Students’ Association officers worked throughout the summer to create the “Financial Handbook for Student Groups” to help student organizations understand the budget process for the semester.
Chris Shim, senior finance major from Atlanta, Ga., said they looked at old handbooks and realized they were overly complicated. The new handbook doesn’t contain any new information, but Shim said it is easier to read and understand.
SA also conducted two meetings to explain the budget process to organizations and distribute the handbook.
When Shim asked the students attending the first meeting who had been through the budgeting process before, he said only two people raised their hands.
“Having this meeting and the financial handbook seemed to be a step in the right direction to inform and bring everyone to the same level,” Shim said.
Josh Morrison, senior interdisciplinary major from Abilene, attended the second meeting to learn how to request funds for the ACU Model U.N. It was his first time requesting funds, and he said the meeting was helpful.
“I feel equipped,” Morrison said.
Kyle Ferrell, senior agribusiness major from Weatherford, said he has requested funds in the past and was requesting funds this semester for the Block and Bridle Club as well as the Delta Tau Alpha National Agricultural Honor Society.
He also attended the meeting and said he has seen students struggle with the process in the past because they didn’t know how things worked. He said the meeting was helpful and the handbook was a good idea, but he said he thought the handbook could use a little more detail.
Shim said the first step in order to request funds is to fill out a budget request form available in the SA office. Organizations should attach any other forms or documents to provide reasons for funding and turn everything in by Friday. Forms can be turned in directly to the SA office or emailed to Shim.
After submitting the form, organizations should sign up for a time to meet with the Executive Treasurer to discuss the planned budget and talk about what items are most important.
“I hope that student groups see the benefit of meeting,” Shim said. “Our office is here to help them out. We’re all on the same team.”
The last step is to wait for the Executive Treasurer’s recommendation and SA Congress’ Budget approval during the meeting on Sept. 15. At this meeting, organizations will find out the amount of money they will receive.
Shim said the total amount of money requested by student groups is always much bigger than what can be granted.
He said SA looks at several aspects of an organization when deciding how to distribute money. He said they look at the sustainability of the group, how long a group has been around, the size of the group and how much student body involvement the organization has. Shim also said they can only give funding to groups who have been approved through Mauri Westbrook’s office (Student Activities in McKinzie Hall).
If an organization doesn’t receive all of the funds they requested, they have the option to request funds in front of the Appropriations Committee during their weekly meetings.
To request funds in front of the Appropriations Committee, the organization must fill out a request form and set up a time with either the CFO or treasurer. After the Appropriations Committee discusses the request privately, the organization is informed of the results of their request.
All budget information can be found in the Financial Handbook for Student Groups. Copies are located in the SA office.