By Camille Furst
The Office of Student Involvement and the Office of Student Affairs have developed new policies for recognized student organizations this academic year, including the requirement to handle money solely through the Student Finance Board. The administration is also working to ensure that food sales during fundraisers adhere to food safety guidelines, though no restrictions on food sales are currently in place.
Rebecca Colnes, a senior sociology major and the vice president of treasury for Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed community service fraternity, feels that the new policy limits fundraising opportunities for student organizations.
“We have to go through a system we’ve never had to go through, and now it’s much more inconvenient,” Colnes said.
Colnes noted that several student organization leaders were similarly unimpressed with the new regulations as she stood in line to discuss the policy with Dave Conner, the Director of Student Involvement. Conner could not be reached for comment on the policy.
Elizabeth Bapasola, the assistant vice president of student affairs, believes the fundraising policy will hold student organizations more accountable instead of leaving funds “under somebody’s mattress.”
“We wanted to make sure that the money these organizations raised was funded appropriately,” Bapasola said.
Bapasola also mentioned that the fundraising policy was simply put into place for student involvement because no such policy has been in effect in the past.
With the new policy in effect, some student organizations fear they will have less fundraising opportunities. Colnes mentioned one fundraiser Alpha Phi Omega hosts, where the fraternity sells Gertrude Hawk chocolate bars. She is apprehensive that handling money solely through SFB will inhibit the fraternity’s chances of success with the fundraiser.
Bapasola also elaborated on the College’s efforts to ensure food safety during fundraisers.
“There is no official food policy yet, but we want to make sure that our students are safe (and) that the handling of food is appropriately following the guidelines,” Bapasola said.
While Colnes agrees the College should adhere to food safety guidelines, she remains concerned about what will happen to food-based fundraisers in the future, despite the lack of a policy in place at the moment.
“It is more of a liability issue for someone to be touching food and distributing it,” Colnes said. “I don’t think they should do away with (selling food) all together — they should just make adjustments.”
With the new fundraising policy having already been established or still in the process of coming to fruition, Bapasola stresses how temporary the policy is.
“It’s only interim,” Bapasola said. “(It is) going through a review to get feedback from everyone as well.”
Editors Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that student organizations are prohibited from using Venmo, that student organizations are required to do all of their fundraising through the Student Finance Board and that food sales are prohibited during fundraisers. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.