Request Exception to Serve Alcoholic Beverages at a University-Sponsored Event

Guidelines to request an exception

Per Board of Regents’ Rule 80102 (Alcoholic Beverages), the use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on property and in buildings owned or controlled by The University of Texas System or UT Austin unless an exception has been requested from the sponsoring unit and approved by the appropriate delegate PRIOR to the event. To be approved, the event must be sponsored by the university. An event is sponsored if a budgeted office, department, or division of the university is responsible for organizing the event, inviting attendees, and paying expenses related to the event (including when an outside entity pays for food and beverage). Meetings or events organized and presented by registered faculty, staff, or student organizations are not events sponsored by the university.

Regents’ Rule 80102 does not apply to events located at non-UT Austin facilities. For such events, refer to the Handbook of Business Procedures 9.1.1.F (Serving Alcohol at Non-licensed Venues including a Private Residence) or to facilities licensed under state law for the sale and service of alcoholic beverages. Such UT Austin-licensed facilities  include: 

Cactus Cafe Blanton Museum Cafe Bass Concert Hall
McCullough theatre UT Club University Union
Frank Erwin Center AT&T Hotel & Conference Center Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium
UFCU Disch-Falk Field Tailgating Areas: PTS Regulated RV Lots and Tailgate Guys Locations O's Campus Cafe (POB Room 2.222)
Etter-Harbin Alumni Center Commons Learning Center Café (Pickle Research Campus, Building 137 S) Wildflower Café

TABC Requirements and UT Austin Recommendations

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) requires that a TABC-licensed caterer/bartender be used when there is an exchange of funds at an event at which alcohol will be served. An exchange of funds includes entry fees (e.g., tickets, donations, etc.) or providing a tip jar for the bartender.

Events with undergraduate students in attendance

The university highly discourages serving alcohol at events at which undergraduate students will be present. Should undergraduates attend such an event, the university requires that a TABC-licensed caterer/bartender be used.

The vice president for legal affairs recommends that a TABC-licensed caterer/bartender be used for all events as this will absolve the university of liability if a minor is served or an individual is overserved.  If alcohol is served by a non-licensed individual, both the individual that served the alcohol and the university could be liable if a minor is served or an individual is overserved.

University employees should not serve alcohol at an event unless such responsibilities are included in their official position description, even if they are TABC licensed.  


Exceptions will be approved under the following conditions:

  • The event is sponsored by a budgeted unit;
  • If there is an exchange of funds (see FAQ #6) at the event, the alcohol must be served by a TABC-licensed caterer/bartender;
  • If undergraduate students attend the event, the alcohol must be served by a TABC-licensed caterer/bartender;
  • All pertinent laws, Regents’ Rules and university policies* regarding alcoholic beverages are observed an strictly enforced; and
  • The area where the alcohol is being served will be monitored to ensure that only invited guests participate in the event.

Delegate authority is limited to the approval of exception requests to serve alcohol on property and in buildings owned or controlled by UT Austin.


** Previously submitted blanket event authorizations approved without an end date are no longer valid.  A new request will need to be submitted using the online form.**


Submit an Exception Request

UT Austin Faculty and Staff

To request an exception, please submit the following linked web form (UT EID required).

For more information, please refer to the following alcohol related laws and policies:

Last updated on October 30, 2019, 10:07 am