Newly reinforced policies discourage student organized events

Rosie Li, Staff Reporter

The following is an opinion article and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

Tulane recently began enforcing a set of policies to regulate student-hosted events which may discourage student organizations from holding events due to increasing inconvenience and rising costs. 

A workshop for multicultural and gender and sexuality organizations on Sept. 2 further explained these policies. One of the main regulations pertains to food provided during events. Student organizations cannot serve food from outside sources that directly compete with Sodexo unless Sodexo waives its right. To prove that the food catered does not directly compete with Sodexo, organizations have to go through complicated procedures and must submit the proper files three weeks in advance. It remains to be seen how Sodexo will exercise its power to make decisions regarding outside sources. No matter how they exercise this power, Sodexo should not be able to monopolize the catering industry at Tulane, especially concerning the dining choices of student organizations. 

Many multicultural events are hosted inside the Lavin-Bernick Center. These organizations typically try to secure culturally significant food. If these organizations work with Sodexo, the only catering options are those offered by the company. This policy stands in the way of the teaching of cultural diversity.

Requiring organizations to notify officials of their food choice three weeks in advance is inconsiderate. This deadline often falls before an organization can select finalize its food menu decisions. It creates a huge inconvenience, potentially preventing organizations from hosting events involving food. Tulane should put the best interest of the student body ahead of a business deal with Sodexo. 

This policy implies that Sodexo is the exclusive caterer for campus dining services and should have the right to prohibit students from using other businesses. Events hosted by student organizations, however, are such a dynamic and essential part of campus life that they should not be subject to only Sodexo’s options. Student organizations are in charge of their budget and operation, so they should be able to decide what type of food they would like to provide. 

In addition, student organizations now face a substantial increase in the amount of money they need to pay for custodians for catered events. The price has doubled from $50 to $100. While it may be reasonable to make organizations pay for custodians, but, a $100 charge is excessive. Student organizations should have the option to do most of the cleaning work themselves to save money.

This policy imposes a significant burden on student organizations holding catered events. Tulane student activism is booming, and this policy discourages that activity. 

Rosie Li is a sophomore in the Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached for comment at [email protected]