Queen's students hold great (and incident-free) parties throughout the year, but there are some key facts and resources you should know about when hosting a party, from staying within the law and liability to being a responsible host. Learn more from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Responsible hosting is about more than just avoiding noise and liquor law violations. Here are some tips for party hosting that will help keep you and your guests safe and having a good time.
The Ontario Liquor License Act authorizes the sale of alcohol only from those who have a license or permit for doing so: i.e. bars, pubs, nightclubs, and liquor retail outlets like the Beer Store and LCBO. Selling alcohol without a permit is illegal. Even if you are not charging guests for alcohol directly, any related fees (tickets, coat check, etc.) that pay for the cost of the alcohol is a violation of Ontario laws.
Parties and socials are often held to celebrate a special event and/or to unite/reunite members of a particular team, group, or club.
Sometimes the parties involve high-risk drinking and increased pressure to drink, particularly if events or "initiations" are centered on alcohol-based games or excessive drinking.
Many students report feeling pressure to drink and participate in these unsafe drinking practices, when they really don't want to.
Be aware, and remember that nobody should ever feel like membership in a particular community or group hinges on being willing to get drunk or take risks.
Street parties are illegal unless you have a permit from the city to close the street. Even if a street is closed, it is illegal to drink alcohol on unlicensed public property.
Community standards in Queens’ near campus neighbourhoods are a combination of laws, regulations and other clearly written rules plus other, unwritten, rules that should be reasonably inferred using the average person’s judgment.
There are written rules that: govern the sale of alcohol; limit the amount of noise you can make; specify what behaviour will result in being arrested; and outline expectations for conduct by Queen’s students off campus.
Unwritten rules often relate to location-specific behaviours. The average person should know to self-regulate some behaviours in the presence of children or in the vicinity of hospitals, places of worship and schools.
Living off-campus means learning and following both the written and unwritten rules.