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Allocation Handbook

Updated January 2017

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. This money will account for only general needs for student organizations, and these organizations will have to come in separately to request additional funds if needed for other circumstances, known as special allocations. 

Standard Allocations

The Congress will hold an annual Allocation Meeting in which an informed representative, such as the treasurer, from each student organization will be given an opportunity to request funding by submitting an allocation request for the upcoming year. During this meeting, the congress will only hear standard allocation request, and will reserve special allocations for organizations to come in and request at a separate time. All groups will have the opportunity to request the same items, and only those during this meeting. Standard allocations can be requested by any organization, and will be granted if the organization meets all of the requirements.

Special Allocations

If organizations require funds outside of standard allocations, organizations they will have the opportunity to present and request additional funds to the congress through a special allocations request to congress throughout during the academic year. In determining how much money to allocate a given organization for a special allocation, the Congress will consider 1) the historical spending of the group, 2) the proposed budget submitted, 3) the amount of community service completed by the group in the past year, 4) any unique circumstances based on the mission, purpose, or nature of the organization 5) the percent of funds the group has fundraised towards the overall request amount.

      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

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

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.

    II.         Standard Allocation Requests

a.     To be eligible for a standard allocations 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.     An allocation request for each of the fall and spring semesters. These requests must be submitted to the Student Congress Treasurer a week prior to the Allocation Meeting

                                            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 hour of community service per member, per semester through a service project to continue to receive funding. 

1.     Organizations will be deemed inactive if the required materials listed above are not turned in on the specified date from congress. Organizations that remain inactive for 2 or more years will be not be recognized by Congress and must return to the Congress, with the listed required items, in order be approved again.

                                              v.     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.

  III.         Student Organization Standard Allocation Spending Guidelines

a.     Below are the guidelines the congress uses to allocate groups around standard allocation requests.

b.     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.

c.     Receptions

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

d.     Banquets

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

                                             ii.     Organizations may receive allocations for one banquet each academic semester.

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

e.     Prizes and Parties

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

f.      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.).

 IV.         The Standard Allocation Meeting

a.     Only standard allocation requests will be heard during the allocation meetings. Any requests that do not meet the standard allocation requests, will be rejected and required to return for special allocations. A member of the organization who is involved in the allocation request preparation and who is aware of how the organization would use the requested funds should present the standard allocation request. He or she should be prepared to answer specific questions about the allocation request and about the organization.

                                               i.     Student Congress Senators are prohibited from presenting allocation requests at the Allocation Meeting.

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

   V.         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 money are used in a manner consistent with the organization’s rules, and adheres to Student Congress’s Student Organization pending 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.     Spring Break will be considered part of the spring 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, for any amount, they will be expected to pay compensation for the budget deficit and/or be penalized at the following allocation period.

 VI.         Reconsideration of Standard Allocations

a.     Any organization wishing a reconsideration of their standard 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.

VII.         Special Allocation Requests

a.     To seek a special allocation, an organization must contact the Student Congress Secretary to request to be placed on the agenda for the next possible Student Congress meeting. If the request is sent to any other member of the executive team without including the secretary the request will not be considered.  This request must be completed by the Sunday before the next possible Student Congress meeting.

                                               i.     The organization must provide information regarding any fundraising completed. The Congress will expect to see exact monetary amounts, and specific details of the fundraising, and any additional plans to fundraise. It is the expectation of the Congress that groups who are requesting special allocations have fundraised some percentage of the requested amount.

                                             ii.     Student Congress reserves the right to deny a request for a Special Allocation if it does not feel the allocation is warranted, or the organization has not met the requirements to receive special allocations.

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

VIII.         Student Organization Special Allocation Spending Guidelines

a.     Below are the guidelines the congress uses to allocate groups around special allocation requests. If the organization were to make an error on the special allocation request document, the congress will not make the changes to increase the dollar amount, rather, only the amount listed will be considered. The request submitted to the congress is final.

b.     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.

c.     Meals

                                               i.     Organizations may compensate members $7 per student, per meal for meals missed due to the organization’s off-campus activities. Meal funds will not be allocated for advisors, or any other member that is not a current undergraduate student at Doane University.

                                             ii.     Meals missed during school breaks will be compensated to the Congress’ discretion.

d.     Lodging

                                               i.     Organizations may request up to $25 dollars per person per night for lodging accommodations or the standard price of lodging, whichever is less. Lodging funds will not be allocated for advisors, or any other member that is not a current undergraduate student at Doane University.

e.     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. Registration or admission funds will not be allocated for advisors, or any other member that is not a current undergraduate student at Doane University.

f.      Alcohol

                                               i.     Consistent with Doane University policy, organizations may not spend Student Congress allocations on alcohol.

g.     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 Treasurer to request consideration for charitable gift ideas.

h.     Student Congress will not allocate funds for uniform or clothing costs for organizations.

 IX.         How to Access Allocated Funds

a.     A Student Organization cannot directly obtain cash from the business office. To access funds, organizations may do one of the following:

b.     Purchase Orders

                                               i.     Purchase Orders can be found in the Student Affairs 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 Novak 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.

c.     Check Requests

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

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

                                            iii.     Requests should include a receipt for the items purchased along with the completed check request. In order to be approved, the check request must be signed by Donna Novak in the Business office, and the current Student Congress treasurer.

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

d.     Department Card

                                               i.     Doane debit cards may be rented out to the president or treasurer of the student organization.

                                             ii.     These debit cards may only be accessed from the organization’s advisor. If an active advisor does not have access to a department card, the organization may request a debit card from another department.

                                            iii.     If the debit card does not have appropriate funds, the owner of the department card may request to increase the credit limit from Jason Cottam, Assistant Controller/Budget Manager in the business office to obtain enough funds for the organizations need.

e.     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.

f.      Sodexo

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

g.     Independent Funds

                                               i.     Organizations are encouraged to fundraise over and above what Student Congress allocates. In the case of special allocations, student organizations will be expected to elaborate on the organization's fundraising efforts.

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

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

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

   X.         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.

 XI.         New Organizations

a.     In order to be considered an official student congress organization, all the required documents must be presented and approved by congress. Newly chartered organizations may request a standard allocation request mid-year without penalty. Newly chartered organizations may also request special allocations throughout the academic year.

XII.         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, 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.