Student Organization Policies and Procedures

Food Policy for Registered Student Organizations


Wright State University supports student organizations in planning meetings and events that support the social environment for students. At the same time, the institution must insure the appropriate guidelines for the safety and overall well-being of the campus community. The following policies and procedures have been developed in an effort to achieve both of these objectives while encouraging registered student organizations to appropriately plan for food at their events and meetings. The food policy applies to events or meetings sponsored by a registered student organization with a University account (Student Organization Budget Committee (SOBC) or 999 accounts).  All charges will be applied to the sponsoring student organization(s) account.  Any other entity holding an event or meeting with food must follow Expenditure Guidelines—Meals, Food, and Refreshments (University Policy 9130.4).

All Events and Meetings

  1. Purchase of Food: Student organizations may purchase food that is consistent with the organizational purpose including producing events, conducting recognition programs, travel or organizational meetings. Expenditures should be managed carefully to minimize overall cost.  This suggests that such expenditures should be infrequent, modest in cost, and with a clear purpose.  Any food purchases using a Procurement Card (Visa) must be pre-approved by submitting a Request for Funds form or Travel Authorization form.  All Procurement Card purchases must follow Procurement Card Policies and Procedures (University Policy 9340).
  2. Preference: When utilizing Student Organization Budget Committee (SOBC) funds, Special Funding (SFC) committee funds or any other University funds, you are required to use Dining Services. Exemptions to use an outside caterer may be obtained through Dining Services.
  3. Purchase of Alcohol: Student Organizations may not use Student Organization Budget Committee (SOBC) funds, Special Funding (SFC) committee funds or any other University funds for the purchase of alcohol.  Organizations may use self-generated funds held in 999 accounts for the purchase of alcohol that is consistent with the Alcohol Policy in the Student Handbook and pre-approved by the Director of Student Involvement and Leadership.

Off-Campus Meals

  1. Reimbursement: The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership will issue reimbursement for the cost of properly pre-approved and documented meals.  Expenses may be incurred only for those individuals whose presence is necessary for the purpose of the gathering.  All meals related to travel expenses must follow Travel (University Policy 9510).
  2. Receipts: An itemized receipt is required.  Internal Revenue Service rules on substantiation of business expenses require documentation of the time, date, place, purpose, and attendees at the meal.  Documentation requirements apply to all on-campus and off-campus meals, regardless of the payment method.  Accordingly, all meals charged to student organization accounts require documentation.  No reimbursement will be made with only a summary receipt.  The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership will deny reimbursement for meal expenses that lack documentation or pre-approval.

On-Campus Meals, Food, and Refreshments

  1. Food for Student Organization Meetings: Registered student organizations are required to utilize Dining Services to provide refreshments for meetings. Sponsoring organizations must indicate at the time of the reservation with the Student Union their intention to order food through Dining Services for a meeting.  
  2. Food for Student Organization Events:  Food for events held inside of a University facility or on University property must use Dining Services. An event is defined as any activity that is social or educational in nature (not a meeting) and where members outside of the organization are invited to participate.
  3. Food in Student Organization Offices:  Food and non-alcoholic beverages may be brought to student organization offices for organizational celebrations without prior approval. Students may not provide food for any event that involves persons outside the immediate organizational membership.
  4. Selling Food: University sanctioned organizations may sell cookies, cakes, popcorn, and other similar food items in accordance with Greene County Health policies.
    1. The sale of food on campus by any university-affiliated group other than the official campus hospitality service is ordinarily limited to bake/confectionery sales.
    2. A bake/confectionery sale is defined as the sale of items that will not spoil in the absence of refrigeration.
    3. Bake/confectionery sale items include cookies, brownies, popcorn balls, cake with nonperishable icing, muffins, bread, rolls, pretzels, donuts, caramel or candy-covered apples, and fudge.
    4. All items for bake/confectionery sales must be wrapped in individual portions before being brought to campus.
    5. Food must be wrapped in any substance that will permit the food to be seen by the buyer and keep the food free from contamination.
    6. A list of all ingredients used to prepare the bake sale item must be put on the outside wrapping of the food item.
    7. Persons wrapping items should take care that hands are extremely clean before handling food.
    8. No food license is required to sell confectionery items on campus by registered student organizations.
  1. Outdoor Events:  Registered student organizations may provide food/refreshments for special outdoor events, which are open to all students, such as Fall Fest or April Craze, in accordance with Greene County Health policies.  A meeting must be conducted with the Greene County Health inspector and participating organizations prior to serving food to the public. Like indoor events, outdoor events that include food in reserved locations are subject to Greene County Health policies.  Some venue-specific regulations may also apply.
    6. Use of Outside Caterers:  In order to utilize an external catering vendor, the sponsoring organization must adhere to the following provisions:
    1. A standard university catering contract must be issued by Dining Services because special arrangements must be provided in advance of contacting the proposed vendor/caterer. A catering contract will ensure that all external catering vendors comply with university policies, provide a positive experience to event attendees, and represent the university in a professional manner. A copy of the contract must accompany any request for payment.
    2. For the reasons listed in the above paragraph, Dining Services will assist the responsible organization in obtaining an external catering vendor by providing a list of vendors to the requesting student organization.
    3. A function utilizing an external catering vendor may be held at any Wright State University campus location that is designated for food/beverage events. A listing of those locations is available through the Student Union.
    4. All external catering vendors must adhere to the following guidelines:
    5. There will be no access to the Wright State University kitchens or food preparation areas used by the main campus food service contractor. Special staging areas for an event catered by an external vendor will be coordinated by Dining Services.
    6. All table decorations, dishes, utensils, service pieces, warming, and heating trays, and other catering accessories and equipment must be provided by the external caterer.
    7. Clean-up to the event area must be completed before the external catering vendor leaves the premises.
    8. When alcohol is to be served, it will be provided through the main campus food service contractor, according to the existing state of Ohio alcohol consumption policies and licensing regulations [refer to Alcohol Consumption on University Property (University Policy 9710) and the Alcohol Policy in the Student Handbook]
  2. When possible, meals should be served in the Student Union in order to avoid setup charges.
  3. Requests for additional information about food service for university functions should be directed to Dining Services.

Food Service at Non-University Functions

  1. University funds may be used to pay for registration fees for conferences, seminars, or other meetings that provide meals and/or refreshments during the program. However, if a non-overnight program specifies that a meal is “on your own,” the university will not pay for the meal or reimburse the student. The purpose must be documented and accompany the receipt for reimbursement or inclusion with procurement card.

Policy Exceptions and Review

  1. Exceptions to this Policy: Requests for exceptions to these policies and procedures must be made in writing to the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership. All requests must be submitted at least one month prior to the proposed date of the event.
  2. Policy Review: This policy may be changed at any time to reflect consistency with Expenditure Guidelines (University Policy 9130).

UPDATED 7/2015