Fraternity Beach barbecue for charity avoids tidal waves
By Sara Marett
A Western fraternity wanting to help raise money for the United Way charity drive through an on-campus barbecue, ran into an administrative roadblock yesterday, but was ultimately given a conditional green light.
The Sigma Pi fraternity was told Monday by housing and food services they would not be permitted to hold the barbecue. Yesterday, however, the fraternity was told it could go ahead with the event under the condition that 30 per cent of the barbecue's proceeds be paid to housing and food services.
"We decided it was better than nothing," said Gerry Viveiros, Sigma Pi philanthropy chair and organizer of the event. The barbecue will begin Thursday and run each day until the end of the United Way campaign on Oct. 31.
Viveiros' complications began when he attempted to reserve the Concrete Beach through the University Students' Council, who owns the property. He was told he would have to obtain permission from housing and food services in order to book the space.
"Under the UCC agreement that the University Students' Council has with the university, food services has the right to regulate who uses this space when it comes to selling food items," said USC general manager Jim Walden.
Viveiros said he then approached Michael Colby, executive chef for Great Hall Catering, who said the fraternity would not be permitted to hold the event because it would be competing with food services' business.
Susan Grindrod, senior director of housing and food services, said her department has already donated to both the United Way kick-off luncheon and a bingo event. She stated there has to be a limit as to how many charity events they will allow on campus as it will eventually take away from their business.
"There must be some balance when it comes to raising money for charities on campus. We can not do everything everyone asks us to do and we are frequently asked to contribute to these events," she said.
Grindrod said the initial decision was changed because they had no alternative due to timing. "[The fraternity] won by circling the system," she said, adding she does not like being put in the position of dealing with last- minute decisions. "We have a real concern about these kinds of events," she added.
John Bayliss, United Way commissioner for the USC, said he sent a letter to the Interfraternity council encouraging fraternities to become more involved in fundraising for the United Way. "Naturally we would prefer to see 100 per cent of the funds go to charity, but if we have to give up a portion in order for the event to happen, then it's still worth while," he said.
Colby said food services can not continue to foot the bill for every charity event and at some point they have to say no, as they must make ends meet as well.