Vendors on campus help underwrite student programs

Corey Streeper

GROSSMONT COLLEGE- Occasionally the Main Quad on campus seems like a commercial bazaar, with vendors from off campus selling their wares. They sell anything from jewelry and clothing to trinkets and posters. I went down on Thursday, May 19, to see what it takes to be able to be a vender on campus.

When I showed up there were many students perusing the stacks of posters that were available for purchase. Rick, the vendor who didn’t want to tell his last name, was sitting in a chair by a table, where he kept records of purchases.

He told me that he sells posters on all of the college campuses in San Diego although he prefers to sell at the universities as the students there tend to spend more. I asked what kind of approval he needs to be able to set up his product. He replied that he must get a permit from the student association and it costs 20% of his revenue.

This sparked an interest in me. What does this 20% percent permit cost add up to? How does the school use the funds? And finally, can anyone sell items on Grossmont campus or do the items have to be an approved product?

At the Student Activities Office, I spoke to Irene Bauza, a senior account technician. “The vendors on campus fill out a business application, which is reviewed by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs,”  she said.   The proceeds go to the Inter Clubs Council to be used for such things as sanitation classes each semester; a class that is required for students  and other individuals on campus before they may be involved in any food handling activities.

In addition, clubs that do their own fundraising can request up to $200 in matching funds from the ICC to help pay for the cost of events. Clubs that travel to state and regional conferences can request up to $400 from ICC to cover travel costs for their advisor.

 “Vendors who sell items on campus will bring a copy of all daily receipts to our office, and they donate 20% of their total sales to the Inter Clubs Council,” Bauza said  Banks, credit unions and other vendors that are only promoting a business will pay a flat rate of $100 per day.”

Although construction on campus has taken away some vendor space this year Bauza stated that “the income from vendor sales has been dropping off in the past several years anyway.” For the academic year 2010-2011, the ICC has received approximately $3,400.00.

That’s not much money  but it is definitely a step towards providing at least some relief especially in a time when community colleges are facing one of the most severe budget crunches in California history.

Streeper is a student in Media Comm 132.  He may be contacted at [email protected]