The bake sale ban – what do presidents make of it?

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Credit: Stirling University Equestrian Club

by Annabelle Cooper

Gone are the days of text-a-toastie and bake sales outside the Chaplaincy after the Union sent an email to club and society presidents saying that, due to a change in the law, recent university decisions have banned all bake sales and toastie sales from campus.

This is after the law regarding health and food safety has changed, meaning that the university has changed their current policy enforcement on food hygiene.

Reception of this email has been mixed from society presidents.

Lauren Mitchell (Doctor Who society) was concerned with the events societies can host, but also understood the motives behind the university for implementing the change.

She said: “I can see the positives and negatives here. Positives being that, yes, it is the law due to food preparation areas.

“The negative, on the other hand, is that bake sales take in money for societies, and it’s an easy way to make money and support additional events a society would do with those funds.”

In addition, she pointed out an unintentional benefit from the change: “Last year it got to a point in the semester that there was a bake sale multiple times a week, which isn’t great for people with limited will power, like me.”

However, for liberation societies, such as GEM (Gender Equality Movement), in which membership to join the society is free, it raises a few problems with regards to quality campaigns which President Laura Furie touched on.

She said: “It will limit our ability to raise funds and, therefore, will limit our projects and campaigns.”

On the other hand, it poses a different problem to sporting teams, as Fencing President Sina Ohlandt shared: “In my opinion I can understand why they are clamping down on it with health and safety. But they are getting rid of the easiest form of fundraising for all the clubs and societies, which is really awkward.

“But at this time, when some clubs have a deposit deadline for future events, it’s really hard to organise something different which will potentially gain us enough money.”

However, she also mentioned an unintended effect of the ban: “In a good way we will have to be more creative in what we come up with”.

So, overall, the ban on bake sales and toastie sales is controversial as it limits fundraising ideas for societies, but it does allow more creative ideas to be developed. However in the end, due to it being a change in the law of food preparation and food hygiene, the change had to happen.

The Students’ Union was approached for comment and Jamie Grant, VP Communities, stated: “Toastie and food sales at the Chaplaincy, or indeed any part of the university, by clubs and societies have always been restricted by university policy for sound health and safety reasons.”

But he offered reassurance to societies who perhaps planned to host a bake sale: “Whilst we appreciate this may impact some clubs and societies with traditional fundraising efforts, the team and I will be working closely as required with any clubs and societies, to encourage and explore innovative fundraising methods.”

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