F1.10 Business Meals, Entertainment and Other Social Events (Non-Travel)

Effective Date: June 20, 2023

Last Reviewed: June 20, 2023


Stonehill College acknowledges that certain non-travel business expenses are a necessary result of business operations.

The purpose of this policy is to promote discretion in spending and expenses related to business meals, entertainment, and other social events and to ensure that each expense has a valid business purpose.

A business purpose is defined as one that supports or advances   the goals, objectives, and mission of the College; the expense must be a necessary, reasonable, and appropriate business expense for the College.


Allowable Business Meals

Business meals taken with business associates, College guests, job applicants, professional colleagues, or donors, during which College business is discussed are allowable.

Business meals with subordinates (excluding alcohol) may also be reimbursed in circumstances, to ensure privacy and confidentiality, where business must be conducted off campus.

Original detailed receipts must be submitted for any business meal expense. Internal Revenue Service guidelines require that names, positions/titles, and/or the organizational affiliation of the guest(s), along with the business purpose must be provided on the supporting documentation.

Unallowable Business Meals

Meals taken between two or more College employees during which routine business issues are discussed are not reimbursable.

Meals taken with students are not reimbursable for any reason.

Meals During Meetings

Meals (excluding alcohol) may be purchased with College funds for employees working through mealtime at the request of their supervisor, such as at a training event or when there is a deadline to be met. Meals may also be purchased for meetings that last over three hours or when the only time the committee can meet is over lunch, although this should not be a frequent occurrence. Catering services can be used for meetings, but reasonability should be used when making food selection.

Entertainment and Other Social Events


Certain functions and events are considered business entertainment if they are intended to provide hospitality to individuals outside the College when considered necessary and customary in furthering the College’s interests.

Some examples of allowable business entertainment may include:

  • Receptions for College guests and visitors,
  • Alumni reunions or similar alumni events,
  • Entertaining donors or prospective donors,
  • Welcoming receptions for parents and students

Catering services can be used for on campus events but reasonability should be used when making food selection.

All College sponsored events held on campus, at which alcoholic beverages are served (open bar or cash bar), require an authorized bartending service provider to be engaged for the purpose of providing and serving (when necessary) these beverages

Employee-Oriented Functions

The College sponsors certain employee appreciation events including:

  • Annual holiday party
  • Annual end of year lunch
  • New employee orientation
  • Stonehill community events

College social events to promote teamwork and community building among employees who work together to achieve common business goals and objectives are allowed to be paid with College funds (excluding alcohol). The details of the event should result in a reasonable cost for the entire group and should occur no more than twice per year.

Departmental holiday parties (on or off campus) will not be funded by the College, as the College has an annual celebration for the entire community.


A department may conduct a modest reception/lunch (non-alcoholic) to recognize the retirement for an employee after ten years of service or the departure of a long-standing employee of ten years who have provided excellent service.