No More Hard Liquor at Harvard Formals

Licensing issues only allow Harvard to serve beer, wine at on-campus formals.


Don't plan on ordering that Jack and Coke at an on-campus formal event at Harvard University after this semester. Forget about the screwdriver, too. And don't even think about a gin and tonic. 

Harvard can no longer serve liquor at on-campus formals after this spring, the Crimson reports. Only beer and wine will be provided at ticketed events taking place in dining halls. The change obviously won't affect off-campus formals. And for concerned students and others who are attending events on campus this spring, there's a chance you can still have your rum, vodka, and whatever other liquor your (legal) heart desires. 

Because the change in the policy came so late in the spring semester, the Cambridge (Mass.) License Commission may allow formals to have liquor for the rest of the spring—if an officer of the university—not a student—is the person of record for the liquor license. 

"It is unfortunate that we had less time to prepare for this change, but we will make the best of it and comply with the Cambridge Licensing Commission's expectations," Harvard Dean of Student Life Suzy M. Nelson tells the Crimson in an E-mail. 

The students seemed to have mixed reactions when the Crimson asked for their thoughts. One student feared that more on-campus formals would move off campus if it meant that they could serve liquor. Others thought it'd be fine to just serve beer, wine, and champagne. 

"It's really no one's fault here at the university," says David L. Billing, cochair of one Harvard house's student council. "There's not much we can do about it. We're going to go ahead with our formal planning even if there's no hard liquor." 

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