Home > Opinion > OPINION: Merrimack Should Allow Teams, Clubs, and Orgs to Use Venmo for Fundraising

OPINION: Merrimack Should Allow Teams, Clubs, and Orgs to Use Venmo for Fundraising

Matthew Cavoli

Imagine a world without Venmo. As a college student today, it seems nearly impossible to go about your life without this essential app. Today, almost everyone uses Venmo, Cash App, or another online payment system.  It’s just so easy and beneficial to have. When paying a friend back, there is no need to find exact change anymore, because with a few clicks on the phone the payment is complete. These online payment apps have resulted in people no longer carrying around cash. Why have a bunch of paper money in your pocket, when you can access all of your money through your phone? Even the people who were skeptical of these apps are coming around, they are jumping on the Venmo bandwagon. No one wants to be that one friend who doesn’t have Venmo. These apps are becoming a regular way of payment, even stores are now accepting Venmo. The saying “Venmo me” is probably one of the most used sayings in 2022.

The problem: Merrimack does not allow their student organizations and clubs to use it as a way of payment. Why? Other colleges allow their students to use Venmo for these purposes. For example, the University of Massachusetts Amherst lets their clubs and Greek life use Venmo for almost everything. UMass’s Twitter account even promoted a Venmo account for a student-run fundraiser. It would be really helpful if Merrimack College’s student clubs, sports teams, and organizations could also use the app for selling items and fundraising. College students don’t carry around cash, so student clubs, sports teams, and organizations are hurting due to the college’s no-Venmo stance.

I personally reached out to the office of the Dean of Students for their reasoning on this rule: “Student organizations and departments are all given College accounts (funds) to operate all fiscal business from. These funds allow each student organization and department the ability to manage financial risk by using their College account to operate finances.  This includes payments that are needed to vendors, purchasing social/ recreation supplies, and collecting deposits.  By utilizing a College account (fund), all finances can be monitored and then dispersed appropriately.”  

After reading through their statement, it gave me a better understanding on why the no-Venmo rule was put into place. It does make sense that the school wants to keep track of their clubs, sports teams, and organizations budget, just to make sure no fraud is being committed. 

However, I would really like to see the college reconsider this policy and find a way to make Venmo work so teams, orgs, and clubs can sell items and fundraise while collecting Venmo donations. Other schools do it, so why shouldn’t we?