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Alcohol Policy

Policy on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs  |  Bag Check Protocol


Policy on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs

The College of Charleston observes a strict no-alcohol or other drugs policy prior to and during the commencement ceremonies. Ceremony participants, graduation candidates and guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages or other drugs onto the premises or consuming alcoholic beverages during the ceremonies. Any person determined by College personnel to be impaired will be removed from the premises and prohibited from participating in the ceremony. 

All graduates planning to participate in the commencement ceremony must acknowledge by their signature that they have read and understand the policy as well as the consequences for violating the policy prior to receiving tickets to commencement. The audience will be reminded prior to the ceremony that any student determined to be impaired will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony.

In support of the policy, a "no alcohol or other drugs zone" for Cistern commencement ceremonies that includes Cistern Yard, Randolph Hall and the block bordered by St. Philip, George, Coming and Calhoun has been established. For December commencement, a similar “no alcohol or other drugs zone” encompasses TD Arena and Johnson Center. 

  • Within this zone, alcohol or other drugs will be confiscated.
  • There will be a bag check for graduates entering ready line-up rooms (Maybank Hall in May and Johnson Center and TD Arena in December). Please read the Prohibited Items and Bag Check page for information about our clear bag protocol. 
  • Secure storage for personal effects will be provided in the line-up rooms, but you are advised to bring as few personal belongings as necessary. No bags will be allowed on stage. 
  • No outside food or beverages will be allowed in the line-up rooms (exception for documented medical necessity only).
  • Once admitted to line-up rooms and ceremony venue, graduates will not be permitted to exit this area and return. Staff will monitor entrances and exits with support from Public Safety.
  • Impaired or inebriated students will be removed from the ready room area, pulled from line, or removed from the stage prior to walking.
    • Using a predetermined protocol, public safety officers and EMS will evaluate students believed to be impaired or inebriated.
    • If it is determined that a student is unable to participate in the ceremony, the student will be escorted from the ceremony and transported to a local hospital by EMS if deemed necessary or turned over to a responsible party (family member or friend).

Bag Check Protocol (Effective December 2018)

*NEW* The College of Charleston has implemented a Clear Bag Protocol for Commencement. All students and guests should read and abide by this policy and the information detailed on the Prohibited Items and Bag Check page. Only clear bags and small clutch size purses are allowed.

Prohibited Items

  • Purses larger than a clutch bag (4.5" x 6.5"), briefcases, backpacks, and cinch bags of any kind, fanny packs, luggage of any kind, computer bags/cases, camera bags/cases, binocular bags/cases or any bag larger than the permissible size (12" x 6" x 12")
  • Coolers, thermoses, cups, bottles, cans, flasks
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Food of any kind
  • Video cameras, tripods, recording devices, detachable camera lenses over 6", selfie sticks
  • Weapons/Concealed Weapons
  • Containers of any kind
  • Aerosol and Spray Cans
  • Mace/Pepper Spray
  • Animals (except service animals)
  • Laser lights, Strobe Lights and Pointers
  • Irritants such as artificial noisemakers
  • Fireworks/Explosives
  • Inflatables (beach balls, etc.)
  • Flags and Flagpoles, unauthorized banners or posters
  • Strollers
  • Illegal Drugs
  • Masks of any kind
  • Drones