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C20.0 Vending Policy

I. Purpose

The following policy governs vendor activities at RIT. This policy is intended to preserve health standards, our diverse interests and integrity of services while at the same time protecting our "not-for-profit"/ tax-exempt status. RIT campus policies pertaining to the three categories of vending are outlined below.

II. Vendors of Special Activities

Goods and services which are explicitly prohibited on campus may not be sold on campus in any sales or vending activity. This policy pertains to those special vending activities (e.g., bake sales, craft sales, etc.) that do not fall within the category of third party vending agencies who contract with RIT to provide ongoing services to RIT (candy machines, barber shop, linen service). This includes third party vendors who sell course materials, educational supplies, and RIT-imprinted merchandising. RIT allows special vending on its campus to promote the welfare of organizations recognized by the university or events open to the RIT community-at-large. Vending activities that involve non-affiliated organizations or individuals in sales for profit are permitted on campus only as outlined below:

  1. Philanthropic groups or causes that are deemed appropriate for RIT to sponsor as determined by the director of the Center for Campus Life or his/her designated representative.* Typically, fundraising for such causes is done by students on a volunteer basis. A letter of acknowledgment from the philanthropic group or cause indicating who will be collecting money in its name must be received by the director of the Center for Campus Life at the time of room/table reservation.

  2. Fundraising activities for or by student groups that are deemed appropriate, i.e., bake sales, raffles, etc., and are conducted by student volunteers.

  3. Student-produced artworks, photographs, etc., that are deemed appropriate for sale and are produced in formal classroom activity at RIT. Students must be able to demonstrate that the artworks, photographs, etc., were produced as part of their academic program. Students are required to possess a tax identification form, be responsible for the collection of the appropriate sales tax, and where necessary, document payment of those taxes.

    *The director of the Center for Campus Life (or designee) is responsible for approving such activities and groups. When necessary, a committee may be called to assist in determining what is appropriate for sale or fundraising at RIT within these guidelines.

  4. Commercial solicitation may not occur in residence hall or RIT apartment areas. Arrangements can be made for the sale and distribution of institutionally approved materials in the Grace Watson lobby. Such requests must be in accord with the provisions of this policy and residence hall and university policies and procedures.

  5. RIT departments or organizations may sponsor third party vendors so long as they comply with the provisions of this policy and the applicable procedures. These vendors must possess a tax identification form and must sign a Vendor Agreement issued through the Vending Office in the Center for Campus Life. More information is available by calling the Coordinator for Club Administration, 475-7058 (V/TTY).


Campus organizations who wish to engage in fundraising or special vending activities as described above should follow the procedure outlined below:

  1. Contact the office responsible for the building where the event will occur in order to obtain approval for use of the requested space.

  2. Clarify the nature of the activity:

    1. Sale of student-produced art, photographs, etc., or appropriate fundraising (bake sales, raffles, etc.) may occur with no additional steps.

    2. Philanthropic activities should be approved by the director of the Center for Campus Life.

    3. Activities which involve a third-party vendor should be communicated to the Center for Campus Life. A Vendor Agreement (obtained from the Center for Campus Life) should be completed by the vendor in cooperation with the Vending Coordinator and the representative from the campus organization.

  3. The activity is implemented.

It is the responsibility of the director of the Center for Campus Life to monitor the above policy and to communicate it to those responsible for facilities where vending may occur.

III. Food Vending Activities

Food vending is defined as the sale of any food or beverage items to the RIT community or to the public-at-large on the RIT campus. Because of state and county health laws and concern for the welfare of the general public, RIT reserves the right to regulate on-campus food vending activities through the RIT Dining Services Department.

  1. RIT Dining Services and the School of International Hospitality and Service Innovation are authorized to sell food and beverages on campus on a continual basis (e.g., RITZ Sports Zone, Corner Store, the dining halls and Henry's). These facilities are subject to inspection of safe handling and storage procedures by the Monroe County Health Department. A "permit" to operate is then issued after unit compliance, as provided in Chapter I, Part 14 of the New York State Sanitary Code. This permit must be posted in each food service unit. In addition, each food service unit is obligated to collect a sales tax on all taxable sales and each must carry liability insurance covering all products for sale.

  2. The preparation, cooking, and serving of foods on campus for the purpose of resale is strictly regulated. The sale of foods which consist in whole or in part of milk products, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish is prohibited without complying with appropriate handling, packaging and storage processes as defined by the Monroe County Health Department. Such sales activities may also require obtaining a license of food sale permit from Monroe County. This prohibition includes the sale of hot dogs, submarine sandwiches, chicken wings, pizza or other items that fall within the above definition. Improper handling, storage, or preparation of such foods could ultimately make someone ill and could cause death. Sale of these items may only occur with the approval of the RIT Dining Services Department in accord with the Monroe County Health Department Regulations and RIT's Food Sale Oversight Guidelines. The sale of pre-packaged, non-hazardous foods that do not need to be cooked or refrigerated is permitted when such food items are sold in conjunction with occasional registered events. This includes items such as popcorn, snack crackers and chips, soft drinks, candy, fresh fruits and vegetables, and juices. The university defines "occasional" as any individual, club or group holding an event/ sale no more than three (3) times during any academic term. This definition, however, does not permit a group or a number of groups to operate an ongoing business in a single location without complying with RIT policy and with Monroe County Health Department Regulations. 

IV. Use of External Caterers

Catering is defined as the sale and service of food items beyond the normal food service operations on the RIT campus. Catering services may be contracted through the RIT Catering Sales Department or through a third party caterer who is licensed by Monroe County and who can provide a certificate of general liability insurance (minimal coverage of one million dollars) with RIT named as an additional insured. If the sale of alcohol is involved, the caterer must also evidence a valid NYS liquor license and appropriate liquor liability coverage.

It will be the shared responsibility of the Dining Services Department and the Center for Campus Life to monitor this policy and to communicate it to those responsible for facilities where vending may occur. Questions regarding events/activities which involve food can be referred to the director of Student Alumni Union Dining Services (475-2346). 

Responsible Office:
Center for Campus Life/Dining Services Department

Effective Date:
Approved November 4, 1998

Policy History:
Edited September 2003 (department name change) 
Edited August, 2010
Edited May 8, 2013, for calendar conversion

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