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We can not eat in our cafeteria on weekends, so we need a plan for arrival weekend.

  • July 25: DebCamp arrival: We'll do nothing here, everyone for themselves.
  • July 31-August 1: DebConf arrival/DebConf day 1, we need a plan for here.
  • August 7: DebConf last day. Let's discuss this after we plan the arrival weekend since it'll probably be a (mostly) copy of Sunday.

We could pick and choose plans for different days.


[edit] Plan A: Debit Cards


Price structure (separated into start-up, per-meal overhead, and actual meal costs.)

  • One-time setup fee: $500, paid by SPI general funds, NOT Debian funds and NOT DebConf10 funds, usable for future purposes for any SPI associated project without needing another $500
  • $2.95 flat fee per card, not per meal
  • Whether any per-transaction purchaser fees exist in this card program is still TBD
  • $21.95 shipping fee per order, up to 500 cards
  • Per-meal costs (including sales tax) could feasibly average $10-12 if we tell attendees to be price-conscious with our money and they comply.

Logistics - What we need to do to make it happen. What attendees need to do and be aware of.

  • Jimmy/Michael/Bdale send paperwork, payment, and an SPI logo to debit card vendor wearing their SPI hats, and the cards arrive. The cards come with all the policies/legalese we have to give the attendees, except that we need to mention any merchant category restrictions we apply.


  • Everything about this weekend becomes Not Our Problem. No eating space needed, no clean-up needed.
  • Get to experience other restaurants around
  • Attendees handle their own dietary concerns
  • Fees are not greater than in catering situations
  • It's a cash equivalent with an expiration date, which cuts down on abuse
  • Can be restricted to only restaurant/grocery store use, again good for anti-abuse
  • We are more likely to be able to recover the cards from attendees than cash


  • Start up costs and fees exist (about $3/card ignoring the $500 fee which isn't part of the Deb* budgets)
  • Running out of money before the end of the debit card period is bad, worse than running out of food at the end of a meal.
  • Some restaurants authorize an extra 15-20% on the card to handle tips; the excess of this over any tips charged to the card is returned to the card, but not soon enough for our purposes. We need to figure out how to minimize or avoid this.
  • Any (hopefully negligible) amounts of money left on the cards after the expiration date are lost
  • Minor disadvantages
    • Have to walk to 116th to exit campus on weekends.
    • Attendees will need to check their balance online or over the phone instead of looking in their wallet.

[edit] Plan AA: Cash

Price structure

  • Per-meal costs (including sales tax) could feasibly average $10-12 if we tell attendees to be price-conscious with our money and they comply.


  • Same as Plan A, plus:
  • No startup fees/costs
  • Attendees can easily keep track of how much they have left by reading the numbers on the money
  • There are no weird effects due to restaurants authorising additional amounts of money to be spent
  • Moray speculates that some attendees would turn down the offer of cash for meals, more than they would be likely to turn down a magic card being handed to them


  • In order for SPI to stay in good legal/tax standing, it would require documentation for expenses paid in cash, to avoid inappropriate/illegal/nonexempt uses, which would be a major logistical hassle for attendees.
  • Even aside from SPI's legal/tax concerns, people could waste DebConf money on non-food stuff.
  • Running out of money before the end of the cash period is bad, worse than running out of food at the end of a meal
  • People are unlikely to return unused cash -- but we don't know yet if we can get money back off cards, and they're likely to intentionally use up the money on a card anyway

[edit] Plan AAA: Cash from non-SPI source

Overseas sponsors transfer money to a local team member's bank account. We withdraw cash from there.

We let people know on the weekend "We can give you cash if you need it for meals". This encourages saving of money. We give the cash to people who need it.

If they have extra cash left over, we don't worry about it. Better for attendees to get a little bit left, than the bank to get it.


  • Simple for our attendees
  • Simple for us
  • Less money needed than other plans


  • Possible suspicion raised for the local team's bank account, or complications if they use their bank statement for tax recordkeeping
  • Requires enough overseas sponsors willing to do this.
  • It places a social barrier to asking us for cash, which puts attendees with more limited means in the spotlight.
  • No accountability for the usage, which only matters if the relevant sponsors care

[edit] Plan B: Takeout/Box lunches

Since most people are not here early on arrival day, we can do some sort of minimal plan. This particular plan will only cover July 31st, the arrival day.

  • Lunch
    • For Lunch, do a bulk take-out order. This will, for the most part, be the DebCamp crew.
    • Someone makes sign-up sheets, people sign up the morning of (or night before). With ~90 people, it shouldn't be too hard.
    • Someone orders, using the SPI debit cards.
    • We eat outside, on the lawns, in various (carefully, under the radar), or in the dorm lounges.
    • Advantages: Doesn't require any advance preparation beyond that morning. Doesn't require a designated eating space or clean up costs. Relatively simple.
    • Disadvantages: It's take-out food, not the healthiest.
  • Dinner
    • For dinner, we do box lunches. This is
    • We make an order from one of our caterers for N box lunches, based on an estimate for the number of people around for dinner, plus those we think will show up in the near future.
    • Boxes arrive around XX:00, and we distribute to the people that are around.
    • The surplus boxes are left by the front desk, to be given to sponsored attendees / sold to other incoming attendees. They can eat wherever they'd like.
    • Advantages: Doesn't require a fixed space for eating. doesn't have clean-up costs. People who arrive late can get food as they come in, if they are on time. We already have caterers whom can do this.
    • Disadvantages: We have to estimate the number needed, and a special call to a caterer.

[edit] Plan C: Null plan

This plan only applies to Saturday, July 31st.

  • We say that due to all the random arrivals, there is no dinner. Lunch is figured out day-of if we have time.

[edit] Plan D: More lunch boxes and to go eat to the park or lawns

(this is similar to the dinner part of plan B)

We order a lot of box lunches, and send people to eat them outside somewhere. We can even have a group walk to a park. There are very many lawns, tables, and benches, and eating areas on campus, and people can use them. If we are dispersed into common areas enough, and we are low-key enough, we don't have to pay for cleaning.


  • People can eat outside, there are many spots and it'll be nice.
  • Maintains a group environment for eating.


  • Could rain or be hot, in which case we have to pack inside.
  • If this leaves a mess around campus, then we get in trouble for making a mess.

[edit] Plan E: People can make their own food

  • Buy food at a nearby supermarket. (bread, yogurth, fruit, etc)
  • Set out the food on some tables somewhere in our conference.
  • Attendees come by and get whatever food they want: making sandwiches, salads, other assorted things.
  • Eating location: send them outside to minimize our cleaning impact.


  • there is food for people arriving at strange times.
  • People can take what they like, and can get food satisfying different dietary restrictions.
  • We probably need to provide less food this way: Anyone who wants can eat, but a lot of people will be motivated to eat out.


  • Pay cleaning.
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