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Commercial solicitation an extensive process at Georgia State

A student shops at a non-Georgia State affiliated vending site in the Library Plaza. PHOTO BY BRITTANY GUERIN | THE SIGNAL
A student shops at a non-Georgia State affiliated vending site in the Library Plaza. PHOTO BY BRITTANY GUERIN | THE SIGNAL
A student shops at a non-Georgia State affiliated vending site in the Library Plaza.
PHOTO BY BRITTANY GUERIN | THE SIGNAL

 

Five years ago Ivan, a vendor on Georgia State’s campus, decided to make a career change to begin selling accessories to students. Each week he sets his stand up at 9 a.m. in front of Langdale Hall and bargains until late afternoon.

“I worked as a driver on the road for 15 years but I missed my family too much,” he said. “My best friend, she did this at Florida International University, she called me and she taught me this business like 5 years ago.”

Ivan has sold jewelry on campus for the past three years after moving from Florida and decided to stay because Georgia State students welcomed him with open arms.

Vendors who make a living traveling from campus to campus come to Georgia State regularly and new vendors also arrive each week. Usually there are two solicitors outside Langdale, but in the past week there have been four vendors set up.

PHOTO BY BRITTANY GUERIN | THE SIGNAL
PHOTO BY BRITTANY GUERIN | THE SIGNAL

Fees collected from commercial solicitation are used to support services and operations in the Student Center, according to Associate Director of Georgia State’s Programs and Services Carole Golder.

“A few examples of these services are: cell phone charging locations, water bottle refilling stations, operation of the Campus Tickets, Information Centers, and microwaves in the Courtyard and Panther Place lounge,” she said.

Vendors have regulations about what they can sell and what it will cost them to rent a space no more than 6 feet, according to the Commercial Solicitation Policy form that follows code of the Georgia Board of Regents.

Golder said the form was written by the university’s Office of Legal Affairs to monitor activities of vendors who come to sell goods on campus in a responsible and legal manner.

“This policy was developed to restrict where and when non-GSU entities could come onto campus to promote their products and services,” she said.

The form also states what actions a vendor can perform, what can be sold and how many chairs they can have at their tables.

Each solicitor must pay a fee of $50 every time they want to set up on campus or 15 percent of gross sales, whichever is greater, according to the Commercial Solicitation Policy form.

Anthony Banks, event director for the Student Center, said the percentage applies to bigger companies such as credit card companies or magazine subscribers that set up campus and not the independent smaller vendors.

The policy form also states rules for vendors such as submitting a reservation form three days prior to the day requested to solicit, prohibition of selling goods with Georgia State logo, and penalties for violating any regulations.

All vendors must have a license to solicit goods, authorization from the state and a Federal ID number on file at the Reservation Office.

PHOTO BY BRITTANY GUERIN | THE SIGNAL
PHOTO BY BRITTANY GUERIN | THE SIGNAL

Langdale is the only designated area on Georgia State’s campus for solicitors. Areas such as the Student Center, Aderhold and the Plaza are presided over by the City of Atlanta and Georgia State administration has no jurisdiction over vendors in those locations, according to Banks.

Golder said the vendors have designated areas because before the policy was enforced, it would be common for individuals to wander into academic and non-academic buildings and disrupt students studying to promote products or services.

Jarold, a new vendor owner at Georgia State, pays $40 despite the overall policy for Bajree Couture. His business partners only have to pay a small fee and show proof of a valid business license to operate.

“This is our first time coming to Georgia State and setting up,”Jarold said. “We had to go fill out forms and make sure we had our money to reserve the spot.”

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