Macalester College Student Government

Financial Code

Article l:  Scope of Financial Code

The Financial Code of the Macalester College Student Government (hereby known as MCSG) outlines the procedures for MCSG funding, general budgeting and accounting procedures, and financial guidelines for all Macalester College Student Organizations.

Section l:  Relevant Terms

  1. Supporting Documentation: All purchases must be accompanied by supporting documentation, which includes an itemized receipt or invoice that summarize the amount, date, place, and items of purchase.
  2. Disbursement: Payment of funds by cash, check, direct deposit, or wire-transfer, as appropriate.
  3. Organizations:  A student organization officially recognized by MCSG.
  4. Executive Board: Comprised of the President, Vice President/Chair of the Student Services and Relations Committee (SSRC), Chair of the Financial Affairs Committee (FAC), Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee (AAC), Chair of the Student Organizations Committee (SOC), and Chair of the Program Board (PB)
  5. LB: The Legislative Body of MCSG, comprised of class representatives and the Executive Board.
  6. Records: List of organization accounts, approved budgets, receipts, programming and financial audits, as reflected in OrgSync.
  7. MCSG Accounts: MCSG has three accounts. The Operating Fund is used to fund any expense that is not a tangible item that will last longer than 2+ years. The Capital Fund is used to fund MCSG assets that will last longer than 2+ years. Any leftover money from the Operating Fund at the end of the fiscal year will be placed in the Reserve Fund, to be used as a contingency fund for operating uncertainties.

Article Il:  The Funding Process

Section l:  Funding of MCSG

  1. The Student Activity Fee is the primary source of MCSG Funding. The amount of funds available depends on the number of validated fee-paying students each semester, and the amount of the fee (as approved by the Board of Trustees).
  2. Ten dollars ($10) of each fee paid by the students will be deposited into the Capital Fund, and the contracted amount of funds as determined by the opt-out process already established by MCSG will be disbursed to MPIRG. The rest of the funds will be placed in the Operating Fund, to be allocated by the Financial Affairs Committee (FAC) of MCSG.
  3. At the end of the fiscal year, the balance of all MCSG accounts, except those approved under MCSG guidelines to remain in the accounts (the Capital Fund, the Program Board Fund, the fund for Macalester First Aid and The Mac Weekly), will be placed in the reserve accounts and distributed appropriately according to MCSG bylaws.

Section 2:  The Operating Fund, the Capital Fund, and the Reserve Fund

  1. The Operating Fund will be used for:
  1. The expenses of programming events organized by student organizations, including but not limited to organization meetings, consumables, vans, conference fees, dances, speakers, and other special guests, etc.
  2. Reasonable physical and tangible assets necessary for the organization’s operations such as copies, office supplies, publicity, decorations, etc.
  3. Any other expenses approved by the LB
  1. The Operating Fund will not be used for:
  1. Events and activities where Macalester Students will be charged a fee, unless exempted by the LB.
  1. The Capital Fund will be used for:
  1.  Physical and tangible goods whose useful life exceeds two years.
  1. The Reserve Fund will be used for:
  1. Additional budget requests received by the FAC Chair during the year
  2. Discovered needs
  3. Emergency needs
  4. Other normal reserve requirements
  5. The Reserve Fund may also be used to give out loans, which shall be interest free and shall be paid back in full within a designated period of time decided by the Executive Board or the LB.

Section 3:  Funding of MCSG Organizations

  1. Eligible organizations
  1. Only organizations officially recognized by MCSG may request funds from the FAC through the budgeting and additional allocation process.
  1. Budgeting Timeline
  1. Budgets for the coming academic year shall be submitted in the previous spring.
  2. Budgets will be submitted for events or items for which the organization has thoughtfully planned. See Section X for further details on budget content.
  3. Budgets must be uploaded to OrgSync and received before the budgeting deadline, as determined by the FAC Chair.
  1. Requests received after the budgeting deadline may be considered at the discretion of the FAC.
  1. The FAC will evaluate requests based on the following criteria:
  1. Whether the event falls within MCSG guidelines (see next section)
  2. How well the request aligns with the mission of the organization.
  3. Degree of positive promotion and reflection of the ideals, interests, and goals of Macalester College.
  4. Degree of student participation
  5. Value added to campus
  6. Past student organization activity and successes
  7. Projected possible growth or decline
  8. Past record of revenues and expenditures
  9. Whether the request is in accordance with the SRC
  10. Whether the request has been previously rejected by the Program Board
  11. Whether the request duplicates services already provided on campus by existing groups.
  1. Before official Budget Committee (comprised of the FAC Chair, SOC Chair, and the FAC) meetings begin, the FAC will evaluate budget requests according to the previously stated criteria in Section 3.2.d., and will take note of any questions that arise to inform Budget Committee meetings.
  2. Once budgets have been received via OrgSync and initially evaluated by the FAC, the Budget Committee will contact organizations to set up mandatory meetings to briefly present budget requests.
  1. Someone in a leadership position for the next year must be present for the budget (i.e. not a senior).  
  2. Organizations requesting over $4000 ($2000 if by semester) must also give a ~5 minute presentation of their budget to the Legislative Body no later than two weeks before the last meeting of the current MCSG. This must take place after the first meeting with the Budget Committee.
  1. Copies of these budgets will be made available to LB members within 48 hours of the meeting.
  2. If a representative is unable to attend the budget presentation to the LB, the organization may request that a member of the budget committee present on their behalf.
  1. FlexiFund
  1. All organizations are privy to $100 of FlexiFund per semester, which can be used for any incidental expenses as long as they adhere to college policy.
  2. Organizations shall submit a request for FlexiFund through OrgSync by the same budget deadline
  1. Allocating the Budget
  1. If more funds have been requested than are available to allocate to student organizations, as determined by the FAC Chair, then the FAC will cut all budgets by the same percentage that is required to bridge the deficit.
  1. Budget Considered
  1. After final consideration by the FAC in collaboration with the SOC Chair and any necessary budget cuts have been made, the official budget proposal will be made public to the Macalester Community and sent to all organization leaders.
  1. Appeals to the Budget Committee
  1.  Any organization not satisfied with the decision of the MCSG Budget Committee may, at the time of notification of the budget proposal, appeal to the MCSG Legislative Body.
  2. Appeals must be made before the LB votes on the budget proposal, one week after it is introduced. See Section X for appeal procedure.

Section 4:  Budget Contents

  1. Budgets will be submitted and itemized by broad categories. The FAC does not require a breakdown of each event by individual purchase, but rather by the following categories:
  1. Food
  2. Clothing
  3. Security
  4. Honorarium
  5. Fees (i.e. conference, film rights, etc.)
  6. Printing
  7. Publicity
  8. Travel
  9. Supplies & Accessories
  10. Other (please specify)
  1. In addition to the aforementioned criteria in Section 3.2.d, the FAC expects that organizations consider the following guidelines. Egregious deviations may be taken into consideration in allocating future budgets. Adding that if there is going to be a change from one category to another, the FAC is notified and later we can decide if we want to follow-up.
  1. $10 per person for food that adds an educational and/or substantial component to an event
  2. $5 per person for clothing
  3. 69% subsidy for recurring events
  4. Attempts to reach the wider community with events that are open to the whole campus
  1. MCSG policy prohibits that orgs:
  1. Fund activities specifically supporting a particular political candidate or party, with the exception of advertising costs for on-campus speakers.
  2. Fund competitive athletic groups
  3. Fund gifts or prizes to students; the FAC cannot pay students, and this is effectively a payment.
  4. Fund gift cards.
  5. Fund requests for bottled water.
  6. Support events where additional fees for admission are charged; a suggested donation may be acceptable.
  7. Fund donations in-kind to a charity, as MCSG stipulates. The FAC shall consider funding for on-campus events with a fundraising component, provided the events themselves are value-added for the Macalester Community and create an opportunity for student engagement.
  1. College prohibits orgs from:
  1. Purchasing alcohol, tobacco, or firearms

Section 4:  Additional Allocations

  1. The FAC shall consider additional allocation requests throughout the year
  2. Additional allocations will follow the “block budgeting” outline described in Section X
  3. Additional allocations must be requested 14 days in advance of the event
  4. Additional allocation requests over $750.00 may be approved by a majority vote of the FAC
  5. The FAC will make a recommendation on all Additional Allocation requests

over $750.00. The LB will then vote on these recommendations.

  1. The FAC can recommend to fund the full request, a partial amount of the

request, or no amount.

  1. Student organizations may appeal FAC decisions to the full LB by contacting the MCSG

President or FAC Chair at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of FAC decisions and

recommendations being presented to the LB.

  1. The FAC must report a summary of requested expenditures at the LB meeting and must submit the additional allocation request to the LB in writing at least 24 hours before the next LB meeting

Section 5:  Right to Allocated Funds

  1. Funds allocated to student organizations through the budgeting and additional allocation processes shall remain in each organization’s account until the end of the fiscal year.
  2. Organizations are free to spend these funds in accordance with Macalester College and MCSG policies/guidelines.
  3. An organization are thus free to deviate from their original budget/additional allocation; however, accountability measures as stipulated in the Section X must be followed.

Section 6: Accountability

  1. Within one-week after an event:
  1. All receipts must be scanned, copied, or clearly photographed and uploaded to OrgSync on the same page on which the allocation was requested
  2. The event follow-up form needs to be downloaded from the MCSG website/OrgSync, filled in, and uploaded along with receipts to OrgSync as an accessible PDF.
  1. The SOC will keep the event follow-up forms in each organization’s file.
  1. Organizations must maintain their check-book on OrgSync to reflect their current account balance
  2. These measures still apply when an organization’s plans deviate from what was originally funded through their budget or an additional allocation.
  1. A separate event follow up form must be submitted for each new event, regardless of whether or not it follows the original
  1. If an organization does not follow-through on any component of the one-week accountability measures, then:
  1. At the end of the year or when an additional allocation request is made, if these responsibilities haven’t been fulfilled, an automatic 5% cut of any requested budget will occur.
  1. This is subject to review with the FAC Chair and Campus Programs staff.
  2. These organizations are still able to additionally allocate for future events at the discretion of the FAC and SOC Chair, in consultation with Campus Programs
  1. If an organization misuses funds:
  1. When it has over-drawn its account, if college policy is violated, or if receipts indicate an egregious misuse of funds;
  1. If such a misuse of funds is suspected, then the FAC Chair must freeze the accounts within 24-hours until such time as they can convene a meeting to determine the scope of the transgression.
  1. A misuse of funds can fall into two categories:
  1. Violation of college policy, as defined in the Students rights handbook:
  1. In addition to potential disciplinary action by through the established conduct process, all accounts will be immediately frozen until the scope of the misuse of funds is further investigated through a hearing with the MCSG President, the FAC Chair, the SOC Chair, and a member of Campus Programs (hereafter referred to as the Hearing Committee), or their designee.
  1. If the misuse of funds can be attributed to one person or a specific group of people within the organization and does not constitute an org-wide transgression, then:
  1. The people in question cannot check out p-cards for a period of time determined by the Hearing Committee.
  1. The committee may suggest that the people in question will need to have a member of campus programs or the FAC Chair present to be present for checking out any p-cards, or any other measure as deemed necessary.
  2. The people in question will need to repay all misused funds.
  3. After a second violation, the people in question are barred from ever checking out a p-card in the name of any organization ever again.
  1. If it is determined by the Hearing Committee that the misuse of funds implicates the entirety of the organization, then:
  1. The accounts will be frozen for a period of time determined by the Hearing Committee
  2. The org will be put on probation for a period of time as determined by the Hearing Committee
  1. The committee may request that the LB consider disbanding the organization according to the process stipulated by MCSG bylaws
  1. The FAC may consider the misuse of funds during the next budgeting cycle
  1. Violation of MCSG Guidelines and Policy:
  1. If MCSG guidelines are not adhered to, then:
  1. A meeting will be convened with the FAC Chair and the SOC Chair to determine the scope
  2. This may be a factor in budgeting for the next cycle.
  1. Appeal Process
  1. Whenever a misuse of funds is detected and an organization in question is not satisfied with the decision of the Hearing Committee, an appeal may be made to the Legislative Body.