A page within University Centers

The Contract:

UW-La Crosse has an exclusive contract for providing dining services on the UW-La Crosse campus. This contract is held with Chartwells. The exclusive contracts are done to enable a guaranteed level of business for the potential contractor. As part of this contract, a commission on all sales is returned to the institution.

Some events and facilities are excluded from the contract. Examples of the exclusions are:

  • Mitchell Hall and Veterans Memorial Stadium (for concessions at athletic events)
  • Science and Allied Health Center
  • Gallery Openings in the Fine Arts Center

There is an option to do self-catering in which the group provides food for their event. The total cost has to be under $100, can only be snacks and beverages (no pizza or other meals), and no electrical appliances are allowed. A form must be filled out and turned into the reservations department before the day of the event. For more information about this policy, feel free to contact Mikaela Schneider.

Rationale for Using the University Contractor:

  1. Any outside use could be considered a contract violation, putting UW-La Crosse in a breach of contract situation. 
  2. Financial incentive. Prices may be higher-because of the commission paid back to the University-but, the money paid back to the institution is often used to support various programs on the campus. 
  3. Liability concern. Chartwells is required to have liability insurance. In addition, as the University's legitimate dining service provider, the State of Wisconsin coverage is also in effect. Any outside contractor, even if used for off-campus events should be providing comparable liability coverage. If this coverage is not available, the individual sponsoring the event could be held personally liable, as the state's insurance policy may not be in effect.

Funding Sources:

There are many funding sources available at the university. Any expense that will be paid by University administered funds must follow UW-System Policies and Procedures. There are other rules that will apply if an individual is using a Student/Faculty account or a Foundation account.

The allocable student activity fee (Segregated University Fees) has some specific guidelines for expenditures. Some of these rules include:

  • Refreshments may be funded for receptions open to the entire student body.
  • Meals, receptions, and transportation incurred by UW faculty or staff or students performing a host function for a guest speaker, performer, etc, brought to the campus for a SUF funded activity, if such expense was part of the budget approved for the activity.
  • If the organization holding the banquet or reception or presenting the awards receives SUF support, the institution Segregated University Fees Allocation Committee (apportionment) must specifically approve the expenditure as part of the SUF budget prior to the event.


It is difficult to prohibit offices from having potluck socials with homemade food. The primary concern with potlucks will be one of liability. The individuals hosting the event will be assuming the liability for any food borne illness that results. Potlucks are permitted by the dining contract.