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Hosting a Responsible Party


Everyone likes to have a good time. But in addition to being a fun host you also have a responsibility to be a good citizen and mature host. Use these tips to help ensure your party is fun AND safe.


If Serving Alcohol

  • Remember that you can be held legally responsible for your underage guests’ behavior after they leave your party.
  • You are also responsible for not serving underage students. Not carding or having a “No Under-21” sign at your party does NOT absolve you of this responsibility. And you could be charged by police.
  • Collecting money at your party to help cover alcohol costs (selling cups, taking donations, selling beer, etc.) is ILLEGAL.


Before the party

  • Have a guest list. Limit your party to those you know to prevent unwanted behavior and problems.
  • Discuss ending time with roommates. Decide who will end the party.
  • Appoint a sober monitor. The monitor’s job is to turn away uninvited guests, help enforce house rules, talk with the police if they show up, and watch for drunk drivers.
  • Educate yourself about local ordinances for noise, mass gatherings, and alcohol.
  • Lock valuables away.
  • Notify your neighbors before the day of the party.
  • Discuss which food and non-alcoholic drinks you will be serving.


During the party

  • Check IDs. Ensure those drinking are legal drinking age. Not carding does NOT release you from legal responsibilities!
  • Monitor your guests’ alcohol consumption. Plan how you will intervene to slow down a guest who is drinking too much.
  • Call 911 immediately in a case of an emergency.
  • Monitor noise levels, parking, trespassing, littering, public urination, and other possible violations to avoid having police called.
  • If police arrive, make sure the monitor is the first person the officer sees.
  • Allow officers to do their job without interference. Follow all police instructions.


Ending the party

  • Tell the monitor to stay by the door to turn away new guests.
  • Turn on the lights.
  • Change the music or turn it off.
  • Stop serving alcohol. Serve only soda, water, or coffee.
  • Make sure intoxicated guests are not driving. Call a taxi, or have guests sleep over.
  • Encourage guests to leave in small groups of three to four. This will help prevent excessive noise.


After the party

  • Make sure your yard and your neighbors’ yards are free from trash, cups, and bottles.
  • Talk with your neighbors to see if they experienced any problems from the party. If so, discuss calmly to see how you can resolve the situation.
  • End the party and ensure guests get home safely.


Alcohol poisoning

As a party host, you are responsible for your guests’ health. Here are sign that indicate alcohol poisoning, which, if untreated, can lead to death:

  • Cold, bluish, clammy skin
  • Unresponsive (you can’t wake them up)
  • Shallow and/or irregular breathing
  • Vomiting
  • “Snoring” sounds
  • Other danger signs
  • Mixing alcohol with medications or drugs
  • Collapsing after drinking
  • Vomiting and choking

What to do - Call 911 immediately! Do not give the person food or water or your guest may choke.

How to be a good social host

Off-Campus Services

Dean of Students Office
142 Bone Student Center
Campus Box 3090
Illinois State University
Normal, IL 61790-3090
Phone: (309) 438-5951
TYY: (309) 438-2762
Facsimile: (309) 438-3147

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Illinois State University

The Dean of Students Office
Normal, Il 61790-3090
Phone: 309.438.2008

Dean of Students Intranet

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