Expenditure Policy - 5.4 Hospitality

5.4 Hospitality

A. Non-Travel Meals and Refreshments:

  1. Employee Meals and Refreshments

Institutional funds can pay for employee meals and refreshments when the employee is hosting an official guest. These include candidates to fill employee positions, visiting scholars/scientists/artists, seminar speakers, advisory board members, prospective students, and other guests whose visit provide a clear benefit to the institution.

In order for meals or refreshments to be paid with institutional funds when only Messiah College employees are at a function, food must be purchased through Dining Services and the function must be one of the following:

a. meet the definition of an employee working meal with a documented agenda, OR
b. be classified as a monthly meeting of the School Dean with all faculty, OR
c. be classified as a COE Senate meeting with a documented agenda, OR
d. be classified as a Ranked Faculty meeting with a documented agenda OR
e. last longer than 90 minutes and defined as one of the following:

      • an employee training session
      • a workshop
      • a departmental staff retreat
      • a conference

Institutional funds cannot be used to pay for other employee meals or refreshments for regularly scheduled departmental or committee meetings (scheduled for 90 minutes or less), and department social activities such as celebrating holidays, birthdays, et cetera.

Hospitality funds given to employees on their ID cards for meals relating to student recruitment, mentoring, orientation, retention, and education are allowable expenses, but must follow all guidelines regarding proper documentation found in Section 5.1A. of this policy. Please use the Falcon and ID Card Reconciliation Form to assist with proper documentation requirements.

Alcoholic Beverages: Alcoholic beverages consumed at a conference or other individual travel events are not allowable expenses. There may be rare occasions in other business or social settings when alcohol can be a legitimate business expense. Employees should consult their senior administrator for advice.

  1. Hosted Meals

An institution or an employee, in the normal conduct of a program/activity, may serve as host for official guests of the institution by paying for their meals when a clear benefit to the college exists and institutional approval processes are followed.

Employee spouse meals are normally subject to income taxes to the employee and therefore are prohibited. However, sometimes a job candidate or official guest is accompanied by the spouse. In these cases an employee spouse’s meal is an allowable cost.

3. Light Refreshments Non-Employees

Institutional funds can pay for light refreshments served at volunteer appreciation, student and other focus groups, conference, workshop, student recruitment, and similar official events which involve non-employees.

4. On-Campus Food

For insurance liability reasons, on-campus events with outside guests involving any refreshments as described above, are required to utilize the College’s catering services through Dining Services. Rare exceptions may be granted by Dining Services due to the type of the event and/or scheduling conflicts. Please reference Dining’s online catering form.

B. Other Hospitality:

Entertainment Costs: Costs for entertainment, including amusement, diversion, and social activities and any costs directly associated with such (meals, tickets to shows, sports events, transportation, lodging) should not be paid with institutional funds. There are seven exceptions:

    • The event is part of a formal college-sponsored conference where the cost is recovered from participant fees.
    • The activity is part of a self-supporting instructional program where the participant is charged a fee to cover the cost.
    • The event is funded by student incidental fees, authorized by the institution’s student association, and is for the benefit of student group events.
    • The event or activity is approved in a specific grant or contract.
    • The event is primarily designed for students or the cultivation of donors, alumni, or other key constituencies and attendance by employees is a part of their job duties.
    • The activity is part of athletic travel and cost is allowed per appropriate athletic association guidelines.
    • The event is organized or sponsored by Human Resources or Presidential appointed group.