Alcohol Policy

Student Affairs
Responsible Authority
Director, Ancillary Services
Executive Sponsor
VP Finance and Administration
Approval Authority
President’s Council
Date First Approved

Date Last Reviewed: 2022-11
Mandatory Review Date: 2027-11 


This policy addresses the use of alcohol from a broad perspective, including the legal and regulatory expectations of the Nova Scotia Liquor Control Act, as well as the University’s commitment to education and harm reduction practices that promote responsible and safer consumption and service of alcohol. 

The University strongly encourages campus organizations and groups to provide a range of activities inclusive of individuals who chose not to drink and where alcohol is not the prime focus of a social activity. 

The University holds a license issued by the Alcohol & Gaming Division of the Nova Scotia Department of Labor and Workforce Development for the provision and service of alcohol in specific locations and under specific circumstances; as such, the University is responsible for exercising reasonable care for the safety of anyone on its property, regardless of the nature and extent of the risk. See Appendix A for detail specific to the Liquor Control Act. 


The StFX Alcohol Policy applies to all members of the StFX University community, including faculty, staff, students, visitors, and guests of StFX. This policy is inclusive of all StFX property and events hosted, sponsored by, controlled by, or associated with StFX University, travel including but not limited to sports teams and study, teaching or research off campus. This policy also extends to private events off campus where the University may have an interest. Although StFX cannot monitor the off-campus environment, organizations, teams, clubs or representative individuals will be held responsible for their actions off campus. 


Word/Term  Definition 

Alcohol distribution 

To make beverages containing alcohol available, whether for direct purchase, free with an event ticket, or free without an event ticket. 

Open Bar 

Alcohol provided at a licenced event at no cost to the guest. The host covers the cost of an open bar. 

Cash Bar 

Alcohol available at a licenced event for purchase by guests. 

Primary Event Organizer 

The primary contact for the organization of an event. The PEO is named as the responsible authority for the event and must be present throughout the event. Also referred to as “Event Host” in this policy. 

University Liquor Services 

The formal entity, part of StFX Conference Services, that ensures compliance with the alcohol licence and coordinates the service of alcohol at all events on campus. 

Event Review Committee 

The committee that reviews and authorizes student led events. 

The Golden X Inn

A licenced bar on campus operated by the Students’ Union. 

Alcohol and Gaming Authority

The Provincial oversight of the policies and laws related to alcohol distribution and sales in Nova Scotia. 


  1. Regulation and Enforcement 

An Alcohol Policy Committee is responsible for review and revision of this policy. The Alcohol Policy Committee advises and makes recommendations on all matters related to the administration of the University’s liquor license, the sale or provision of alcohol on campus, and education and awareness of alcohol harms and harm reduction. This Committee shall work with students, staff, faculty and clients of the University to help facilitate safe and successful alcohol events on and off campus. 

StFX is part of a network of Canadian postsecondary institutions that have partnered with the Canadian Centre on substance Use and Addiction (CCSA). Through this partnership a Postsecondary Education Partnership – Alcohol Harms Committee (PEP-AH) has been formed which is committed to implementing a national strategy to raise awareness of alcohol-related harms and to reduce alcohol harms on campuses. The StFX PEP-AH committee focuses on these efforts at StFX and has an active representative at the Alcohol Policy Committee. While the Alcohol Policy Committee manages the regulations and provisions related to the license, the mandate of PEP-AH is student centred and harm reductive. 

Alcohol Policy CommitteeMembership: 

  • Director of Ancillary Services(Chair) 
  • Director of Student Life 
  • Director, Risk Management 
  • Students’ Union General Manager 
  • PEP-AH Committee Chair 
  • PEP-AH Student Representative 
  • Students’ Union Vice PresidentResidence Affairs 
  1. Consumption and Distribution on Campus 

Under the University’s Special Premise License, alcohol may be distributed from 10:00 a.m. in the forenoon of the day until 1:00 a.m. in the forenoon of the following day. The University is not permitted to distribute alcohol on Sunday without approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Authority. The University reserves the right to add restrictions to control the consumption or service of alcohol beyond the minimum allowed by the license. 

The consumption and/or distribution of alcohol on campus is prohibited except in the following locations and circumstances: 

   a.   the Golden X Inn; 

   b.   campus events held in accordance with the University Special Premise License; and 

   c.   campus events held in accordance with any other license issued by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. 

   d.   University residences; 

Any campus alcohol event that does not fall within the categories listed in (a)-(d) above requires the approval of the Alcohol and Gaming Authority. Applications can be made to this agency with 21 days written notice and must be made by the Director of Ancillary Services. 

Under the conditions listed in the Special Premise License, the following areas are licensed for alcohol service at special events only: 

  • Bauer Theatre 
  • Bloomfield Centre 
  • Coady Institute 
  • Saputo Centre 
  • Crystal Cliffs 
  • Nicholson Tower 
  • Mount Saint Bernard 
  • Morrison Hall 
  • Charles V Keating Centre 
  • Schwartz School of Business 
  • Physical Science Centre 
  • Mulroney Hall 

See Appendix B for occupancy capacity in these spaces. 

  1. Campus Residences and Apartments 

Students, who live in a campus residence, including Somers and Power Hall apartments, may have alcoholic beverages in their residence room and designated lounges. The Manager, Residences oversees the regulations for alcohol consumption in residence, as described in the StFX Residence Community Standards. 

  1. Campus Grounds and Unlicensed Areas 

It is an offence under Provincial law, and strictly prohibited at StFX, to be in possession of open alcohol outside of a private residence or licensed event/space. On campus this includes: 

  • Grounds outside of the buildings, including residences 
  • All non-residence buildings except the Golden X Inn during hours of operation 
  • University owned and/or operated vehicles (i.e. XavierExpress bus) 

Violation of open alcohol outside of a licensed event or residence space jeopardizes the University’s Special Premise License. As such, University Safety and Security, X-Patrol, and Residence staff are expected to enforce open alcohol violations. Individuals with open alcohol outside of a designated area will be required to pour out the contents of the beverage container. 

  1. Hosting an Event with Alcohol Service 

Individuals, Groups or Organizations including faculty and staff) who are interested in hosting an event at which alcohol will be provided must apply for a liquor license, available from the Supervisor of Liquor Services. All events with alcohol service hosted by staff, faculty or students must be arranged with Conference Services and are subject to final approval by the Director of Ancillary Services; only the Golden X Inn and University Liquor Services (through StFX Conference Services) are permitted to distribute alcohol on campus. 

Student Primary Event Organizers (PEO) must also have approval of the Event Review Committee (ERC) for any event with alcohol service. Depending on the event and the risk assessed by ERC, they may restrict the event to StFX students only, or may allow students to sign in one guest who is 19 or older. 

Event Hosts must be aware of the following restrictions and protocols: 

a)      All alcohol sold or distributed on campus must be purchased through the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission. Donated or free alcohol products may not be accepted by faculty, staff or students for a StFX affiliated event. 

b)      Conference Services and/or the Event Review Committee will determine the appropriate level of security, typically 1 security staff for every 50 guests. Event security is facilitated by X-Patrol, StFX Safety and Security, or other event security determined by Conference Services and/or ERC. 

c)      Service may be provided through an open or cash bar operated by University Liquor Services. 

d)      Pricing and quantity of alcohol must be in accordance with the Liquor Control Act and must be clearly posted at the event (See Appendix A). 

e)      All attendees must show government identification at the entrance to the event to be admitted. At events where underage guests will be in attendance, those 19 and older will be provided a wristband to make them easily identifiable to bar serving staff. Bar staff may request to see identification at the time of service. 

f)       Anyone showing signs of over-intoxication upon arrival will not be admitted to the event. Bar servers may refuse service to over intoxicated individuals. 

g)      The PEO, X-Patrol, or Conference Services event staff or security may remove any individual from the event at their discretion if there are concerns about inappropriate behaviour, signs of over-intoxication, underage consumption, or behaviour that impacts another attendee’s enjoyment of the event. 

h)      StFX students are accountable for themselves and their guests through the Community Code of Conduct. Students and guests are expected to be respectful of and comply with requests of X-Patrol or event staff. 


  1. Event Advertising 

Promotion of events with alcohol must adhere to the following guidelines: 

a)      Promotion must support campus alcohol awareness programs that encourage and inform students about the responsible use or non-use of beer, wine, or distilled spirits.

b)      Promotional material may not incorporate students or employees (including coaches, faculty, etc.) as active participants in a promotional message.

c)      Promotion and advertising of licensed events shall refer to the availability of alcohol only by the use of the word "licensed".

d)     Words or phrases denoting alcohol as a central focus shall not be permitted and the University reserves the right to remove any signage/advertising/promotion which it deems to be inappropriate.

e)    Alcohol beverage trademarks or logos must be clearly subordinate to the sponsored event itself and to the logos of the University.

f)      The name of an alcoholic beverage product may not be connected to the name of a university event or a facility (e.g., Budweiser StFX Business SocietyGolf tournament, etc.).

g)      The university's name or department or any related nickname may not be utilized in a way that implies a product endorsement by the university  (e.g., ABC Beer - beverage of choice for StFX fans).

h)   No individuals or organization at StFX, staff, faculty or students, may distribute clothing, posters, or other promotional items that utilize the university symbol in combination with an alcoholic beverage trademark or logo without prior approval from the Alcohol Policy Committee. To obtain this approval, an application must be made to the Director of Ancillary Services who will then meet with the Director of Student Life and one other committee member to make this decision. 

i)   Only wet/dry events may be promoted within the University Residences and University Dining Halls and Food Retail Areas.

j)   Advertising must include that the function is for members (Faculty, staff, students, Alumni) and invited guests only.

k)   All forms of advertising including such mediums as Facebook, Twitter and websites, must include the age restriction “19 yrs. and older” unless it is a Wet/Dry event.

  1. Relationships with Off-Campus Bars, Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries 

No group or individual (student, staff or faculty) may enter into an agreement(for example, campus brand representative) with a brewery or distillery regarding promotional activities, financial contributions or program assistance without the expressed approval of the University. Such approval must be granted by the Alcohol Policy Committee. 

Alcoholic beverage companies are not permitted to distribute alcohol to students or run contests to provide free alcohol to students or groups of students, on or off campus. Failure to comply will result in a ban on the sale of the company’s products on campus for a period to be determined by the committee. Logoed vehicles are only permitted on campus as part of a regular visit by an employee of an alcoholic beverage company. They may not be placed on campus for advertising purposes.

Under no circumstances does the University condone organized events by individuals or groups that could be reasonably construed as being affiliated with the University or Students’ Union where the primary purpose of the event is the excessive consumption of alcohol. This includes, but is not limited to pub crawls, house crawls, mystery road trips etc. This also includes advertising of the event, selling of tickets or t-shirts or any other item that designates participation in any location on or off University property. These are considered unsanctioned events; student organizers and participants are accountable through the Community Code of Conduct. Staff or faculty organizers or participants are accountable to the University as described in the Employee Handbook and/or respective collective agreements. 

Related Policies

StFX Student Code of Conduct                                                       

Related Materials                                                           

Nova Scotia Liquor Control Act 
Event Review Procedures (students) 

Appendix A
Special Premise License Holder Responsibilities - Liquor Control Act of Nova Scotia

The full Special Premise License information can be found online at the Nova Scotia Government website: 738262739.1554393642 

The advertising of alcoholic beverages on the campus, including athletic events in university owned or an operated facility is permissible, but is subject to conditions set out in the Liquor Control Act of Nova Scotia. 

A licensee must not use an advertisement that does any of the following: 

  • encourages people to drink liquor irresponsibly; 
  • depicts people drinking liquor; 
  • depicts a person who is intoxicated; 
  • depicts a person behaving irresponsibly or illegally; 
  • implies that driving while consuming or having consumed liquor is acceptable conduct; 
  • directly targets minors or is used in locations used or visited mostly by minors; 
  • depicts liquor as one of life’s necessities; 
  • depicts liquor as a key to social acceptance or personal success; 
  • depicts liquor as central to the enjoyment of any activity; 
  • depicts liquor as a status symbol; 
  • uses pictures or descriptions of minors or of personalities, images or activities that may appeal to minors 

Brewery and Distillery Promotion 
Under no circumstances can alcohol products be donated to students, staff or faculty for any use on campus. All alcohol sold or distributed on campus must be purchased through the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission. 

Alcohol Pricing 
In accordance with the Liquor Control Act, a serving of alcohol cannot be sold for less than $2.50 including all taxes. A serving of alcohol is considered one of the following: 

a.    355 ml (12 oz.) of beer, cider or cooler 
b.    29 ml (1 oz.) of spirits 
c.    142 ml (5 oz.) of wine 
d.    85 ml (3 oz.) of fortified wine 

If an event is offering for sale or supply a serving of alcohol that differs from the volume noted above, the minimum price for that serving must increase or decrease in direct proportion to the difference between the volume of alcohol contained in that serving and the volume prescribed. 

Appendix B
Licensed Spaces and Occupancy Capacity

Under the conditions listed in the Universities’ Special Premise License, the following areas are licensed:

Bauer Theatre 

  • Lounge – 39 
  • Main Entrance – 15 
  • Patio - 55 

Bloomfield Centre 

  • MacKay Room - 500 
  • Main Lounge - 300 
  • Cafeteria - 300 
  • Art Gallery - 85 
  • Council Chambers - 50 
  • Alumni Lounge - 35 
  • Golden X Inn – 390 Patio 99

Coady Institute 

  • Marie Desmond Oval -139 
  • Gathering Hall - 35 
  • Classroom 124 - 35 
  • William Dennis Hall - 161 
  • Riley Lounge - 112 
  • Classroom 118 - 92 
  • Antigonish Community Foyer -98 
  • Marie Michael Library -141 
  • Classroom 204 - 47 
  • Classroom 237 - 56 
  • Classroom 304 - 60 
  • Staff Lounge - 40 
  • Staff Meeting Room - 52 

Oland Centre Saputo Centre 

  • Main Gym - 329 
  • Loney Lounge - 147 
  • Auxiliary Gym - 136 
  • Board Room - 22 

Crystal Cliffs 

  • Dining Hall - 144 
  • Convention Centre (Barn) – 245 
  • Lawn Area – 389 (June1-October 1) 

Nicholson Tower Hall 

  • Faculty Lounge (8th Fl) – 108 

Mulroney Hall 

  • *Under review 

Morrison Hall 

  • Main Dining Area - 462 
  • Green Room/Gold Room/Yellow - 209 
  • Black Doors - 244 
  • Presidents Lounge - 56 

Keating Centre 

  • Conference Rooms A B C – 326 
  • Hospitality Room A - 35 
  • Hospitality Room B - 35 
  • Hospitality Room C – 28 
  • Executive Board Room –65 
  • Executive Board Room Balcony - 25 
  • Arena Floor - 1558 
  • Aux Arena Floor - 1975 
  • 2nd Floor Foyer - 221 

Mount Saint Bernard 

  • Immaculata Hall - 272 
  • Gilmora Gym – 178 

Schwartz School of Business 

  • Auditorium (Rm. 110) – 334 
  • Lobby (Rm. 130) – 115 
  • Classroom Lobby (Rm. 150) – 45 
  • Gallery Lounge (Rm. 210/230) – 255 
  • Classroom Lobby (Rm. 250) – 40 
  • Meeting Room (Rm. 281) – 30 
  • Board Room (Rm. 285) – 60 
  • Staff Lounge (Rm. 330) – 168 
  • Classroom Lobby (Rm. 360) - 39 
  • McKenna Centre (Rm 414) - 175 
  • McKenna Lobby (Rm. 430) – 39 
  • Classroom Lobby (Rm. 450) – 41 
  • Lounge (Rm. 456) - 125 

Physical Science Centre 

  • Foyer – 158 
  • Room 3046 – 91 
  • Room 4047 - 68