Op-Ed: Clarifying Use of Alternative Vendors by Student Groups

Dear Review Staff,

I am writing in response to your article about Student Activities & Leadership’s decision to use an off-campus vendor for our Fall Activities Fair (“SAL Uses Alternative to ELS”).  I write to clarify any confusion about the use of alternative vendors by student groups.

Most vendor requirements are defined by the event space manager, not by SAL.  For example, the Registrar’s Office requires the use of ABM Janitorial for cleanup of classrooms and Event Services for technical services in major campus auditoriums.  Other spaces, such as White Plaza, only require that a vendor meets University insurance requirements.

In educating students about event planning, we have always encouraged them to choose campus venues that meet their needs.  This may include the desire to use an alternative vendor.

However, we do caution against focusing exclusively on price.  While not as competitive on the price of labor, Event Services has consistently demonstrated exceptional reliability and knowledge of Stanford facilities.  For those reasons and many others, Event Services remains our recommended vendor for most campus events.

We suggest that student event planners weigh all of the benefits and costs associated with using any particular venue or vendor before making a final decision.  As always, this can best be achieved through early planning.  When in doubt, student leaders can always come to SAL’s drop-in office hours on Wednesdays, 3:00-5:00pm, on the second floor of Old Union.

Troy Steinmetz
Assistant Director
Student Activities & Leadership

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