Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic Beverages

University departments and university guests are eligible for beverage service for scheduled events in accordance with guidelines under “general policy” listed below. Registered student organizations are eligible for beverage service in accordance with guidelines under “general policy” and “student organization additional policies” listed below.

General Policies

Supply and Service Policy 
All beverage service (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) will be supplied by UI Catering subject to availability of facilities, staff and supplies. Under Iowa State law, the IMU, or any University department or organization, may not accept free alcoholic beverages from an outside source or funds from a distributor. The dispensing and control of alcoholic beverages within the IMU is the responsibility of UI Catering and IMU Administration. All money collected by the UI Catering from alcohol sales will be deposited in a designated university account. Under no circumstances is a sponsoring organization to receive money collected as a result of alcohol sales. 
Cash or Hosted Bar 
Departments and university guests may ask event attendees to pay directly for alcohol service or service may be sponsored by the hosting organization. UI Catering and/or IMU Administration reserve the right to determine whether alcohol is most appropriately served by cash or host. UI Catering will charge a minimum hourly fee for costs incurred when drinks are served by the host.
Food Requirement 

A sponsoring organization must be prepared to provide guests with non- alcoholic beverages and food in addition to alcoholic beverages.

Observance of State Laws

Proof of age (carding) will take place at all events where alcoholic beverages are served and are the responsibility of the UI Catering. Legally intoxicated persons and persons under 21 years of age will not be served alcoholic beverages. UI Catering and IMU Administration reserve the right to ask a person for two or more forms of identification in order to verify age, and may notify Public Safety in the event that a person in the IMU is believed to be legally intoxicated, to have misrepresented his or her age, or to have provided alcohol to an underage person.

Alcohol Restricted to Designated Areas

Alcoholic beverages purchased from outside the IMU are prohibited in the IMU. Alcohol may only be consumed in designated areas within the IMU and is not permitted in hallways, lobbies, restrooms, or outside the building. Persons in violation of this policy are subject to having the alcohol confiscated and/or be asked to leave the event. UI Catering and/or IMU Administration reserve the right to close events prior to their expected closing time in the event that this policy is abused.

Number of Persons in Attendance

Prior to or during an event, the UI Catering and/or IMU Administration reserve the right to limit the total attendance in a room and the quantity of alcoholic beverage to be provided. Alcoholic beverage service will be based on the estimated number in attendance, the length of the event, and the general behavior of those attending.


The IMU Administration reserves the right to provide usher(s) and/or public safety officers at a cost to the sponsoring department or organization whenever restricted access is required or admission is charged.

Liquor Limitation

Beer and wine may be served to events open to the public but not liquor.

Liquor may only be served at events not open to the public. To be considered a closed (non- public) event, all persons in attendance must have been invited or have purchased a ticket in advance. Scheduled food events, such as receptions and meals are also considered closed for purposes of this policy.

Hours of Service
In general, alcoholic beverage service can begin no earlier than noon and be offered up to one-half hour prior to the close of an event. Last call will be one hour before the end of an event. Alcoholic beverage service will be limited to six (6) hours or less.
Service Approval 
Alcoholic beverage service must be approved by the Student Services Vice President before the date of the event. Events held at the Iowa Memorial Union have already been issued prior approval from the VP’s office.

Student Organization Additional Policies

  • As a general policy, alcoholic beverage service will not be available to organizations sponsoring events attended by students under the age of 21. 
  • An Event Information Form (EIF) must be filed out for any event sponsored by a student organization requesting alcohol service.
  • An alcohol service request form must be filled out for any event sponsored by a student organization requesting alcohol service. 


All food and beverage services in and around the Iowa Memorial Union are to be provided by University Catering. For health and safety reasons, groups … Continue reading