Last year a student wanted to give me a twenty and seemed hurt when I politely refused it. Instead, we decided that he could use the twenty for bagels and cream cheese as an end of semester breakfast for our Communications Skills Center and "regulars." This was a huge success--and less than twenty dollars.
We have an official policy regarding gifts over ten dollars (or any cash amount), but smaller gifts don't seem to interfere with integrity. In the centers or SI, if a student is insistent, we encourage a group related gift. For individual tutoring, we strongly adhere to the no cash policy, and students seem very receptive to the guidelines. If I did receive a gift, it was typically a bag of goodies for my seven-year-old or a fun package of gel pens for myself.
We cover this policy during our tutor training sessions, in the tutor guidelines, and tutor newsletters.
Good luck.
Leslie Connery

 >>> [log in to unmask] 09/11/01 12:08AM >>>
I'm hoping someone on this list can offer suggestions on how best to handle
something that has just come up here: a tutee gave one of our tutors a cash
"tip".  Although the tutor protested and tried not to accept it, the student
insisted.  It wasn't a large amount ($5), but on principle this doesn't seem
like a good idea.  Now the tutors (paid student employees) want to know our
"policy" on this anomalous (so far) situation -- and we don't have one.
Also, from time to time, tutees give our tutors gifts.  When these are
little tokens of appreciation (food or small items), it doesn't seem like a
big deal -- but once in a while somebody gives a tutor something rather
expensive, and that does raise issues similar to the monetary gift.

Do any of you have an articulated policy on tips and gifts?  How do you tell
your tutors to handle this situation?

Thanks in advance for sharing your collective wisdom.

Beth Kupper-Herr
Associate Professor
Acting Coordinator, Learning Resource Center
Leeward Community College
96-045 Ala Ike
Pearl City, HI  96782

e-mail:  [log in to unmask]
phone/voice mail:  (808) 455-0413

Communications Skills Center
Tutoring Support Services
Harford Community College
401 Thomas Run Road
Bel Air, MD 21015
Ph    (410) 836-4429
TTY (410) 836-4199
Fax  (410) 836-4200