On September 30th, the Town of Wellesley Health Department notified Babson College administration that they will be enforcing stricter guidelines on all food events on campus, whether philanthropic or not. This increased regulation jeopardizes much loved campus events such as Chi-Hop and Kappa Con Queso, as well as entrepreneurial food businesses on campus.
Babson College administration reacted quickly, notifying organizations that have food events planned this year and hired a Food Consultant just days after the notification. The College allowed Delta Sigma Pi’s Bubble Tea with DSP event to proceed as scheduled the day after the notification, believing that it would be unfair to cancel the event with so little notice.
Melissa Beecher, Director of Student Activities and Leadership, explained that “We were not in compliance with Town of Wellesley regulations.” There seemed to be a mutual understanding between the college and town prior to the notice, but the increased enforcement came after several encounters between organizations or businesses and the Town of Wellesley Health Department. Beecher emphasized that “There was no individual triggering event,” and that “It’s nobody’s fault.”
Working with the Town of Wellesley and the newly hired Food Consultant, the college administration started the process to develop a Standard Operating Procedure in which all parties would be satisfied. Beecher emphasized that “Philanthropic, cultural, and faith based food events are such a big part of the core identity of these groups,” and that parties need to work together to develop “guidelines approved by Babson and [The Town of] Wellesley to send to organizations.”
Looking to the future, Beecher stated that “We won’t be back to what we were,” hinting at big changes to food event policy. “As soon as we know what is going on, we will be reaching out to everyone.”
The organizations of Greek life organize many of the food events on campus. Mindy Freedman, a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, President of the Panhellenic Council and Co-Chair of the Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Team, stated that “It is upsetting that we aren’t able to hold these events for a while since they bring the community together and are for a good cause … but we are trying to be creative about coming up with new way to raise money,” referring to Kappa Kappa Gamma’s upcoming philanthropic flag football tournament.
Babson administration will be extremely conservative in the coming weeks when planning food events as they develop their guidelines with the Town of Wellesley. Any questions, feedback or concerns can be directed to the Student Activities and Leadership division at firstname.lastname@example.org