Aramark’s policy affects fundraising; students react

This story was co-written with Austin McDowell

Aramark’s updated policy requires student organizations on campus to get approval from Aramark’s resident district manager for WCU, Scott Lamond, in order to have fundraisers with food. Before Lamond began working at WCU in 2016, fundraisers had previous policies in place involving food but were not well-regulated.

The reason behind the policy change is for “safety and WCU’s reputation,” said Lamond.

The policy is not meant to discourage students from doing fundraising events, but is instead a safety net to protect the community from getting sick from homemade food items.

“We are not flat-out denying requests for fundraisers. We try to meet in the middle with organizations that really want to do something,” said Lamond.

Any request for food service or fundraiser that includes food goes directly to Lamond. He gets 2-3 requests per week on average. Most requests are approved, like bake sales are always approved because pre-bought food does not put the community at risk in any way.

The policy discourages students to do event that are “self-catering” because “students don’t have the tools to do so,” explained Lamond.

The approval process for getting an event with food approved: fill out request form, then Lamond and his staff approve or work with the request and will then try and work with the student or the organization to try and allow them to do something.

For example, for the International Festival each year, the requests for food are agreed upon by the organization and Aramark.

“If we have 25 different tables serving 25 different types of food and I can’t manage it or be involved, I can only imagine it will be in the paper Monday morning that somebody has gotten sick,” said Lamond.

According to Lamond, roughly 75 percent of requests are approved. However, requests have been denied.

Below is a video of students in WCU’s Greek life community discussing how they feel about the Aramark policy changes and how they feel it affects their organizations.

Video produced by Gavin Stewart

For Aramark, the expectations of their policies have always been the same, but were not well-regulated until Lamond came to work at WCU, according to Keith Corzine, assistant vice chancellor for campus services.

The policy change affects the way organizations can raise money for events, and some organizations are concerned if they will be able to raise as much money as they could in the past.

“I think it’s going to limit our options because food is a good incentive for people to help us out, and if that’s not there, I don’t know if we can get as much help,” said Paolo Balladares, fundraising chair for the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity.