Vice President of Risk Management and Loss Prevention’s
Social Event Management
Chapter Event Planning
One of the primary responsibilities of the Risk Manager is event planning. The
Vice President of Risk Management and Loss Prevention is not responsible for
completing an event planning form for each event, but is responsible for the following:
1. Making sure the Social Chair or event chairman completes the appropriate form well in
advance of the scheduled event, at least two weeks.
2. Assisting the Social Chair with the appropriate form, if necessary.
3. Reviewing the form for accuracy and completeness.
4. Remitting the form to the appropriate person.
Every event planned by your chapter must have an event plan completed well in
advance of the event date.
After submitting the forms:
One week before each planned party, the Vice President of Risk Management ask
for volunteers to stay as sober monitors during the party. If not enough brothers step up,
the Risk Manager goes through a simply rotation by name of those who will stay at the
party and make sure they night runs with no problems.
Delta Upsilon Loss Prevention Program
The intense level of activity in a fraternity chapter creates numerous exposures to
risk of injury or damage. While alcohol often plays a significant role in this risk, it is the
level of activity and human interaction among members and guests which is the root of
The purpose of this section is to help your chapter analyze your activities and the
actions of your members so that you can avoid or reduce the risks which they create.
1. Social Functions and Alcohol
Social activities are an integral part of fraternity life. Unfortunately, in today’s
society many people feel that any successful social activity must be centered around
alcohol. A fraternity chapter can avoid or reduce much of its risk by adopting a mature,
responsible, and lawful approach to the use of alcohol.
A. Alcoholic Beverage Exposure
Risk in the serving of alcohol is created primarily by two actions:
1) Serving alcohol to persons not of legal drinking age; and
2) Serving alcohol to anyone who is already intoxicated.
Because of this risk, the International Fraternity has adopted the policies and
practices which are outlined later in this section.
If alcoholic beverages will be consumed at a social function, one of two steps can be
taken to transfer some of the risk to others and to comply with the Risk Management
policy. These two options are:
1) Having members and guests bring their own alcohol; or
2) Having the party/function at a hotel or other facility which will run a cash bar
and accept responsibility for checking identification and other wise screening
These steps will not eliminate all of your responsibility and risk, but either is
much better than your chapter accepting almost complete responsibility by serving
alcohol. You should still be aware of the drinking laws in your state. For instance, it may
be illegal to allow an underage person to drink on your property, regardless of who
provides the alcohol. And to ensure the safety of your members and guests, you should
follow all applicable parts of the Guidelines for Sensible Social Functions.
Delta Upsilon Loss Prevention Program
B. Guidelines for Sensible Social Functions
1) Preliminary planning should set the tone for functions and will help
a) Make all parties for members and guests only; don’t allow uninvited guests.
b) Never host open parties; it is not your job to be the campus social center!
c) Schedule functions with university officials.
d) Establish starting and ending times and stick to them.
e) Inform local and/or university police that a party is scheduled, giving them times along
with names and phone numbers of those in charge.
f) Arrange for food to be served such as sandwiches, fruit, and raw vegetables along with
g) Have the courtesy to inform neighbors when a party is scheduled and let them know
whom to call if there are problems.
h) Be sure the social areas are clean and kept that way.
2) Security at parties is important!
a) Hire bonded security guards to protect the property.
b) A card or stamping system or other safeguard should be used to identify attendees who
are of legal drinking age.
c) Appoint a security committee of brothers for each social function. Their job is to check
guests in and guard the doors from uninvited visitors.
d) Be sure all private rooms are locked when brothers are not present. Security should
patrol the entire chapter house during parties.
3) Alcohol control will help prevent problems at parties.
a) Alcohol should never be the main emphasis at a party. Drinking games should not be
part of any social function.
b) Do not allow persons who are already intoxicated to enter your party (unless this is
necessary to assure their safety).
c) Follow laws of your state or province.
4) Safety of members and guests must be watched throughout any function.
a) Guard against health or safety hazards by keeping exits open, floors dry, and rooms
b) Have no decorations that are flammable, like straw, untreated paper, etc. Be sure fire
extinguishers are charged and easily available.
c) Clean up any mess immediately.
d) Do not sponsor any activities or events that could endanger the welfare of members
e) Be sure all rooms, doors, furniture, and stairways are in good repair to prevent physical
dangers to guests.
5) Social responsibility is an obligation of membership for all brothers.
a) Make provisions to take care of those who have had too much to drink.
b) Have designated brothers as drivers for those who have over-indulged, or better yet,
call a cab. Take keys away from drivers. Encourage
guests not to ride with someone who has drunk too much.
c) Be your brother’s and your guest’s keeper.
d) Do not permit personal or sexual abuse to take place at parties or at any other time.
e) Be concerned about your neighbors’ rights and keep music and any other noise to the
lowest volume necessary.
2. Theme Parties
Theme parties are a distinctive tradition of some chapters. Over the years these
events have provided memorable experiences for brothers and guests. Unfortunately,
theme party activities have also been the scenes of injuries, alcohol misuse, and financial
and behavioral excess.
A. Eliminating the Opportunities for Injury
1) Ponds or pools — There have been a number of serious injuries from people diving
into ponds or pools. Even if there is no means of diving into a pond, the temptation is
strong for people to throw others into it, with a strong possibility of injury.
2) Towers, slides, rope bridges, other constructions — This is not an all-inclusive list.
Anything which the chapter builds or prepares on which people will sit, climb, swing,
walk, etc. presents the potential for injury, and the chapter could likely be found to be
responsible for an injury. Let’s leave construction to those who are licensed to do that.
3) Fire safety — Bamboo or straw is used by some chapters to decorate. Some also have
torches. All of these things create fire hazards.
4) Transportation — If a number of people are to be moved to a location away from the
chapter house, the safest means is a hired bus and driver. A truck or pick-up is not safe.
B. Eliminating Public Relations Problems
1) Theft of decorations — This includes flowers, signs, plants, etc. It has happened. It is
2) Delivering invitations — Some chapters deliver invitations to dates at their sorority
houses or campus residences. They should not enter the house or dorm, and this activity
should be conducted with proper sensitivity to others.
3) Noise — This is a potential problem at any social event which includes music. Many
cities are now implementing and enforcing noise ordinances. Most police will respond
promptly and strictly to noise complaints. The chapter should contact all neighbors prior
to the party and ask that, if noise becomes a problem, they contact the chapter president
or some other designated person. Give neighbors the names and telephone numbers of all
4) Clean up — The chapter should have a plan for limiting litter and for prompt clean-up
after the party.
C. General Excess
Some chapters do a great job in planning and controlling their theme parties.
Rights and privileges which are abused are eventually taken away.
1) Planning and control — The Fraternity’s ‘Guidelines for Sensible Social Functions”
should be used in planning the party. Our policy prohibiting open parties applies also.
2) Alcohol — The Fraternity’s Position Statement as it relates to alcohol should be
3) Expense — Is the expense, both in money and in brothers’ time preparing, excessive?
Could some of that money be saved or some of the time and energy be used in more
productive activities? In many cases, the answer to these questions is “yes.”
D. The “Theme”
In today’s society we must be sensitive to all people, races, religious sects,
nationalities, and minority groups. If the theme of a social event reflects, in any way, in a
negative sense upon others or if it could be construed in that way, drop the theme and
find another. Be particularly careful that your advertising, favors, shirts, slogans, mottos
and actions are not or could not be construed as sexist, racist or bigoted. If that is, indeed
the case, drop those ideas and replace them. As a national fraternity, we cannot tolerate
insensitivity of others, regardless of the intent of the action or the number of persons it
affects. Failure to be sensitive to others almost always results in sanctions and probation.
Some brothers will feel that implementation of these guidelines will mean the end
of fun as they know it. It is human nature to feel that this year’s party has to be bigger
and better than last year’s, or at least it must be the same. Continuing to yield to this
tendency will mean more injuries, neighbor complaints, and wasted time and money.
Use of common sense in planning and conducting these events will mean a safer and
more positive experience for everyone.
3. Suggestions for responsible use of alcohol
Never drink on an empty stomach
Have a non-alcoholic drink
Drink in moderation
Don’t drink and drive
Be aware of your drinking habits
Learn about alcohol and its effects
4. Special Events:
In addition to regular social functions, many chapters often conduct or sponsor
Special Events involving large numbers of people. These might be a fund raising project
for a charity, or alumni events such as Homecoming.
As stated earlier in this manual, no chapter shall host open parties or events where
alcohol is served. But even if alcohol is not consumed at a Special Event, the large
number of people usually: wolfed in or attending these activities can create risk for the
Precautions should be taken for:
a. Traffic control;
b. Crowd control;
c. Safety of the facility being used, including fire safety; and
d. Safety of any activities or game in which attendees might participate.
Also, if an event is held away form the chapter house, a contract signed with the
property owner should be reviewed by an attorney for the chapter.
5. Alumni Events
The alumni brothers who attend your Homecoming or other events will all most
likely be above the legal drinking age. Nonetheless, all of the precautions regarding
consumption of alcohol and concern for your guests still apply.
If you become concerned about an alumnus who has had too much to drink, seek the help
of other graduates in seeing that this brother does not injure himself or others.
6. The Business Side of Fraternity
It is easy to forget in the midst of the fun and camaraderie of fraternity life, that a
chapter is also a business. Failure to tend to the business responsibilities of your chapter
can result in lost income, employee problems, and fines and other penalties from the IRS
and state authorities.
Delta Upsilon Loss Prevention Program
Planning a BYOB Social Event
Party definition: A party is defined as asocial event where the total number of
people at the event exceeds 25% of the total chapter membership (defined as initiated
brothers and pledges) of the organization. This includes any activity which is implicitly
or explicitly sponsored by Delta Upsilon, regardless of the location or number of persons
at the event.
BYOB General Guidelines
Types and amounts of alcohol:
Hard liquor is strictly prohibited from all BYOB parties. Limits on amounts of alcohol
shall be one six pack of beer (or the equivalent of a six pack of beer) per person per
event. Alternate beverages and non-salty foods must be served throughout the entire
Entrance, ID’s, Wristbands, and the Bar
The entrance to the party shall serve two purposes: to make sure all persons
entering the party are either a member or on the guest list and; identification is a picture
ID with the birth date on the ID.
Wristbands should be given out at the entrance of the party and only issued to those of
legal drinking age. Wristbands should be the type that once clasped, the only way to
remove it is to cut it off. They should not be stretchable. Anyone without a wristband is
not permitted to posses or obtain alcoholic beverages.
There is to be a single bar area with designated servers who are of legal drinking age and
are not consuming alcohol. No alcohol may be distributed from any other areas of the
fraternity house (this includes individual rooms). Designated servers will not continue to
serve any person who is visibly intoxicated.
There is to be a minimum of six monitors at any event where alcohol is present. Monitors
are not to consume alcohol at all prior to and during the event. A monitor should be at the
door checking IDs. Another monitor should be one of the servers at the bar and the
remaining monitors should be making sure people at the event are following BYOB,
FIPG, and DU policies. All monitors should wear distinctive clothing at all times so that
they are easily identifiable if a problem should arise.
Procedure for BYOB
Once a person of legal drinking age with alcohol has entered the party and
obtained a wristband, they should immediately take their alcohol to the bar and exchange
it for a ticket. The ticket should state the type and brand of liquor and the number of
containers. An individual may only receive one beverage at a time and every time he
receives a beverage his ticket should be marked accordingly.
Ending times and alcohol checkout
All parties shall have a designated ending time. The ending time should always be
in accordance with school, local and state ordinances and should never go past 2:00 a.m.
Nobody should be allowed to leave with alcohol whether opened or unopened. Any
alcohol still at the bar at closing time shall stay at the fraternity until the following day
when it may be picked up. Any alcohol that is not picked up should then be discarded.
Planning a Cash Bar Social Event
There are may advantages to planning a social event with a licensed cash bar
rather than BYOB. This section is designed to educate the Risk Manager and Social
Chairman of those advantages and help them to understand the risk management aspects
of such an event.
Advantages of a cash bar
1. Many sororities encourage their chapters to participate in cash bar event rather than the
BYOB type. Most national sorority executives feel that cash bar social events hosted by a
Fraternity provides a safer environment and less potential for alcohol misuse.
2. With a cash bar, a professional, licensed and insured catering firm monitors the
distribution of alcohol, making sure the legal drinking age is enforced.
3. Litter and clean up is minimized because the environment is more controlled.
4. Peer pressure for changing designated event ending times is minimized. The caterer is
bound by the contract or laws of the state when deciding when to stop the service of
5. The professional bartender will have an ample supply of non-alcoholic beverages
available throughout the event.
Of course, the primary advantage of a cash bar social event is the transfer of a
portion of the liability associated with alcohol distribution to the catering firm providing
Risk Management Aspects of a Cash bar social event
1. Use the event planning form provided in the manual to ensure all necessary steps are
2. Any catering firm hired to provide alcoholic beverages at a chapter event must be
licensed and insured as required by individual State and Local ordinances.
3. The catering firm must provide the chapter with evidence of at least $1 million in
comprehensive general liability insurance, which includes “off premise liquor liability
coverage and hired and non-owned auto coverage.”
4. The catering firm should name the chapter, House Corporation and Delta Upsilon
Fraternity as additional insured for the day of the event.
5. The vendor must agree in writing to cash sales only, collected by the vendor, during
6. The vendor must assume in writing all the responsibilities that any provider of
alcoholic beverages would assume in the normal course of business, including, but not
1)checking D’s and enforcing the legal drinking age; 2) refusing to serve intoxicated
guests and members; 3) maintaining control of all alcoholic containers present and 4)
collecting all remaining alcohol at the end of the function.
7. Do not sign any catering contract or agreement with a clause which indemnifies the
catering company of liability. Be sure to have chapter or campus legal counsel review all
contracts or agreements prior to execution of the document.
Simple Event Planning Deadlines
The chapter Risk manager and Social Chairman need to be aware of the amount
of time needed to effectively plan an event.
45 days out- Set the event date. theme and details.
40 days out- Contact any caterers, bands, hotels or other third parties the chapters will be
35 days Out- Obtain contracts, have legal counsel review. Obtain university permission if
30 days out- Complete event planning form.
15 days out- Review and submit internal event plan to the risk management committee
7 days out- Meet with the event chairman and his committee to review proper risk
Off Campus or “Unofficial” Chapter Events
There have been a proliferation of events held away from chapter houses and off
campus that have been designed to circumvent the spirit and intent of Delta Upsilon
Fraternity’s risk management members or even at the residence of a non-member and are
classified as “unofficial” because they are not chapter sponsored. Because the risks posed
by such events are often times more substantial than “official” chapter activities, a
discussion of the myths associated with off campus and “unofficial” events follows:
Myth #1 — We’re not liable for events held at member’s apartments.
Wrong. Courts have held that if a certain percentage of members are gathered anywhere
that gathering can be interpreted as chapter activity, whether “official” or “unofficial” For
risk management purposes use 25% as the percentage.
Myth #2 — Individual members cannot be held Liable for events they sponsor at their
Wrong again. Most states have laws that incriminate a social host for serving alcohol to
minors. If not, civil remedies are available to a person alleging injury after attending an
event hosted by a chapter member. In addition, the member(s) parents may be held liable
for the actions of the members if he hosts a party and someone gets hurt. Its happened
Myth #3 — We’ll just have the event at a non-members apartment.
I wouldn’t. If more than 25% of the chapter members are present any competent
plaintiff’s attorney will try to prove that the event was sponsored by the chapter.
Myth #4 — The General Fraternity cannot discipline a chapter for something that
happens at an unofficial event.
The General Fraternity will not hesitate to put a chapter on social probation or cease
operations of the chapter if there is an incident of any kind which violates the spirit of the
Fraternity’s risk management policy. Period. A serious incident could be reason enough
to close the chapter.
The bottom line is this: If DU should avoid liability by merely moving all chapter events
off campus or making events “unofficial,” it should have instructed chapters to do so
If a chapter wants to practice sound risk management it will not tolerate “unofficial”
events sponsored by members. The best chapters practice sound risk management all the
time, regardless of the circumstances.
Special Hazards at Chapter Events
The following category of hazards present a liability exposure which requires risk
management by policy statements and procedural guidelines originating from Fraternity
Headquarters to be carried out at the chapter level. Copies of all Delta Upsilon Fraternity
policies can be found in the appendix of this manual. These hazards include:
Fall from roofs, windows, ledges — Each chapter and house corporation should
implement specific rules eliminating access to roofs and other premises hazard areas at
all times and especially during social events. Each year fraternities and sororities
experience numerous incidents where individuals fall from rooftops or out of windows.
Unfortunately, many of these accidents result in death or serious injury. Chapter must
take appropriate measures to prohibit individuals from having access to any and all
premises hazard areas, and must enforce all house rules established to protect individuals
from injury and danger.
Illegal Drugs — There will be absolutely no tolerance of illegal drug usage in Delta
Upsilon Fraternity. Chapter by-laws and housing contracts should include a definitive
statement regarding the usage of illegal drugs by members and include specific
disciplinary action to be taken against an offending member. Risk management education
should include at least one presentation about illegal drugs during the academic year.
Transportation — Hired and non-owned automobile insurance is provided by the general
liability policy purchased by Delta Upsilon Fraternity. This does not minimize the
attention that should be given to Transportation when planning a chapter event. The event
planning guide included in this manual will assist chapters in addressing this important
Whenever a chapter event is scheduled away from the chapter house, off campus, the
chapter should make transportation a high risk management priority. If members are to
use personal transportation the chapter should issue guidelines prohibiting the usage of
alcohol while travelling to and from the event.
In most situations the chapter should arrange for a bus company. In the event that car
pools are the option, measures should be followed to determine that drivers are licensed,
insured, and responsible individuals that have demonstrated good driving habits.
Vehicle accidents have often led to large monetary awards or settlements when evidence
has shown indiscriminate driver selection procedures, drivers without valid licenses, and
inadequate drivers training.
Risk Management at Social Events
All DU chapters, colonies and members should be keenly aware of the alcohol issues and
the adverse impact they have had on fraternities. Alcohol exists. It is used. It is also
recognized as the most frequent cause of accidents, injuries and litigation in the
interfraternity world. The many horror stories which reveal personal injuries to
membership, the public and property are endless. It is this real world profile that has
positioned fraternities in an adverse insurance posture.
The best method for avoiding a potential crisis involving alcohol is simply to remove it
from the chapter house or any chapter function. If totally removing alcohol is not
possible, then a chapter must among other responsible actions, adhere to the following:
HOSTING A PARTY
within DU’s Risk Management Policy
1. Host a closed party.
A. Members, pledges and dates.
B. Limit guests to one couple per member.
Invite only prospective pledges or chapter
Friends on an infrequent basis.
2. Focus decorations and activities on the theme of the party, not alcohol.
3. Serve food.
A. Appropriate to theme.
B. Avoid salty food or snacks, serve food high in protein.
4. Appoint party monitors.
A. Oversee the party to make sure all attending are well behaved.
B. Agree not to consume alcohol that evening.
C. Sober hosts who agree to make sure party starts and ends on time, and that the
bar opens and closes on time.
5. Appoint designated drivers.
A. Will check all keys at door as party begins.
B. Sober hosts who agree to provide transportation home to any guest determined
to be impaired, and make arrangements to return car keys the next day.
6. Do not use chapter funds to purchase alcohol.
A. Make event a “bring your own” and limit amount allowed. For example, for a
four-hour party limit each person of legal drinking age to a six-pack of beer or 6
oz. of straight alcohol.
B. Do not allow members to “pass the hat” to purchase alcohol.
7. Do not sell alcohol.
A. Charging for admission or a cup, and then providing alcohol is no different
than selling by the drink.
B. The chapter cannot provide alcohol under any circumstances, even if it is served free
to members and/or guests.
8. Hold “bring your own” events, appoint designated bartenders who are over legal
drinking age, or hire licensed bartenders and limit access to bar.
A. Sober hosts who understand not to serve anyone who appears intoxicated.
B. Use proper measure (shot glasses) when serving or mixing liquor.
C. Always require a mixer for straight liquor, even if it is water.
D. Arrange for bartenders to get “TIPS” Training.
E. Announce BYO “beers for the evening” to two brands prior to the event.
F. Give each guest bringing beer a ticket for each beer they bring, place beer in a
common cooler behind bar and require a ticket to serve a beer.
9. Check IDs at door and identify those over the legal drinking age in some unique ways,
such as wrist bracelets.
10. Serve non-alcoholic beverages and display them attractively.
11. Set starting time and ending time for party and stick to them.
12. Do not permit drinking games.
13. Monitor the intoxicated.
A. Stay with person, have them sleep on side to prevent choking.
B. If any breathing problems, check for clear air passage, administer mouth-to-
mouth and call emergency medical attention immediately.
14. Be a responsible host.
A. If you invite a guest, you are responsible for controlling his/her behavior.
B. Hosting a party is not a lark, all members and especially the officers are
accountable if a problem occurs.
Counsel Contractual Review
Contracts and agreements should be limited to those directly related to events and
directly under the jurisdiction or control of the chapter.
To control the number and types of contracts required to support a planned event,
the responsibility for revising draft contracts should be assigned to the alumni chapter
and/or alumni and/or legal counsel.
All contracts need to be reviewed by legal counsel prior to signing by the chapter.
If a chapter does not currently retain legal counsel, try the following measures to obtain
1. An attorney who is an alumnus of the chapter
2. An attorney who is an alumnus of another chapter
3. Campus legal services
4. An alumni chapter member
If the chapter is not able to locate legal counsel from any of the above sources then call
Fraternity Headquarters at 317/875-8900.