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March 21, 2013

Vendor cuts limit catering options

By Robert Bray

The student organizations at Cleveland State University were recently notified by Campus Support Services (CSS) that six out of 11 off-campus food vendors are cut from the list of approved vendors for events thrown by student organizations.

“Student Life and The Cauldron have had problems communicating the changes with the reimbursement process, which has led to slow reimbursement,” said Derek D. Dissell, news editor for The Cauldron.

“The small number of vendors, now only six, is a real problem because it limits students’ options,” Dissell said. “Many are not open on weekends.”
The university granted Clevelad State Dining exclusive rights to catering on campus.

“Such an exclusive arrangement is frequently included in campus dining agreements,” said Wendy Densmore, an operations coordinator for CSS.

During the time that the Student Center was being constructed, CSS and Cleveland State Dining made an arrangement to permit student organizations to use registered off-campus catering companies for events when the total bill for food supplies and labor would cost less than $300 for an event.

“The registration process for off-campus caterers was developed by Campus Support Services with the assistance of a consultant,” Densmore said. “The key component in the registration process for off-campus caterers is to ensure food safety and to be certain each company is prepared and capable to assume legal responsibility for a failure related to food safety.”

CSS recently completed a document review for each company that was registered as an offcampus caterer. Companies contacted were asked to update their records by March 1 in order to stay on the list. The companies that did not respond to CSS’s request were removed from the list.

“Any company can seek to register for this program by completing the related forms and providing the forms,” Densmore said. “The list is updated as companies complete the requirement.”