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Allocation Handbook

Student Congress

Allocation Handbook


Overview of the Process

Near the end of the Spring Semester, the Student Congress will decide the amount of money to be allocated to student organizations collectively for the upcoming year.  Once this dollar amount is determined, the Congress will hold an Allocation Meeting in which representatives from each student organization will be given an opportunity to request funding by submitting a proposed budget for the upcoming year.  In determining how much money to allocate a given organization, the Congress will consider 1) the historical spending of the group, 2) the proposed budget submitted for the Allocation Meeting, and 3) any unique circumstances based on the mission, purpose, or nature of the organization.

The Allocation Process

I. Allocation Eligibility

a. Only organizations that have been officially approved by the Student Congress are eligible for funding.  To meet this standard, organizations must:

                                              i. Have an active Faculty Advisor,

                                            ii. Have a designated executive committee or leadership team,

                                           iii. Not award academic credit for participation,

                                           iv. Be open to all students

1. Honor societies and special interest groups may use a selection process or membership requirements to elect members, but the opportunity to seek membership must be open to all interested students.

                                            v. Have a constitution that has been approved by the Student Congress.

b. To be eligible for an allocation from Student Congress, an organization must, unless extraordinary circumstances dictate otherwise, attend one of the Student Congress Treasurer’s educational meetings as well as the Allocation Meeting and provide the following:

                                              i. An up-to-date copy of its constitution,

 ii. Names, emails, and mailbox numbers of the organization’s officers and advisor for the upcoming year, and a list of signatures of the organization’s members.

iii. A proposed budget for each of the fall and spring semesters.  These budgets must be submitted to the Student Congress Treasurer prior to the Allocation Meeting so that copies can be distributed.

iv. A summary of the Community Service projects that have been completed in the past year and planned for next year.  Organizations are expected to complete one Service Project each semester to continue to receive funding.   Organizations are expected to complete one hour of a community service project for each member per semester.  

v. Organizations will become inactive if the appropriate material is not turned in on the specified date. Organizations that are inactive for 2 or more years must return to Student Congress to be approved again.

vi. Organizations that attend a bi-annual organization meetings held by the Student Affairs office can receive an additional $20 per year during allocations.

1. Students that attend can represent only a limited number of groups.

II. The Allocation Meeting

a. A member of the organization who is involved in the budget preparation and who is aware of how the organization would use the requested funds should present the budget requests.  He or she should be prepared to answer specific questions about the budget request and about the organization.

b. The proposed budget should be as specific as possible.

c. Student Congress Senators are prohibited from presenting budget proposals at the Allocation Meeting.

d. Student Congress Senators must identify what organizations, if any, they belong to during the allocation process.

III. Spending Allocated Funds

a. Funds allocated to an organization will be placed in a Business Office account and will be available during the semester in which they have been allocated.

b. The organization’s leadership shall have sole discretion to spend the money in its Business Office Account, provided the monies are used in a manner consistent with the organization’s rules, adheres to Student Congress’s Student Organization Spending Guidelines (Section IX), and the organization’s advisor affirms the expenditure is consistent with the purpose of the organization.

c. At the end of each semester, all unused funds will return to the Student Congress General Account.

                                              i. Christmas Break will be considered part of the fall semester.

                       ii. Interterm will be considered part of the spring semester.

Fall semester

d. If an organization does not spend any allocated money the previous semester they will be asked to reconsider the upcoming semesters funds.

e. If an organization overdraws their account, they will be expected to pay compensation for the budget deficit and/or be penalized at the following allocation period.

IV. Reconsideration of Allocations

a. Any organization wishing a reconsideration of their allocated funds must notify the Student Congress President and Treasurer within two Student Congress meetings of receiving their allocation.

b. To be eligible for reconsideration, the organization must present a justified reason or “new evidence” to the Congress in order for the Congress to change the allocation.

i. The Congress reserves the right to refuse to change the allocation after a hearing.

                                            ii. Any decision made during a reconsideration hearing is final.

c. Reconsideration hearings should be held at the first possible Student Congress Meeting.

V. Special Allocation Requests

a. If unexpected circumstances create a need for an organization to gain more funding, the organization can seek a special allocation from Student Congress.

b. To seek a special allocation, an organization must contact the Student Congress President and Treasurer to request to be placed on the agenda for the next possible Student Congress meeting.

i. The organization must demonstrate need for the money and explain why the need was unforeseen.

ii. Student Congress reserves the right to deny a request for a Special Allocation if it does not feel the allocation is warranted.

                                           iii. Any decision made regarding a special allocation is final.

VI. How to Access Funds

a. Purchase Orders

i. Purchase Orders can be found in the Student Leadership Office, Business Office, or with the Student Congress Treasurer.

ii. Purchase Orders require the signature of the Student Congress Treasurer and should be submitted to Donna in the Business Office.

iii. Stores will take a completed Purchase Order for payment and the organization’s Business Office account will be billed.

                          iv. The organization should keep copies of all receipts.

b. Check Requests

i. Check requests are used to reimburse individuals for organization-related expenses.

ii. Check requests can be found in the Student Leadership Office, Business Office, or with the Student Congress Treasurer.

iii. Include a receipt for the items purchased along with the completed check request.

iv. Check requests submitted to Donna in the Business Office by noon on Monday will be ready on Wednesday.  Requests submitted later than Monday at noon will not be ready until the next week.

c. Service Bureau

i. Organizations can set up accounts with the Service Bureau and Business Office to charge printing, copying, etc. directly to the organization’s Business Office account.

d. Sodexo

i. Sodexo can bill the organization’s Business Office account directly to save the paperwork of Purchase Orders or Check Requests.

e. Independent Funds

i. Organizations are encouraged to fundraise over and above what Student Congress allocates.

ii. Organizations may set up accounts with the Business Office to manage monies that come from other sources.

1. Records for these accounts must be kept separately from Student Congress’s allocations to prevent confusion.

iii. Funding that comes from independent sources need not be spent according to Student Congress’s Student Organization Spending Guidelines.

VII. Tracking Funds

a. Each organization should have a Treasurer or other member appointed to keep records of all expenses.

b. The Student Congress Treasurer and Business Office Accountant keep official records, but it is important for each organization to keep and compare records periodically to avoid errors.

c. The organization’s treasurer may request a copy of the account balance from the Business Office or Student Congress Treasurer at any time.

VIII. New Organizations

a. Newly chartered organizations may request an Allocation mid-year without penalty.

IX. Student Organization Spending Guidelines

a. Transportation

i. Mileage reimbursements are $0.39 per mile for cars and $0.42 per mile for vans.

ii. To use a Doane Vehicle, organizations must follow all of Doane’s policies for reserving and operating vehicles.

iii. Organizations may not use Student Congress Allocation funds for van-driver certification.

b. Meals

i. Organizations may compensate members $7 per student, per meal for meals missed due to the organization’s off-campus activities.

c. Lodging

i. Organizations may spend up to $25 dollars per person per night for lodging accommodations.

d. Registration and Admissions Fees

i. Organizations may request up to 50% of the total cost of admissions or registration fees for activities pertaining to the organization’s mission and purpose.

e. Speakers

i. Organizations may spend up to $30 to reimburse a speaker’s travel expenses.

ii. Organizations may give a gift to speakers valued up to $30.  Due to employment-law requirements, this gift cannot be in the form of cash.

f.  Receptions

i. Organizations may spend up to $35 dollars per event on receptions, provided the reception is open to the public.

g. Banquets

i. Organizations may spend up to $10 per member to provide food for banquets.

ii. If a banquet is catered by Sodexo, the organization may be able to gain funding above this by getting compensation from student meal-plans.

h. Prizes and Parties

i. Organizations may NOT spend Student Congress allocations on parties or prizes for its members.

i.  Memberships, Scholarships, and Awards

i. Organizations may NOT spend Student Congress allocations on memberships to national organizations, national scholarship funds, or awards (such as graduation cords, keys, etc.).

j.  Alcohol

i. Consistent with Doane College policy, organizations may NOT spend Student Congress allocations on alcohol.

k. Charitable Giving

i. Organizations should NOT use their funds for charitable giving.  Student Congress budgets money to be used for charitable gifts.

ii. Contact the Student Congress President and Treasurer to request consideration for charitable gift ideas.

l. Student Congress will not allocate funds for uniform costs for organizations.

X. Failure to Adhere to Student Organization Spending Guidelines

a. If an organization is found to have spent Student Congress allocations in a way that does not adhere to the Student Organization Spending Guidelines (Section XI), the organization will be subject to sanctions imposed by the Student Congress.  These may include:

                                              i. Reimbursing Student Congress for funds spent,

                                            ii. Penalization during the upcoming allocation period, and/or

                                           iii. Loss of the privilege of Student Congress Allocations.