years of age or older and your blood alcohol content is at or exceeds 0.08

9. to operate a motor vehicle if you are under 21 years of age and your blood alcohol content is at or exceeds 0.02

10. to provide alcohol with the intent of engaging in sexual activity with the person to whom alcohol is being provided

Penalties for violation of state alcohol statutes include fines, loss of privileges, and/or imprisonment. Statutes and penalties related to alcohol differ from state to state, and change from time to time. You are responsible for making your own determination as to whether a certain activity is legal.


Sanctions related to violations of the Cornell College Alcohol Policy by either individuals or groups are progressive and reflect the severity of the incident. First violations typically result in students being sanctioned to engage in educational/reflection activity and being placed on disciplinary warning; subsequent violations are likely to result in individual evaluation, disciplinary probation and suspension. Severity of the incident is determined by factors including risk of harm to self or others, violence or destructive behavior; first violations of a more severe nature are likely to lead to immediate disciplinary probation. For more information regarding conduct sanctions see the section on Conduct Procedures and Sanctions

Parent notification

Because of the potential educational, personal and legal consequences for the violation of the Cornell College Alcohol Policy, parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may be notified when a student is in violation of the policy, and will be notified if the violation results in disciplinary probation, suspension, or dismissal from Cornell.

Approved by the Faculty, May 16, 2000.
Update approved by the Student Life Committee, March 17, 2010.