Welcome to The Fairleigh Dickinson University Metropolitan Campus Student Government Association guidelines pages. It is our hope that this medium will provide useful and pertinent information for all students. Additionally, we want to provide resources and opportunities for student feedback and interaction. The number one goal of this administration is to serve you and be sensitive to your needs. This web page was created with that goal in mind, and with the hope that you would use this site to communicate with members of your SGA.
Please never hesitate to contact any member of the SGA with questions or concerns you may have. You can email us at fdumetro_SGA@yahoo.com. This administration and I will not feel successful until we create a transparent, accountable, and inclusive student government.
The SGA exists in order to enhance your FDU experience. It advises on policy issues, coordinates Tri-partite committees of faculty, administrators, and students, and funds student programming. As both a funding and governing board, the SGA works in collaboration with student groups to enhance campus life, affect change, instill a sense of FDU pride and promote community.
To strive for honor in the service and protection of the student body of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Metropolitan Campus, through representing their interests and developing personal relationships. In addition, we strive to work diligently to cultivate partnerships with the student body, administration, faculty, staff, and community, to maximize each student’s educational and personal growth. The Student Government Association also encourages student involvement and will provide opportunities to develop a lifetime relationship with the University for each student and to keep Fairleigh Dickinson University at the forefront of higher education.
The Student Government Association account is divided into SGA Funded Organizations, Non-SGA Funded Organizations, and Allocated Funds, Unallocated Funds (fundraisers, donations, and dues):
Funds that are disbursed to clubs and organizations at the beginning of the fiscal year. Allocated funds are to be used for the good of the entire club and may not be spent to benefit any individual club member. Clubs and organizations may spend these funds through the Check Request System. Check Requests may be obtained from the Student Comptroller and the Office of Student Life.
The use of allocated funds is governed by the Financial Guidelines, which prohibits the use of funds to purchase alcohol, purchase of t-shirts for organization use only, rental of cars, purchase of food for private meetings/parties, items purchased for charities, or any other items the Office of Student Life deems inappropriate. Allocated money will be returned to the Student Government Association Contingency Account at the end of the fiscal year if unused by the organization by the end of the fiscal year unless deemed otherwise.
The Student Comptroller maintains a record of funds and monetary transactions for student organizations.
Funds that are generated by organizations through fundraisers thus allowing flexibility in expenditures. Monies designated as Unallocated Funds must be deposited with the Office of Student Life and spent through the Check Request System. The use of Unallocated Funds for alcohol and rental cars is prohibited. Unallocated Funds that have not been used by the end of the fiscal year will be carried over to the next fiscal year.
If a club has been inactive for two years, its unallocated balance reverts to the Student Government Association Contingency Account.
- Generated Income – from any source must be deposited in the club’s Student Government Association Account. Individual checking/savings accounts are prohibited, except Fraternities and Sororities, who are not funded by Student Government Association.
- Dues – may be collected only by Fraternities and Sororities. Any organization that collects mandatory dues will not receive Student Government Association funds. Dues collected must be deposited in the organization’s Student Government Association Account.
- Donations – may be collected by a club or organization. Donations collected must be deposited in the organization’s Student Government Association Account.
The Director of Student Life, in consultation with the Student Comptroller, may at any time freeze the funds of an organization, if deemed necessary, because of violation of the financial guidelines.
Student groups must use the Office of Student Life’s Check Request System to expend money from their Student Government Association account. Products or services may not be purchased or ordered until a Check Request is properly completed and approved by the Office of Student Life. Please refer to the section on cash advances. The amount of a purchase is not to exceed the amount approved on the Check Request. Only properly executed Check Requests will be honored. Check Requests must be submitted two weeks prior to date needed. Any request that does not follow this guideline will not be honored.
- Invoices – will not be paid without prior completion of a Check Request and accompanying invoice.
- Bills – will not be paid without a written statement or invoice.
- Contracts – will not be paid without a completed Check Request and accompanying contract.
- Reimbursements-All receipts for reimbursements of program expenses, within the financial guidelines, may be submitted with a check request within five business days of the purchase.
In some instances, it may be necessary for an organization to expend funds prior to an event or prior to receipt of an invoice. In such cases, an advance spending authorization may be granted, if deemed necessary, by the Director of Student Life to process a check.
The Check Request Procedure
- Check Requests are available in the Office of Student Life and from the Student Comptroller.
- Student organizations will fill out the Check Request, and they must obtain the signatures of the president, treasurer and advisor of their organization. It is important to check with the organization treasurer to ensure the accuracy of the request.
- When the Check Request is approved and signed by the authorized members of the organization, it is returned to the Student Comptroller for verification of funds. (Note: no checks will be issued to those organizations and clubs with insufficient funds.) The Check Request will be dated and numbered upon receipt. The Student Comptroller will then obtain the signatures of the Director and Assistant Director of Student Life, whereupon the Check Request is considered a voucher payable to whomever is designated.
- If the request for a Check Request is denied, it will be marked VOID. The person who initiated the Check Request will be notified through the organization’s mailbox.
- Contained on the Check Request Form is Fairleigh Dickinson University’s tax-exempt number (#221494434). Tax will not be paid on a purchase or service. Copies of the University tax-exempt certificate can be obtained by the student controller.
- A proof of purchase must accompany the Check Request for a check to be drawn (i.e. invoice, receipts, bills).
- After services are rendered, checks will be mailed to the supplier from the Office of Student Life. If an organization is ordering supplies or products through mail, the Office of Student Life will mail the order with check. In instances where the vendor or performer needs to be paid on sight or for reimbursement, checks can be picked up by the organization treasurer.
- When money is advanced to a student organization, a receipt for the expenditure must be received within five business days. Failure to produce a receipt will result in the account being frozen until all receipts are received. No new checks will be given to any organizations who have pending receipts to turn in.
- If approved, copies of the Check Request are routed in the following manner:
- Original (white copy) is sent to the vendor with payment.
- Second (yellow copy) will be kept on file, along with the receipts in the Budget Operations Office.
- Third (pink copy) is placed in the Check Request Book.
Purchasing equipment with Student Government Association funds places the responsibility for the respective equipment with the organization that bought the item(s), Student Government Association however is the owner. All equipment purchased with Student Activity fee money will be inventoried by the Student Life staff and stored in the Student Union Building.
When treatment of Student Government Association purchased equipment is deemed irresponsible, the individual or group can be denied the use of the equipment and/or access to funds in the future. Likewise, anything leased, rented, or borrowed, for an approved event, will be the responsibility of the sponsoring organization.
The Office of Student Life is not liable for any loss by a club or organization. Any such occurrence must be immediately reported to the Director of Student Life and the Student Comptroller. In the case of stolen equipment, Public Safety must be notified immediately. When exact loss is calculated, the Appropriations Committee will determine if loss was due to negligence. If the organization is deemed negligent, then the organization may be held responsible for loss or damage and it will be billed accordingly.
A cash advance is a request for a check made payable to a vendor or to the organization treasurer before an actual expenditure is made. Cash advances are made so that the student organization treasurer does not have to use personal funds to make purchases on behalf of the student organization. Once the expenditure is made, all receipts must be returned to the Office of Student Life within 5 days with the cash advance slip provided by the Student Comptroller. Failure to return receipts within five business days will result in the account being frozen until all receipts are received. There will be NO checks cut to “CASH”. The following procedures must be followed:
The check request form is co-signed by the Director of Student Life and must have the signature of the organizations Advisor present.
- Requests for cash advances will be made payable only to organization treasurers and may not exceed $200.00 per request. Only one cash advance request will be accepted at any given time. In order to process additional requests, receipts must be submitted for the previous request. The amount of the cash advance should be based on actual needs, and not on the $200 limit. Request only the amount actually needed. Cash advances will only be made out to members of the Executive Board.
- Receipts and other forms of documentation verifying that actual expenditures were made along with any unexpended funds must be returned within 5 days from the date of the voucher. Cash advances are subject to the same rules and regulations as other types of expenditures noted in the Financial Guidelines.
- Un-reconciled cash advances will result in suspension of all services provided to the organization by the Office of Student Life and the Student Comptroller.
- The Office of Student Life reserves the right to deny or approve check requests and cash advances of over $200 at the discretion of the Director of Student Life.
An organization must deposit all funds into its account(s) in the Office of Student Life. All deposits must be either handed to the Student Comptroller or placed in the drop safe which is located in the back of the Information Booth. All deposits must be accompanied by a Deposit Form filled in completely. Organizations can find Deposit Forms in the Student Comptrollers Office and the Information Booth. The Budget Coordinator will credit the organization, and he/she will give the bearer a receipt for the money deposited.
Any club or organization supported with Student Activity fees shall report all donations from all sources to the Student Comptroller and the Office of Student Life in writing. This report should include the amount of the donation and any restriction attached to it by the donor. If the donor decides to withdraw his/her donation, then the club will willingly refund it. The Student Comptroller and the Office of Student Life shall be notified of this type of transaction and reason for withdrawal. Outgoing donations can only be given from an organizations unallocated account.
Transfer of Funds
A Check Request is not required if one club or organization transfers funds to another club or organization for goods or services. A Check Request form cannot be used. The following is the correct procedure:
- A Budget Transfer Form should be completed. The presidents and treasurers of the respective organizations must sign this form.
- A Co-sponsorship Form must accompany the previous mentioned form and be signed by all parties included in the transfer
- Some form of documentation should accompany the budget transfer form (i.e. co-sponsorship agreement, program proposal).
- The Student Comptroller and the Director of Student Life must approve the Budget Transfer Form.
- All organizations involved will receive a copy of this form.
Petty cash is available through the Office of Student Life for use in conjunction with ticket sales and admission costs as well as emergency use. Organizations may make a request for money that may be issued at the discretion of the Budget Operations Coordinator and the Director of Student Life. There must be a written request for petty cash. There is a limit of $50.00 from petty cash.
Before receipt of funds, the requestor must complete Petty Cash Request slip, as well as a Check Request. Organizations must complete or have a Check Request completed with signatures within five (5) business days after receipt of funds. After five (5) days, funds will automatically be deducted from accounts. The organization will also be subject to a $25.00 surcharge.
Stop Payment Guidelines for Lost/Void Checks
In the event a check is either lost or misplaced, it is crucial that a stop payment is issued on the check. When the comptroller is notified or learns of the lost check, a bank fee will be deducted from the respective organization account. After the check is stopped, the Student Comptroller will issue a replacement check if needed. In the event of a check being cut that is not needed, the check must be returned to the Student Comptroller so that they can mark the check as VOID. If the actual check is returned by the organization, no stop payment fee will be charged and the amount of the check will be deposited into the organization account.
- An organization’s funds can be used to subsidize activity-related travel if:
- It is approved by the Office of Student Life and in an organization’s budget.
- A Check Request is approved with the approximate amounts indicated.
- Limits are set at $0.49 per mile.
- A Travel Expenditure Report, which can be obtained from the Student Comptroller will be honored given the following criteria:
- All receipts for tolls and parking are furnished.
- Exact mileage is provided.
- All necessary documents must be submitted within three (3) business days of returning from the trip.
- Only an organization’s members are permitted to travel in a non-University vehicle when funds for such transportation have been allocated. A non-university vehicle is subject to approval by the Director of Student Life and the Student Comptroller. Every effort should be made to use a university shuttle.
- Student Government Association funds cannot be used for private limousine service or any other luxury vehicles, especially when transportation is needed to and from an airport or train station except in the case of transporting contracted entertainment vendors to and from campus.
- If the destination is beyond 300 miles from campus, then the organization may request funds for airfare.
Conventions and Conferences
- Individuals sponsored by a club or organization funded by Student Government Association are eligible for conference travel if they meet the following criteria:
- Student must be in good academic standing with the University (GPA: 2.5 or higher).
- Student must be an active member of the organization.
- Student may not have attended another conference or convention during the current academic year. Exceptions may be made if the student is presenting at the conference, on the conference committee or on the executive board of the organization sponsoring the conference
- The advisor of the organization must attend the conference or convention. No organization will be able to attend a conference without an advisor. No Exceptions! One hundred percent (100%) of the advisor’s cost will be paid from the group’s revenue. If the organization has no revenue the appropriations committee may approve funding for the advisor.
- It is expected that the organization will secure the most cost-efficient accommodations and mode of transportation.
- Appropriated funds must be used as stated. Unused funds must be returned to the Office of Student Life within three (3) business days following the event. Failure to comply with this guideline will result in freezing of the respective organization’s funds until the receipts are received.
- Samples of publications such as agenda and bruchure must be submitted to the Office of Student Life prior to departure for the conference and an attendance list and samples of conference material must be presented to Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life no later than two weeks after the conference. The organization’s advisor must also submit a report to the Office of Student Life.
The Appropriations Committee will make exceptions to the aforementioned travel rules, if deemed necessary.
- An organization’s funds can be used to subsidize activity-related travel if:
An organization may exhaust up to 5% of appropriated money to purchase awards, trophies, or plaques. Requests for additional money will be reveiwed and approved or denied at the discretion of the Director of Student Life.
Purchases in mass for the publicity of organizations such as shirts, pencils, give-aways, etc. may be ordered through allocated funds. Exclusive orders such as shirts only for Executive Boards must be paid for through unallocated funds. All ‘bonding nights’, E-Board Dinners, and exclusive events for only E-Board members must be paid for through unallocated funds.
Requests for food must be itemized in a group’s budget for an event. All food to be consumed on campus must be purchased through Gourmet Dining Services unless written approval is given from the Director of Gourmet Dining. Student groups may request money for food, provided that it enhances the educational experience. These instances will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The Office of Student Life reserves the right to deny money orders for food if organizations are using more then a reasonable amount of their overall budget on food for events and meetings. A reasonable amount will be defined at teh discretion of the Director of Student Life.
The Allocations Process
- List of Organization’s Executive Board Members (each semester)
- List of Organization’s General Membership (each academic year)
- Organization’s Updated Constitution (every other academic year)
- Advisor Information Form (each semester)
- Annual budget request.
If this information is not received, the organization’s Student Government Association account will be frozen.
The Student Comptroller will hold mandatory workshops for all organization treasurers or his/her designee to explain the Financial Guidelines. A representative from the club or organization must attend this meeting to open the account for the fiscal year. It is the responsibility of the organization treasurer to attend this workshop. Failure to send your treasurer or a representative will result in the inability to access your organization’s account.
The fiscal year begins on September 1 or the first day of classes in the fall semester (which ever is first) and it ends April 30, at which time accounts are closed. This means no check requests, account transfers, contracts or cash advances will be processed. In order to give ample time to return cash receipts, no requests for cash advances will be accepted after April 15th. Any events taking place after April 30th should have their paperwork completed prior to the event. Rare instances might dictate clubs and organizations to request funds from an Allocations and Appropriations Committee, which consists of at least eight to ten students during the interim period (May 1st to the first day of classes in the fall semester).
An organization may use up to 10% of appropriated money to purchase food for programs and meetings. Requests for food must be itemized in a group’s budget for an event. All requests for catering must be submitted within one week before the eventto Gourmet Dining. If Gourmet Dining cannot provide the catering due to menu choices or time/date of event, the organization must receive signature authorization on the room reservation form that Gourmet Dining is waiving the on-campus catering requirement. No check requests or reimbursements for food purchased off campus will be processed until this authorization is obtained. The organization must provide with all off campus catering check requests a copy of the off campus caterer’s health certificate and certificate of insurance. All cultural dinners, end of the year banquets, bonding nights etc. must be open to the entire student body if the cost of the dinner is more than the ten percent allocated or if the organization has previously exhausted its ten percent.
Student Government Association funds should provide students with a means for intellectual, cultural and social development on campus. The Allocations and Appropriations Committee is a subcommittee of Student Government Association, and it bears the responsibility of allocating and appropriating funds to the various clubs and organizations at the Metropolitan campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University. The committee oversees two processes, the budget allocation process, and the appropriations process.
- Any member of the student body in good academic and judicial standing is eligible to become a member of the Appropriations Committee.
- The Student Comptroller and the Director of Student Life select members after an application and interview screening process.
- The committee consists of eight to ten students, where six students make a quorum, and it meets once a week, when necessary.
- Members should be committed individuals who can offer fair, unbiased consideration to monetary issues.
- Members must reapply at the end of every fiscal year.
- Members who act with any prejudice will be removed at the discretion of the Director of Student Life and the Student Comptroller.
- The Student Comptroller, as the chairperson of the committee, has the prerogative to vote to break a tie.
- Members affiliated with an organization requesting funds cannot vote and cannot be present for the discussion of the vote.
- All Allocation and Appropriation meetings are limited to regular members.
- All Allocation and Appropriation meetings are confidential when discussion and vote takes place.
Please contact the SGA at fdumetro_SGA@yahoo.com for further information about how to become involved in the allocations committee.
The Budget Allocation Process is conducted each March. The process begins with the Student Controller conducting a mandatory meeting for all organizational treasures. During this meeting, the student controller will outline the process, review important dates, and provide the Budget Allocation Form. In order for SGA Funded Clubs and Organizations to receive funds from SGA, the following list of documents has to be presented to the Student Comptroller.
- E-Board Membership and General Membership List (All contact information)
- Updated constitution and mission statement of the organization
- Detailed list of past academic year programs and activities and the expenditures of each activity itemized in dollars
- The purpose of each activity and program and how much it is related to the mission of the club/organization.
- Detailed list of planned activities and programs for the new fiscal year (2004-2005) and the estimates for the expenditure of each activity or program itemized in dollars
- The purpose of each activity and program and how much it is related to the mission of the club/organization
- Budget Allocation Form
Budget Allocation Packets will not be accepted after the announced due date. It is the club’s or organization’s responsibility to provide accurate information to the Allocations and Appropriations Committee. Any false figures and information about the past activities of the club or organization will negatively influence the decision process of Allocations and Appropriations Committee.
Following the receipt of the budget proposal from each organization, the Allocation and Appropriations Committee will review the requests and decide the amount of allocation based on merit and funds available to allocate for the year. The decision of the Allocation and Appropriations committee in regards to yearly allocations is final and may not be appealed.
When a club or organization wishes to sponsor an event that would be open to the entire student body and the amount of funds in their account is insufficient, they can put a request for funds in writing and present their itemized budgetary proposal to the Allocations and Appropriations Committee. The Committee reviews the monetary request and it decides in accordance with the Financial Guidelines if money should be allocated for such a purpose. The following criteria must be adhered to for the Appropriations Committee to consider a request:
- All organizations planning to appear before the Appropriations Committee for monetary requests, must submit a copy of the request and meet with the Student Comptroller one-week before the Committee meeting.
- An officer of the organization requesting funds must appear before the Appropriations Committee to justify his/her request. Appropriations will not be made without a representative of the respective organization present. The Student Comptroller, in consultation with the Director of Student Life, will make exceptions in rare instances.
- Requests must be made no less than one month prior to the event.
- Requests MUST be itemized and estimates must be furnished. Other details necessary on the request are:
- A completed and approved room reservation form.
- Advisor for the event
- Event description
- Plans for publicity
- Cost to students and public attending event
- Co-Sponsor Agreements if other groups are co-sponsoring.
- Cost of Public Safety/Security, if necessary
Organizations have a responsibility to follow through with the details stated on their request. Any changes to the original request must be presented to the Student Comptroller.
The Appropriations Committee can vote to freeze all previously appropriated funds. In an emergency, the Student Comptroller has the power to freeze funds with the approval of the Director of Student Life.
Appropriation decisions can be appealed to the Student Government Association during regularly scheduled meetings. The organization must submit their appeal in writing five business days before it brought to the Student Government Association. The SGA can override the appropriation decision of the committee if there have been any violations of procedure or bias.