Hosting Safer Gatherings

UWM discourages in-person social gatherings with others outside of your household if social distancing cannot be maintained and face coverings cannot be worn.

Review the campus reopening FAQ’s for the most up-to-date expectations and guidelines on gathering.

Gathering and Events Risk

Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.

More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear cloth face coverings, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).

Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.

Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.

Sourced from: 8/4/2020

Plan Ahead

Inform Your Neighbors

Tell neighbors you plan to have a few friends over before your gathering. Share a phone number where you can be reached during the party and ask neighbors to contact you if they have concerns.

Develop A Plan With Roommates

Decide who will be responsible for welcoming guests, checking IDs and ensuring anyone drinking alcohol is of legal age (21 years old). You should put together a plan if things get out of hand. Hosts should remain sober and monitor the party.

Serving Alcohol and Charging a Cover Fee

Current CDC guidelines discourage shared food and drinks at gatherings. Additionally, a license is required to sell alcohol in the City of Milwaukee meaning it is illegal to share a “cover” fee for your party or to sell alcohol to your guests, even if they are of legal drinking age (21 years old).

Keep Your Home And Valuables Safe

Follow CDC guidance on locations of gatherings to keep you and all attendees safe.
Don’t allow anyone you don’t know into your space. Limit access to only common areas and lock up the rest of your home. Remove valuable items from common spaces. Protect the furnace valves, water heaters, radiators, fuse boxes, etc. Damages to your rental property are your responsibility and could result in loss of security deposit or eviction.

Stay Cool

Use fans to keep the house cool during the party. If inside, opening the windows and letting guests outside may disturb your neighbors and could result in a noise ordinance violation. The noise ordinance is in effect for 24 hours a day.

Encourage Non-Alcoholic Beverages/Food

Encourage all guests to bring their own non-alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated during the gathering, and remember that many people choose not to drink.

When Good Times Turn Bad

Know Your Responsibilities

Remember that you may be held responsible/liable for anything that happens within your home, even if you are not present when the incident occurs.

Make Unruly Guests Leave

If necessary, call for help in doing so. As a party host, if you call the UWM Police for assistance, they will respond to your house and help get everyone out safely.

Never Leave Anyone To Sleep It Off

Stay with guests who aren’t able to care for themselves. Monitor their breathing, and make sure that they can be easily awoken throughout the night.

Recognize/Respond In An Emergency

Call 911 whenever you are not sure what to do but think that a person may need medical assistance. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Unconsciousness or semi-consciousness (person cannot be fully awakened by shaking or shouting)
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin
  • Vomiting while passed out
  • Seizures
If The Police Come

Stop the music and remain calm. As a sober and coherent host, talk with the officers. Always be respectful, and cooperate with police.

During the Party

Prioritize Safety

Only allow people 21 years or older to drink alcohol. Checking IDs could safeguard you from further liabilities. Recognize the signs of intoxication and cut off guests who have had too much. Signs of intoxication include changes in inhibition and judgment, slowed reaction times and loss of coordination. If a guest needs medical attention call 911 immediately.

Ensure there are two ways out of the party and that these exits remain clear. Most attics, basements and balconies have only one exit and are dangerous locations for parties. Avoid overcrowded space by ensuring you can easily walk from one side of a room to the other. If you need assistance removing guests from your house, call police.

Remain Sober

It’s a good idea for all hosts to remain sober (i.e., not consuming any alcohol or illegal substances). This will help to ensure that you are aware of everything happening at your party – and ready to respond appropriately to any emergency (or emergency-like) situations.

Know Your Role As A Host

Your role as a host is vital to ensure that guests are safe and that the party goes well. Make sure that a host remains at the entrance, exit. Make sure that you only allow individuals into your space that you know. Talk to your guests as they come and go and make sure that they have a safe way home. Encourage them to use public transportation options like BOSS or walk with members of their household instead of driving home.

Respect Your Neighbors
  • Ask guests to respect your neighborhood when they are entering or leaving your home, by keeping their voices at a lower level
  • Pick up trash from your property, as well as from your neighbors’ yards
  • Make sure that no one is gathering on streets, driveways, sidewalks or porches
  • Take frequent laps around the inside and outside of the house
  • Give neighbors your phone number to contact you if they have any concerns

Be Aware of Consequences

City Of Milwaukee Fines

Commonly issued citations relating to parties include:

  • Public Drinking
  • Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor
  • Sale of Alcohol to Underage Prohibited
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Possession of Alcohol by Minor
  • Obstructing a Police Officer
  • Noise Nuisances
  • Illegal Tavern

The noise nuisance ordinance for the City of Milwaukee is in effect 24 hours a day, and you can be issued a citation if someone can hear noise 50 feet away from your property.

View details and amounts of citations and fines.


Make sure that you know what is in your lease. “No-party” clauses are listed in many leases and can result in fines or eviction. The City of Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services can send copies of the tenant’s citations to landlords.

Criminal Records
  • Suspension of drivers license
  • Auto insurance rates may go up
  • Parents/Guardians may be notified
  • Future employers can access police records
  • Future renting could become more difficult
Non-Academic Discipline

Students who violate city ordinances could be subject to student conduct proceedings under Chapter UWS 17 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code on student nonacademic misconduct procedures. Outcomes could involve disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion.