Administrative office shuts down popular fundraiser
In a move that surprised regular customers of the popular music department fundraiser “Muffin Mondays,” the campus Environmental Health and Safety office shut down the fundraiser because of health code concerns.
“This is a campus policy that we were reminded of during our recent Food Services Advisory Committee,” said Debbie Astone, director of Auxiliary Services. “As an auxiliary organization we are required to comply with the campus buildings and grounds policy.”
Muffin Mondays, a fundraiser for the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha, was a popular weekly occurrence that music students coordinated every Monday morning. When the brothers of Phi Mu Alpha filed paperwork to obtain a permit to continue the fundraiser, their paperwork was rejected on the basis of health concerns.
“The Fresno County Health Department has a special interest in any kind of food distribution to the public,” said Lisa Kao, an administrator in the campus Environmental Health and Safety Department. “In this case the Muffin Mondays fundraiser qualified as a public distribution of food, and to continue Muffin Mondays, they would’ve had to have a permit tied to a special community event.”
As a campus entity, Kao’s office reports directly to the Fresno County Health Department (FCHD). Administrative regulations state that food can only be served in conjunction with a community event. The FCHD defines a community event as “an event that is of civic, political, public or educational nature, including state and county fairs, city festivals, circuses and other public gathering events approved by the local enforcement agency.
“Essentially they’re having a bake sale, which isn’t enough to constitute a community event,” said Kao.
Students in Phi Mu Alpha fully understand the regulations they have to follow to get Muffin Mondays up and running again.
“I know that the reason we were closed down was because of health code violations,” said one of the brothers of Phi Mu Alpha, who asked to remain anonymous. “For now we’re shut down, but if we could find a way around the rules we would.”
Students who have class in the music building remain confused about what happened to the popular fundraiser.
“I think it’s really sad,” said Lauren Flores, a kinesiology major. “I just saw a bunch of signs around the music department saying that it was shut down. I don’t understand what happened.”
Music majors, who were among the most regular customers of Muffin Mondays, describe the disappearance of their favorite Monday institution as a sad event.
“We all talk about it,” said Courtnee Browning, a music education major. “We walk past the signs in the music building and it’s kind of depressing.”
Despite student’s confusion about the disappearance of Muffin Mondays, the Environmental Health and Safety office has stood by their decision to shut it down.
“They did the right thing by filling out the paperwork,” said Kao. “It made us aware of what was going on.”
The boys of Phi Mu Alpha, because of the regulations concerning the fundraiser, aren’t pursuing further action.
“Maybe in the future we will try again to receive the waivers necessary, but currently we’d like to focus on other areas of our fraternity,” said an anonymous member of Phi Mu Alpha.
“It was a great way for us to earn a little money and interact with people from the Music Department. But we’ll survive, and try to accomplish these tasks in other ways.”