Know the Rules to stay out of trouble

In order, to create the best possible living and educational atmosphere, there shall be no use, possession, sale, or serving of alcoholic beverages by any student while on or in college property. In fairness to our students, the same policy applies to guests and visitors to our campus. More information about campus policies on the use of alcohol and other drugs can be found in the Handbook for Students.

What we know about college students and alcohol use

While Westminster College does not encourage the use of alcohol, the reality is that the majority of college students do drink at one time or another. Recent surveys have shown that the majority of college students nationally and here at Westminster report consuming alcohol at least once in a 30 day period, despite the minimum drinking age laws.

Stories of high risk drinking by college students often gain much attention in the media. The good news is that most college students drink moderately. A Spring 2014 survey revealed that 30% of Westminster students reported not drinking alcohol at all in the previous 30 days and 87% of Westminster students reported drinking alcohol once a week or less within the last year. Research shows that students who drink moderately suffer fewer negative consequences than their peers who drink more.

Your friends may not drink as much as you think! College students often have misconceptions about the behavior of their peers. Westminster students overestimate the frequency of alcohol use by their peers.

It is our hope that we can reduce the negative consequences associated with alcohol use by educating and empowering Westminster students to make responsible decisions related to their use of alcohol.

What you need to know about alcohol if you choose to drink

How do you know what is the right amount of alcohol for you? Like any drug, one of the keys to the right amount of alcohol is the dosage. We recommend that you use a BAC calculator and make sure that your BAC never goes above 0.06. If you drink beyond a BAC of 0.06 the positive effects of alcohol (the mild "up" feeling or buzz) diminish and you begin to feel fatigued and experience more negative feelings.

What is BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)?

The definition of blood alcohol content is the concentration of alcohol in one's bloodstream, expressed as a percentage.

For more information about blood alcohol content and its effects on your body visit:

Tips for safer use of alcohol

Here are some strategies to optimize the positive effects of alcohol and avoid the negative consequences:
  • Space and pace your drinking to about one per hour
  • Decide before you go out how much you are going to drink
  • Count your drinks
  • Alternate between non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks
  • Drink for quality, not quantity
  • Eat before and during drinking
  • Make a decision about sex that night before you go out
  • Avoid drinking games
  • Avoid shots and/or mixed drinks
  • Do not drink from open containers such as punch bowls or pitchers at parties. The majority of reported date rape drug incidents stemmed from tainted drinks served from them.
  • Stop drinking when you feel dizzy, nauseous, or tired
  • Use a designated driver, walk, or use the Westminster College "Happy Bus"

Alcohol Emergencies

Drinking to excess can be fatal. At Westminster, we care about one another’s safety. If a friend has had too much to drink or has become injured while drinking, call for help immediately and stay with the person until help arrives. Learn about the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning to save a life.

Please do not allow the fear of judicial consequences get in the way of seeking help for someone in trouble. Pennsylvania state law and Westminster policy protect you when you do the right thing and call for help. The law/policy may apply to the person in need of help, as well as the person or group placing the call for help. When on campus, call Public Safety at 724-946-7777. For off campus emergencies call 911.