Some students may think that pieing each other in the face at the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Bull Market is harmless fun.
But the fundraising activity, among many others, has ended up costing the university.
Student organizations raise money for their clubs and philanthropies at Bull Market using supplies like shaving cream, paint and whipped cream, but the items have been permanently banned.
The Bull Market staff were having issues with organizations not cleaning up the area afterward and using the fountain in front of the MSC and the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza Reflecting Pool to clean themselves and their supplies.
Dean of Students Danielle McDonald said the shaving cream that students were washing off was clogging the filter system and residue was being left on the MSC bull statues and fountains.
“It costs (the university) a lot more to have the fountain drains cleaned out and have consistent running water,” McDonald said.
McDonald also said some of the organizations were using shaving cream with menthol ingredients, which caused some people to have allergic reactions. She said it was hazardous since organizations would ask other students, staff and faculty members to participate.
The Bull Market staff reached out to students about the messy supplies and invading people’s personal space so often that it was decided to eliminate the items completely, according to McDonald.
“There have been too many problems for too long that the risks and the issues outweigh the benefit of it,” she said.
The previous director of Bull Market tried to put forth different mechanisms to solve some of the issues by implementing the use of tarps and moving the students to spaces that would not disturb other people.
However, organizations complained that the designated areas were too far away and many students did not use the tarp.
“After years of trying to manage it, it just wasn't worth it to continue,” McDonald said. “The former (Bull Market) director and I have been here for seven years, so it is something that we are always challenged by. Some organizations have been great about it but others have not.”
Although she has not been personally reached about student complaints, McDonald said most organizations have been understanding of the change.
Organizations have resorted to other fundraising activities such as a dunk tank, which McDonald said has worked better. She said event planners work with each organization to ensure that the event is safe, along with going over creative and detail-oriented decisions.
McDonald said bringing back paint and shaving cream is not something that has been completely ruled out, but there would have to be alternatives with the location.
“It’s not always a no, we just try to find the best way to get to a yes,” McDonald said.