BCSC board votes down policy on multiple payment methods

The Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. board has decided not to implement a policy that would have required schools to accept both cash and credit cards as payment for tickets to school-sponsored events.

The school board’s vote was 4-3, with Jason Major, Logan Schulz and Pat Bryant voting for the policy’s approval. Major drafted the policy with help from BCSC attorney Michael McIver.

“While one method may be preferred by a school, each option shall be offered and made available to a ticket purchaser to ensure equitable access to all potential attendees,” a policy draft stated. “Additionally, any items for sale by the school during the event (concessions, school spirit wear, etc…) shall also offer multiple payment options.”

Major said at a previous meeting that he attended an event in the spring where several attendees, including himself, had a difficult time paying by card. He added that there are students, grandparents and lower-income individuals who don’t have credit cards.

Major told The Republic that when he refers to credit cards in the policy, he is also including debit cards.

“I’m trying to protect those who may not have these tools to pay by requiring acceptance primarily as cash and optionally as electronic,” he said.

However, fellow board member Dale Nowlin said he felt the proposed policy was “micromanaging.”

“In my conversation with the athletic director at North about this, he had a list of 13 reasons, 13 advantages for them doing this, things like it actually saves them one staff person in ticket taking, it simplifies their bookkeeping, it leaves no room for human error, there’s no dispute about where the money went,” he said. “And almost all of those advantages are lost if we go to the dual system.”

Columbus North High School’s athletics department told The Republic that it has gone cashless for sporting events, with attendees either purchasing a digital ticket ahead of time or paying with credit or debit at the gate. The department announced the transition about a year ago.

This October, Columbus East High School’s athletics department shared on social media that, starting this winter, attendees have the option to purchase digital tickets, but cash will still be accepted at all sporting events.

The East athletics department told The Republic that one exception is events that are run by the Indiana High School Athletic Association, such as state playoffs. In these cases, the IHSAA regulates payment methods.

North’s athletics department said that the association has gone completely electronic in regards to payment.

The latest version of Major’s policy draft included an exception for IHSAA events, BCSC officials said.