Help with Finances Budget, Finances, Purchases, and Travel… in a word: Money. This is one of the most important aspects of student organizations; if nothing else, for the many rules involved with trying to spend college funds appropriately. This short primer is designed to help students wade the murky waters of Student Government Finances as applied to student organizations. Background: The source of these funds Every student who pays tuition contributes about 10% of the tuition, in the form of an add-on called the A&S fees, to a fund set up to support co-curricular activities. A committee of students and staff (the SLA Budget Committee) allocates these funds to a variety of campus entities, including Student Government. Student Government’s Finance Committee is charged with the task of taking their allocation and dividing it among student organizations and SG’s three branches. How to get the money? Student organizations may have access to the funds two ways: Annual Allocation or Senate Overflow Request: • The Senate Overflow process is ongoing throughout the year, with the Student Senate voting whether to not to allocate funds for specific projects, programs or trips requested by students. Typically, the Overflow Accounts are used for new student organizations without annual allocations, or for organizations with needs that exceed their annual allocation. • An Annual Allocation provides a budget for a student organization to be spent as they see fit, as long as the expenditures are both lawful and fall within SG’s guidelines. These expenditures may be for trips, programs, equipment, and projects that further the goals of the organization. o When an organization gets an annual allocation from Student Government, the allocation is for a single fiscal year (i.e. July 1 – June 30). o Purchases from this budget may not be made before July 1, and purchase requests may not be turned in at the end of a fiscal year for an event occurring in the following fiscal year (i.e. One cannot turn in a request in May for a program in August, and one cannot use money from one fiscal year for an activity occurring the next year). o Funds not spent in one fiscal year do not rollover to the next. o The timeline for the allocation process is here. Annual Allocation Timeline. More information on acquiring SG funds for organizations’ use can be found in the SG Finance Manual. Workshops • Budget Workshops are put on several times a year to help teach organization members how to spend SG funds, including the forms and timelines required for all purchases. Attendance at a Budget Workshop is required for an organization to spend SG funds. Contact the SG Treasurer for workshop dates, times, and locations. • Travel Workshops are put on at the beginning of each semester, and are required for those organizations wishing to use SG funds for a trip. Contact the SG Adviser for workshop dates, times, and locations. Forms Many different forms are required as part of the purchasing process. The needs for a given program will vary depending on the vendor chosen, the amount of money involved, and the type of activity. Each of these are explained at the Budget and Travel Workshops and is explained in the SG Finance Manual and the SLA Travel Handbook Suggested Resources • SG Finance Manual: Outlining rules and procedures for spending Student Government funds. This document is a must-read for every organization president, treasurer, and adviser. • SLA Travel Handbook: Outlining rules, procedures, and paperwork, this handbook should be used for any group wanting to take a trip. • SG Treasurer: Elected every spring by the student body, the Treasurer is tasked with overseeing expenditures of all SG funds. This student provides training on budgets and purchasing, and approves all purchase requests for student organizations and SG’s branches. The Treasurer can be reached at 381-3781, email@example.com, or in person at S-136. • SG Adviser: A full-time staff member in the Center for Student Leadership & Activities, the SG Adviser provides support for the Student Government and for student organizations. Specific questions about any aspect of student organization finance may be directed to Dan Rodkin @ 395-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org, or in person at S-146.
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