No free cupcakes for students at the Scramble Light

Every now and then, students are offered the chance for free hugs, goody bags or coupons. The Scramble Light plays host to many free things, but not cardinal cupcakes & coneys.

Cardinal cupcakes & coneys opened up in the Village in November 2011. The owner, Melissa Bucur, recently contacted Ball State about giving out cupcakes at the Scramble light to promote her business.

"Melissa wrote and you know, asked if they could ... set up on the corner," Dorris Shaw, Bucur's mother, said.

Bucur declined to comment on the subject.

"She said she feels like she already said enough," Shaw said.

According to the "Regulations for Use of Property for Expressive Activity" document by Ball State, section IV, the Out-of-Door Activities states "non-profit organizations may distribute materials using a table, booth or other apparatus in designated out-of-doors areas of Ball State property."

The problem for cardinal cupcakes & coneys is that it is a for-profit organization, said Tony Proudfoot, associate vice president for Marketing and Communications.

"[The regulations were] established back in 2002 and its purpose is really to maintain order and the respect of others rights and to insure the university can [take] care [of] its mission and conduct its activities on a large campus," Proudfoot said. "As you can imagine, we have 20,000 people on and off campus everyday on 700 acres so there are a lot of people in a very small compact area and so the purpose of this again is to help maintain order and to protect the rights of others in that kind of situation."

Cardinal cupcakes & coneys is not the only organization that has been denied access to set up on campus. Proudfoot said this happens all the time.

"I don't know how frequently, but we do get requests for commercial activity on campus on a fairly regular basis and those are certainly not by any means limited to local proprietors," he said. "For example: Chase credit card would love to come on campus and open checking accounts or open credit cards, or any other number of national businesses or corporate businesses that target college students."

Not everyone completely agrees with the bylaws the university has created. Senior entrepreneurship major Colin McCarty said he feels that exceptions should be made occasionally for businesses in the Village.

"It's just something that's got to be set up, that it would only be for the Ball State Village businesses and that they could only do that," McCarty said. "I see on their side that they couldn't have everyone do that, but it's still an awesome opportunity for the students and the businesses in the Village to have an opportunity to connect with the students like that."

McCarty recently founded the Revitalize the Village Club before the end of the Spring Semester. He hopes that incoming students can become a major factor in the Village's evolution over the next few years.

"We're going to be doing some events with the students and like getting the students down in the Village and getting some clean up things going on or some fundraiser things for the Village area; spruce it up a little more," he said.

Although some remained split over whether the Village should be allowed access to the Ball State campus, it still doesn't do too bad on its own, Proudfoot said.

"I would point out that in any given semester, how many times do you go to the Village?" he asked. "And so, the reason that that's a commercial area is because it's a great place for businesses to cater to the university and the reason for that is because there's a lot of traffic in the Village."


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