Policies and Procedures Governing Student Activity and Other Mandatory Student Fees
The College follows/uses the USG policy on the collection and use of mandatory student fees. This policy can be found at the following link: http://www.usg.edu/business_procedures_manual/section24/C2050/#p24.3.1_mandatory_student_fees
In keeping with that policy, the following procedures have been established for the administration of Student Activity Fee funds:
Responsibility for Administration of Funds
Authority: Board of Regents policy dictates that “all mandatory student fees collected by an institution shall be budgeted and administered by the president using proper administrative procedures, which shall include the advice and counsel of an advisory committee composed [of] at least 50 percent students.
Students shall be appointed by the institution’s Student Government Association. All payments from funds supported by student mandatory fees shall be made according to approved business procedures and the appropriate business practices of the institution.” The President has delegated responsibility for allocation and accountability of Student Activity Fee (SAF) funds to the Vice President for Finance and Operations (VPFO) and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA). In turn, the VPFO and the VPAA rely heavily on the Comptroller and the Dean of Students, respectively, for day- to-day administration of funds.
Purpose and principles for use of SAF funds: In 2013, through a process that involved input from students, faculty, and administrators, ABAC developed a structured (tiered) approach to the allocation of funds received from Student Activity Fees. The goal was to develop an allocation model that:
Funds a range of current and future student activities that meet the student life and learning environment needs of students,
Provides a simple and transparent allocation process that meets BOR and ABAC policy requirements with respect to allocation of SAF, and
Assigns fiscal accountability and responsibility to the deans for the expenditure of funds for Student Activity Funds that are associated with certain co-curricular activities.
Revenues received from Student Activity Fees are allocated to three (3) categories:
Category 1 - Budgeted reserves - to be used to support capital needs in support of student activities. Management for this budget category shall reside with the Vice President for Finance and Operations.
Category 2 - Institutional programs - salary, benefits, and operating funds to support student activities associated with SGA, Intramural and Recreational Sports, Ambassadors, Aquatics, Campus Activity Board (Interclub Council), Wellness Centers, Forest Lakes Golf Course, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Theta Kappa, Student Publications, Student Radio Stations, and license fees. Management for this budget category shall reside with the Dean of Students.
Category 3 - Academically-allied student activity programs - programs that are tied directly to academic programs. Management for this budget category shall reside with the Academic Deans. Qualifying criteria for Category 3 are:
Clubs, teams, groups, etc. linked directly with the offering of an academic program, and
Clubs, teams, groups, etc. that are linked to regional or national organizations that have collegiate education as a part of their mission, and
Clubs, teams, groups, etc. that contribute to at least one of the following: leadership, career development, or scholarship.
The Vice President for Finance and Operations and the Dean of Students maintain a list of the organizations approved to receive funds within each of the categories listed above.
Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee: The President, or his designee, shall appoint a Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee (SAFAC) consisting of ten (10) persons to include the following:
The President of the ABAC Student Government Association (SGA),
Three (3) students to be selected by SGA,
One (1) non-student member to be appointed by the Vice President for Finance and Operations,
One (1) non-student member to be appointed by the Dean of Students,
One (1) non-student member to be appointed by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and
Three (3) student members to be appointed by the President.
Allocation Process: The Vice President for Finance and Operations shall be responsible for preparing the proposed Student Activities Budget, in accordance with the aforementioned allocation model. The annual budget shall be based upon best available projected revenue information. The annual budget shall reflect debits and credits to the Student Activity Reserve Account. Then, the Vice President for Finance and Operations, working with the Dean of Students, shall convene the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee and seek its approval of the budget, in accordance with BOR and ABAC policies.
The student members of the SAFAC, under the direction of the Dean of Students, shall be responsible for the solicitation of student input prior to meeting when the SAFAC will take action on the proposed budget. The Vice President for Finance and Operations shall report to the Cabinet on the actions and recommendations of the SAFAC during annual budget development.
At the end of spring semester and before closure of the fiscal year, the Dean of Students, working with the Vice President for Finance and Operations, or his designee, shall prepare a final report on the expenditure of Student Activity Funds. The report shall include budgeted amounts, actual revenues, actual expenditure, and reserves on hand in accordance with the four (3) funding categories.
Reimbursement Timing. ALL reimbursements or payments using SAF must be approved by the Dean of Students Office. It is recommended that all requests for reimbursement and payments from SAF funds be submitted within seven (7) days of the date on the receipt or invoice. In exceptional circumstances, the Vice President for Finance and Operations may approve reimbursement requests submitted after this deadline, solely at their discretion.
Reimbursement Procedures. It is the responsibility of the club or organization advisor to manage SAF funds in accordance with standard business policies and procedures of the Board of Regents, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and the Policy of the SAFAC. All requests for expenditures or reimbursement of expenditures must be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students. If the Dean of Students, or designee, approves the request, he/she will submit it to the ABAC Business Office for payment.
Annual Reports. All organizations receiving SAF funds will submit a report at the end of the budget year comparing the budget plan and actual expenditures over the academic year. Failure to submit a report by the deadline published by the Office of the Dean of Students shall constitute a major infraction of the Policy of the SAFAC and shall result in appropriate penalties.
Investigations. The SGA President, the Dean of Students, or the Vice President for Finance and Operations may call for a review of the finances of any student organization. The review will be conducted by the SAFAC.
Sanctions. If a review finds any misuses of funds, the following steps can be taken at the discretion of the Vice President for Finance and Operations:
For minor infractions (as defined by the Vice President for Finance and Operations), the club or organization will receive a written notice of the infraction and a warning of future possible consequences should additional infractions occur.
For repeated minor infractions, an amount equal to the total amount involved in the infractions shall be re-encumbered and an equivalent amount deducted from the organization’s next budget.
For major infractions (as defined by the Vice President for Finance and Operations), the organization shall be prohibited from using its budget for the remainder of the fiscal year and shall be ineligible to request or receive budget funding in the following fiscal year.
For repeated major infractions, the organization shall be prohibited from using its budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, shall be ineligible to request or receive budget funding for the following three (3) fiscal years, and shall be referred to the SGA for consideration of possible charter suspension or revocation.