Indoor ban hurts club fundraising

Carol Morales

Some clubs and organizations have found difficulty fundraising on campus due to campus policies that require sales to be outside.

With many club-sponsored events costing tens of thousands of dollars, bake sales and food sales is one of the biggest forms of fundraising, club members said.

“The bake sales used to pay for almost all of our events,” said Deborakh Broadous, Pan-African studies professor and adviser for the African American Music Association.

The AAMA puts on three major events throughout the semester, costing the club between $26,000 to $30,000, Broadous said.

Before September 2004, the AAMA often held daily bake sales inside Sierra Hall. The club sold cookies, muffins, juice, water, candy and other goodies once a month, raising between $15,000 to $20,000 by the end of the Fall 2004 semester, she said.

After Sept. 2004, the AAMA and several clubs said they were asked to move their indoor bake sales and food sales outside of the buildings due to campus policy.

The move outdoors, according to the clubs, has caused their clubs and organizations a “great loss of money” due to the location.

Rick Evans, administrative services manager for The University Corporation, said clubs and organizations on campus have never been allowed to have bake sales inside buildings.

“The campus policy has been made explicit,” Evans said. “Clubs have never been allowed to sell in buildings.”

He also said this is a big campus and possibly some clubs had been allowed to sell within buildings by people who were not aware or did not pay attention to the policy.

He said, however, the campus has always had a policy on that matter.

According to the Commercially Oriented Activity Policy, as it is called, “temporary on-campus bake/food sales that are permitted by the Matador Involvement Center will be limited to designated outdoor areas. Temporary bake/food sales are not permitted within University buildings and facilities.”

Broadous said before September 2004, her club had no problems holding bake sales inside buildings. She believes the club was asked to stop sales indoors because of the vending machines.

“I assume that because their (the vending machines’) revenue was down, the corporation or whoever has that contract with the school said there would be no selling near the vending machines,” Broadous said.

The AAMA is not the only organization that has been effected by the move of their fundraising activities outdoors.

Maria Rodriguez, president of the Aztlan Graduation Scholarship Committee, said she remembers that about a year and a half ago her club was also told to stop fundraising indoors and move away from the Sierra Center.

“We were told that we were too close to them (the Sierra Center) and that we were taking their customers,” she said. “But I don’t see why. Students need to have a variety of foods other than what the center provides because (students) get tired of the same thing.”

The AGSC puts on weekly food sales to raise funds for its graduation ceremony, and for a scholarship by selling tamales and churros outside of the Jerome Richfield building on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Rodriguez said having bake sales and food sales is an opportunity for clubs and organizations to fundraise.

“It’s not like we are keeping the money for ourselves,” she said.

Rodriguez said Vicki Allen, assistant director for student involvement, said clubs could not sell near the Sierra Center because TUC had received complaints about clubs selling too close to the center. However, according to Evans, that is not true. He said the reason clubs can’t sell inside the building is due to the policy and not the Sierra Center nor the vending machines.

Rodriguez, who is also a member of the CSUN chapter of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan, said the club has encountered some of the same problems.

Allen was not on campus for several days and could not be reached after several attempts were made.

Campus policy states recognized student organizations wishing to conduct fundraising bake sales or food sales on campus must obtain permission through the Matador Involvement Center. Clubs can obtain a permit from the MIC by completing the “food” section of the Field Space Reservation Form, and to Permit to Solicit Funds.

The permit then has to be signed by the Environmental Health and Safety Director.

The AAMA has tried to set up bake sales outside of the building but they have not been successful, Broadous said.

“At this point, fundraising has been down to less than a $1,000 for this year,” she said. “What we need is this campus to be student and organization friendly.”

Carol Morales can be reached at carol.morales.993@csun.edu.