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Commercial Activity Policy
Pursuant to Article VIII of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, Grand Valley State University (“the University”) has the responsibility to serve as a public institution of higher education. To carry out this constitutional mandate, the University owns and/or controls property and facilities. The University has established the following policy to ensure the University’s educational mission is actualized, while allowing certain Commercial Activities on University property.
The University reserves the right to deny proposed Commercial Activities that compete with the University or its operations. This policy does not apply to the use of student housing facilities by residents, which is subject to the terms and conditions of the housing agreement. The use of University property for government functions is not subject to this policy.
For the purposes of this policy, the term “Commercial Activities” includes:
- The lawful selling, promotion, or offering of products, goods, or services;
- The dissemination or collection of information for the purpose of facilitating the sale of goods or services;
- Any activity that attempts to raise funds, whether through the sale of goods and services or via donations for any entity that is not a charitable organization (eg a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity);
- The distribution or offering of free gifts, incentives, or promotions.
1. University Departments
University departments and its service providers whose function includes the sale of food or merchandise or the use of outside vendors and/or advertisers are exempt from this policy. This includes, but is not limited to, all campus dining facilities, the Laker Store, University Athletics, and University Development.
2. Registered Student Organizations
Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) may engage in Commercial Activities on University grounds subject to the provisions in the Grounds and Facility Use Policy and the conditions below.
- When an RSO is using University property for Commercial Activities, 100% of the proceeds must either return to the RSO or be donated to a specified charitable organization.
- RSOs may not sponsor or partner with outside solicitors as part of a Commercial Activity.
- RSOs must have at least one of their organization’s members present at all times during the Commercial Activity period, and all sales must be made on a person-to-person basis.
- Any literature distribution must include the name of the RSO responsible for the publication.
3. Students, Employees, and Non-University Solicitors
Students, employees, and those not affiliated with the University may engage in Commercial Activities only when renting indoor University facilities for an event, subject to the terms and conditions of their rental agreement, or when reserving outdoor space limited to the Cook Carillon Tower plaza. Outdoor reservations must be submitted to the Event Services Office at least five business days prior to the intended solicitation period. Due to high demand for space use, reservations must be canceled at least 72 hours prior to the scheduled event to receive a full refund or have previous payment applied to a new date. Reservations are subject to the provisions in the Grounds and Facility Use Policy.
- When using a designated outdoor space for Commercial Activities, students, employees, and non-University solicitors are required to pay $250 per calendar day to the University.
- There shall be no more than three separate Commercial Activities using outdoor locations at any one time.
- Each individual or organization is entitled to use outdoor University property as provided in this policy for a maximum of five days per semester for purposes of Commercial Activities.