Student Organization Allocation Board Policy

3341-2-35 Student Organization Allocation Board Policy

Applicability:
All University Units

Responsible Unit:
Office of the Dean of Students

Policy Administrator:
Dean of Students

(A) Policy Statement and Purpose

The purpose is to articulate how registered student organizations may request funding for programming, operating expenses and/or travel, as well as how to appeal funding request decisions and apply for funding requirement exemptions.

(B) Policy

(1) Philosophy

The Student Organization Allocation Board (SOAB) Policy aligns with the University’s Mission, Vision, Core Values, and Strategic Plan. The Policy outlines the process whereby the University allocates monetary and other resources to Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) so they can provide programs and activities that enhance the co-curricular education of the entire BGSU student body. 

(2) Membership

The SOAB is comprised of staff and student representatives appointed by the President, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice Provost, and/or their designee(s). The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and Graduate Student Senate (GSS) are responsible for recommending the appointments of student board members.

(3) Guidelines

Three funding categories differentiate among types of requests – Programming/Events, Travel (i.e., Educational and Competitive), and Operating. All requests are categorized into one of these three areas. 

All requests must adhere to these requirements:

(a) The University's Mission, Vision, Core Values, and Strategic Plan will serve as the philosophical base when deciding the allocation of funds and resources.

(b) Funds and resources must be used to support programs and activities that are open to all students regardless of a specific race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, color, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, pregnancy, religion, age, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran.

(c) Funds and resources must be used to support programs and activities that are free to all students. RSOs may only charge students a fee to participate in a program or activity funded by the SOAB if they request and are granted approval when applying for funding. Any proceeds from these programs or activities (including but not limited to ticket sales, entry fees, participant fees and sponsorships) must be put toward the cost of the event or returned to the SOAB.

(d) RSOs designated as social fraternal organizations are only eligible to apply for Programming/Events Funds.

(e) Funds may not be used to support programs or activities for which academic credit is awarded.

(f) Funds and resources cannot be used for scholarships, grants, gifts, prizes, awards, donations, financial aid, legal services, prohibited political activities, sponsorship of elections, or items prohibited by state law and/or University policy.

(g) Funds may not be used to reimburse expenses incurred prior to receiving funding approval from the SOAB.

(h) All RSOs will be audited regularly by Campus Activities. The audits will be made available for the SOAB to review prior to the semester funding process.

(i) Spot audits may also occur as deemed necessary by Campus Activities.

(ii) If the audit indicates problems or irregularities, funds and resources may be frozen as deemed necessary by Campus Activities.

(i) All University-allocated funds will be swept from RSO accounts at the end of each semester. This does not apply to revenue funds and/or Foundation account monies.

(j) RSOs must use funds and resources in accordance with all University policies and may be required to utilize preferred vendors and/or contracted suppliers when expending funds.

(k) RSOs may not use funds to contract with individuals/entities, excluding currently enrolled Bowling Green State University students, in a way that would create an employment relationship. Accordingly, all service providers must follow the University’s policies and meet criteria as an Independent Contractor.

(l) RSOs that receive funding must reconcile all transactions and complete a post-assessment within 30 days following the program/event, return from travel, and/or operational purchase. Failure to complete these steps may impact future eligibility for funding and/or resources.

(m) Funds must be used for the express purpose that they are allocated for unless the RSO submits and is approved for a budget modification in advance by the board. 

(n) Any funds that are not used for their expressly approved purpose will be released from the organization’s treasury and returned following the program/event, return from travel, and/or operational purchase.

(o) RSOs shall maintain all funds, including fundraising dollars, in their University account and are not permitted to have offcampus bank accounts. RSOs designated as social fraternal organizations are exempted from this requirement.  

(4) Requests

RSOs may request funding and/or resources from the SOAB. Only RSOs that are in good standing with the University as well as whose presidents, treasurers, and advisors have completed their respective training(s) and may receive funding and/or resources. These funds/resources are intended to support RSO programs and activities but not to fully fund organizations.

RSOs are not guaranteed funding or resources. Allocations for an organization will be based upon the SOAB’s evaluation of the RSO’s request, available funds and/or resources, and information gathered during financial consultations and/or audits. 

(a) Semester Allocations Process

The Semester Allocation Process is only available to RSOs that have been recognized at BGSU for two (2) or more consecutive years. The application process occurs in the spring semester to allocate funds that are available to expend the following July 1 to December 31 and in the fall semester to allocate funds that are available to expend the following January 1 – June 30 to student organizations that meet all requirements as stated in the allocation. 

(b) Special Allocations Process

The Special Allocation Process occurs periodically throughout the academic year. This process is open to:

(i) RSOs that have been recognized at BGSU for less than two consecutive years.

(ii) RSOs that received SOAB funding for programs and/or activities that incur additional unexpected costs that are not the result of fiscal irresponsibility.

(iii) Initiatives that did not receive semester funding from the SOAB, given that these funds are used in a manner consistent with the funding policy.

(c) Programming/Event Funds

Programming/Event Funds are awarded to support programs/events that enhance the educational, cultural, and social experience of BGSU students. Activities must open for participation by the entire student body and must directly assist the organization in achieving its mission as it aligns with the University Mission, Vision, Values, and Strategic Plan. Funding applications may be submitted as part of the Semester Allocation Process OR the Special Allocation Process, but RSOs may not submit for the same program/event to both processes except as previously noted.

Programming/Event Funds may be utilized within the following limitations:

(i) $1,000 maximum for food per event and all food must be purchased from BGSU Dining.

(ii) BGSU employees may not be compensated for speaking engagements, consultations and training, nor may they receive payment for performing services that are considered to be within the scope of their BGSU employment.

(iii) RSOs may not compensate their advisor or coach for services.

(iv) RSOs requesting $2,500 or greater must meet with a member of the Campus Activities staff to review the details of the request prior to submission.

(d) Travel Funds Travel Funds are awarded to support expenses that directly assist the organization in achieving its mission as it aligns with the University Mission, Vision, Values, and Strategic Plan. Travel includes conferences, training sessions, competitions, and other off-campus events outside the city of Bowling Green, Ohio. Travel funds must be spent in compliance with the BGSU Travel Policy. Travel Funds for RSOs are divided into two subcategories: Educational Travel and Competitive Travel. Funding applications may be submitted as part of the Semester Allocation Process OR Special Allocation Process, but organizations may not submit for the same expenses to both processes except as previously noted. Travel Funds to support participation in tournaments or competitions that require qualification may be requested only after the organization has qualified. 

(i) Travel Funds may only be used to cover the following costs in priority order:

(a) Registration and/or entry fees;

(b) Lodging; and

(c) Transportation – note, some methods of transportation may require the use of university preferred vendors/contracted suppliers.

(ii) Travel funds cannot be used to cover the costs of:

(a) Food;

(b) Individual conference travel for students pursuing professional development;

(c) Advisor travel unless prescribed by BGSU travel policy; and/or

(d) Mileage reimbursement.

(e) Operating funds

The SOAB makes available a limited amount of funds annually to organizations to support day-to-day expenses that directly assist the organization in achieving its mission as it aligns with the University Mission, Vision, Values, and Strategic Plan. Applications for Operating Funds will be accepted and processed starting on August 1 of each year. Operating Funds are limited to $500 annually per RSO and are awarded on a first-come basis until funds runs out for the fiscal year or through April 1, whichever comes first.  

Operating funds may be utilized within the following limitations:

(i) No funds may be used for salaries, stipends or wages.

(ii) No funds may be used for personal computer purchases.

(iii) No funds may be used for disposable or one-time-use materials.

(5) Exempted Recognized Student Organizations

Undergraduate Student Government, University Activities Organization, and the Homecoming Student Steering Committee may apply to the Chair of the SOAB for funding on an annual basis. Applications must be submitted annually by March 1 in the form of a written letter and should outline the amount requested by category of funding. If the organization wishes to carry forward unused funds into the next fiscal year, a written request must be submitted to the Chair of the SOAB annually by June 1. The request must outline the amount being requested for carry forward and how the funds will be utilized. Decisions of the Chair of the SOAB may be appealed to the Dean of Students. The decision of the Dean of Students is final.  

(6) Policy Exemptions

RSOs may appeal to the Dean of Students, or designee, for exemption from specified parts of this policy if it prevents an organization from accomplishing its mission as it aligns with the University Mission, Vision, Values, and Strategic Plan. An exemption request must be made in writing prior to submitting the associated funding application. The SOAB will review a funding application with a policy exemption only if the exemption has been granted in advance. 

(7) Appeals

SOAB decisions may be appealed to the Dean of Students, or designee, and must be submitted in writing to the Office of the Dean of Students within five (5) business days of the decision being sent to the organization.

Appeals will be reviewed by the Dean of Students, or designee, who can elect to:

(a) Return the application to the SOAB for additional review;

(b) Allocate funding and/or;

(c) Deny the appeal.

The decision of the Dean of Students, or designee, is final. 

Effective Date: October 30, 2018