These by-laws oversee proper organization in funding student groups, distribute Student Senate funds, and further define the parameters within which these funds can be used.
Article I. Appropriations Committee
- The Appropriations Committee shall consist of the Chair of Appropriations and (at minimum) the Auditor, one Senator from each of the Class Committees, and two additional members.
- The Appropriations Committee shall be headed by the Chair of Appropriations.
- The Appropriations Committee shall hold meetings on the first three Mondays of each block to consider requests for funding according to the Appropriations By-Laws which determines the agenda to present before the General Assembly.
- All members of the Appropriations Committee shall be approved by a majority vote of the General Assembly.
Article II. Duties
- Chair of Appropriations
- The Chair of Appropriations shall be responsible for all duties enumerated in the Student Senate Constitution.
- The Chair of Appropriations shall be responsible for maintaining Student Senate ledgers and financial documents.
- The Chair of Appropriations shall be responsible for conducting account transfers.
- The Chair of Appropriations may appoint a Deputy Chair of Appropriations.
- The Chair of Appropriations shall meet with a representative from the Cornell College Business Office once a block to reconcile ledgers. The Auditor, Deputy Chair of Appropriations, and a representative from the Office of Student affairs may also attend this meeting.
- Deputy Chair of Appropriations
- The Deputy Chair of Appropriations shall be responsible for chairing the Appropriations Committee in the absence of the Chair of Appropriations.
- The Deputy Chair of Appropriations shall be a member of the Appropriations Committee.
- The Deputy Chair of Appropriations shall be appointed by the Chair of Appropriations, subject to a majority vote of the General Assembly.
- The Deputy Chair of Appropriations shall serve a term starting when appointed and through the end of the current academic year.
- The Deputy Chair of Appropriations shall assume duties as assigned by the Chair of Appropriations, such as maintaining ledgers, financial documents, or account transfers.
- In the event that a Deputy Chair of Appropriations is not appointed or resigns from office, the Chair of Appropriations shall undertake all responsibilities of the Deputy Chair of Appropriations until the next appointment.
- In the event that a Chair of Appropriations is absent or the office is vacant, the Deputy Chair of Appropriations shall undertake all responsibilities of the Chair of Appropriations until a replacement can be elected as per the Constitution.
Article III. Appropriations and Reallocations Process
The purpose of the Student Activity Fee is to encourage and support activities that are open to and/or could benefit the student population.
- The appropriation request procedure for the approval of appropriation requests shall be as follows:
- An appropriation request form must be completed in order for a request to be considered.
- Requests must be received by the Chair of Appropriations by 6:00pm on a Sunday before the next Appropriations Committee meeting to be considered at this meeting.
- Multiple requests from an organization, group, or individual shall be grouped together into one request by the Chair of Appropriations based upon the type of request (office supply requests together, equipment together, etc.) and the timeline for the request.
- A representative must be present at all meetings of consideration for the request, including General Assembly meetings.
- The Appropriations Committee shall review all requests submitted on time at the following meeting.
- If the total request is under $250, the Appropriations Committee shall vote whether to approve the entire request. A three-quarters vote is required to approve the request.
- Otherwise, the Appropriations Committee shall conduct a majority vote for presenting the request at the next General Assembly meeting, where a vote by the entire General Assembly would be conducted to approve the request.
- If a vote results in a tie, the appropriation request will be sent to the Senate General Assembly.
- If a group wishes to reallocate money within their budget or approved appropriation funding, the above procedure in Section 1, Article III still applies to the group and will be identified as a reallocation instead of an appropriation. No funding is being requested directly from the Student Senate fund for these requests.
- If a reallocation request is denied, the funds will be reclaimed by Student Senate.
- The Appropriations Committee shall hold meetings on the first three Mondays of each block to consider requests and determine the Appropriation Committee's agenda presented before the General Assembly.
- Any approved request by the Appropriations Committee shall be presented on the agenda at the subsequent General Assembly meeting.
- Student Senate reserves the right to refer to the Appropriations Committee any motion brought before the Student Senate body which has not been previously reviewed by the committee.
- All requests for funding of an event must be approved before the event occurs. Student Senate will not, under any circumstances, approve funding requests retroactively.
- Prior presentation before approval of an appropriation request shall be required for the following:
- Student Senate resolutions.
- Recommendations of the Student Activity Fee.
- Appropriation requests exceeding $1,000 with the exception of the spring budget process.
Article IV. Reclamation Process
- Unlike an appropriation request for funding, a reclamation is a return of funding already given to a student organization, group, or individual. No funding is given; it is returned to Student Senate and the Student Activity Fund.
- The return of funding shall only be permitted for funding that was appropriated from Student Senate, whether that be the spring budget process or regular appropriations procedures.
- The main contact from the organization must submit the amount and reason for the reclamation to the Chair of Appropriations. This can be done at any time during the academic year.
- No reclamation requires a representative at a meeting unless requested by the Appropriations Committee or Chair of Appropriations. If deemed necessary, the representative will be requested to come before the committee for the following meeting in a timely manner.
- All reclamation funding requests shall be sent to the Auditor for the purpose of monitoring organizations and their activity.
- All reclaimed funding shall be explained in detail at their subsequent Appropriations Committee and General Assembly meetings.
- At the request of the organization or individual/s, the reclamation shall be mentioned for relevant appropriation requests by that group for the same academic year.
Article V. Basic Funding Requirements
- Student Senate will not fund events that have occurred or have been advertised prior to their approval.
- Examples of advertising are detailed in Section 2, Article VI.
- If prior funding has been provided by Student Senate, requests for further funding may be allowed if the event is not solely dependent on the current request.
- Advertisements prior to funding may be permitted to gauge interest or acquire commitments in a possible event. The Chair of Appropriations must be notified to approve any advertisements.
- Student Senate will not provide funding for items and materials purchased prior to their approval.
- In order for student groups to receive funding from Student Senate, groups must have an approved and current constitution on file with Student Senate.
- Individuals not sponsored by a Student Senate-approved organization requesting funds must be able to demonstrate departmental or office support by having an accredited faculty or staff member write a statement demonstrating support for the student/s.
- Student Senate will only approve funds for an activity deemed by Student Senate to be adequately planned and organized.
- Groups seeking funds from Student Senate must demonstrate to the Appropriations Committee and Student Senate that they have made an effort to find the lowest cost.
- A representative of the group requesting funds must attend the Appropriations Committee meeting and any General Assembly meeting at which the request is being considered or presented. The representative may not be a member of Student Senate or the Appropriations Committee.
- The representative may be a member of Student Senate if the request is for a Student Senate operational expense, Senate-sponsored event, or a constituent contact event.
- Any Student Senate-funded events shall be advertised appropriately. Please refer to the advertising section of the Appropriations By-Laws for further information.
Article VI. Advertising
- The Appropriations Committee assigns the advertising requirements for Student Senate-funded events. The Audit Committee under the Organizations Committee is in charge of making sure these requirements are thus met.
- There are many methods of acceptable advertising: OC signs, OC taping/events, table tents, flyers/posters, handouts, the Kiosks, the Rock, fundraising events, mailbox slips, awareness events (non-profit), chalking, sneak preview performances, the Student Gateway, Today@Cornell, campus media, and social media, to name a few. Other advertising methods can be approved by the Chair of Appropriations before the event.
- All events must advertise with either flyers/posters on-campus or the O.C. (O.C. signs or floor).
- If the Senate funding for the event is between $500 and $1,000, then the advertising must also include at least two additional methods as listed in Section 2, Article VI.
- If the Senate funding for the event is between $1,000 and $5,000, then the advertising must also include at least four additional methods as listed in Section 2, Article VI.
- If the Senate funding for the event is greater than $5,000, then the advertising must also utilize at least seven additional methods as listed in Section 2, Article VI.
- Organizations or individual sponsors are solely responsible for all advertising of their events.
- If an organization’s event is suggested to be in violation of this article, the Auditor must conduct an investigation of the organization to determine how many valid forms of advertising were utilized for a specific event or range of events and report this to the Chair of Appropriations.
Article VII. Trips
- The Appropriations Committee can request the group or individual to present a report back to Student Senate, The Cornellian, or any other appropriate body. If the committee stipulates as such, the procedure for reporting is as follows:
- Explain how they can utilize their experiences to benefit the campus.
- Present, at a General Assembly meeting within the next four meetings after returning, a summary of activities and experiences, and a plan for implementation of any ideas acquired there. Groups are responsible for contacting the Student Senate Vice-President about the presentation of such a summary.
- Within one month of return, request an interview with The Cornellian regarding their experience.
- Student Senate may provide funding for lodging; however, student organizations must demonstrate that they have found the lowest cost option.
- To request funds for gas, the group shall provide the distance of travel, average highway miles per gallon of the vehicle/s, and the national average of gas at the time of the request.
- If meals are required for off-campus outings, reimbursement may occur at $6.00 per meal per person for up to three meals per day. Receipts may be required to elicit proof of purchase for money spent on meals.
- Student Senate funding for trips and conferences should be supplemental, and not completely cover all the costs of the trip.
- Failure to comply with this article may result in an individual or group being ineligible to receive similar funds in the current or subsequent academic year.
Article VIII. Speakers, Performers, Etc.
- In the event that a student organization spends at least $600 for bringing an individual or group to campus to perform a service (speaking, performing, etc.), that organization shall request a 1099 reporting form from the Business Office no later than two weeks before the date of the engagement unless such individuals or groups are contracted through a management firm or agency. The completed 1099 reporting form must be submitted to the Business Office no later than two business days after the engagement. This is necessary to be compliant with federal laws.
- No student organization may contract any service without an approved budget or appropriations request. Student organizations can request an early review of their budget request for the upcoming academic year in order to receive permission to contract services in advance, but only if such contracts would then be obtained at reduced rates, or if the event must be booked in advance of the budget approval (e.g. reserving a facility for the Homecoming dance). Student Senate must approve multi-year contracts, and both the organization and Chair of Appropriations must keep a record of the approval.
- Should a student organization not abide by this section, the Chair of Appropriations, with approval of the Student Senate advisor, may freeze the organization's account and turn the matter over to the Dean of Students for possible disciplinary action.
Article IX. Honoraria
- Definition of Honoraria
- An honorarium is a gift acknowledging services provided by a volunteer. These articles only apply to students and their receipt of honoraria.
- Honoraria is a collective term used to describe the stipend awarded to students in positions on campus as volunteers that benefit the Cornell community as a whole.
- Eligibility for Honoraria
- Only Student Senate-sponsored organizations can request honoraria.
- An organization can request honoraria if the position(s) for which honoraria is being requested fulfill a critical service for the welfare of the Cornell College community, particularly the student body.
- For a requested position to be considered, it must be relevant and vital to the success of the student organization, and the position must exceed demands of a normal volunteer to the point where monetary compensation for their time is warranted.
- No honoraria can be awarded for positions on campus that are also receiving academic credit.
- Application for Honoraria
- If an organization is compatible with Media Board (i.e., a new form of media), it must approach Media Board regarding the possibility of incorporation.
- Honoraria may only be requested during the spring budget process. An applying organization must define each paid position in relation to Cornell College as a whole as well as the role of the position and its necessity in the organization.
- Any request for honoraria shall include the following for each position:
- Description of the position
- Services or products that this position provides
- Total honorarium requested for the position
- Estimated number of hours per month
- Effective “wage” of the position
- The requested amount should not be full compensation for the work done, but it is designed to offset the time and commitment of the individual to fulfill their responsibilities.
- Awarding Honoraria
- Honoraria will not be rewarded as a lump sum but distributed monthly throughout the academic year.
- Honoraria shall be awarded based on the successful completion of the duties and responsibilities of each position. Each position will be handled separately by the organization.
- The leader of the organization shall be the judge of the completion of these duties, except for themselves (if paid).
- The respective advisor of the student organization shall send a report to the Appropriations Committee if full monthly honoraria is not to be awarded.
- If a student is off-campus and unable to fulfill their duties for a period of 1-2 months, then another member of the organization will be assigned the position temporarily and will be awarded honoraria for fulfilling the requirements of the position.
- If a student fails to complete their duties, they will be susceptible to the following protocols:
- Awarding half of the monthly honoraria for completing some of their duties
- Awarding no honoraria for failing to complete most if not all of their duties
- An individual will not be awarded honoraria for completing the duties of other honoraria-receiving positions, unless it fulfills the requirements of Section 4e, Article IX.
- For any unexcused absences to official meetings, missed staff hours, and/or unmet agreed-upon deadlines, the staff member will receive a 10-20% reduction in their monthly honoraria for each instance.
- Evaluations of Honoraria
- Evaluations of each organization receiving honoraria must occur at least once each year, during fourth block, in order to maintain honoraria privileges.
- If an organization is monitored by Media Board, the media head must conduct evaluations for each staff member, and Media Board will conduct evaluations of each media head.
- All evaluations conducted through Media Board will be passed on to the Appropriations Committee and Executive Council for further review and discussion.
- If an organization is not monitored by Media Board, the Appropriations Committee will receive these yearly formal evaluations. The leader of the relevant organization must conduct evaluations for each paid staff member, and the advisor will handle the evaluations of the organization leader (if paid).
- The Appropriations Committee reserves the right to request a formal evaluation at any time during the year.
- Suspension of Honoraria
- At any time, the Appropriations Committee or the Auditor may request that the General Assembly suspend the honoraria privileges of a position or an organization as a whole. This decision may be based on, but not limited to, the following:
- Failure to produce a quality product or service
- Evidence of poor organization or mismanagement
- Poor evaluations
Article X. Equipment and Materials
- Student Senate may fund the purchase of equipment that will remain with a student organization over a period of time (i.e. games, furniture, climbing ropes, etc.), but these items are the property of Student Senate.
- All lease-to-own agreements and loans must be approved by the Appropriations Committee.
- Any organization with possession of equipment purchased with Student Senate funds must keep a full inventory of these items and submit this inventory to the Chair of Organizations, to be stored in public files. All equipment must be accounted for at the end of the year and placed in on-campus storage for the summer. Stolen or “missing” items may be grounds for a decrease or termination in funding.
- All equipment purchased with Student Senate funds must be available to the student body when it is not in use by the student organization which possesses said equipment. A written request must be submitted to an officer of the student organization at least one week prior to the date the equipment is to be used. Terms of the equipment loan are subject to agreement by both parties. The lending organization may require that a member of their organization accompany the equipment to insure that the equipment is being properly used.
- All equipment and supplies purchased with Student Senate funds may not be stored in common spaces when not in use, but must be stored in a safe, secure location.
- PAAC technical equipment may have a longer request deadline than one week since there is a service as well as equipment being provided together.
- If an organization wishes to dispose of or sell unused or obsolete equipment, the Appropriations Committee must first approve the request. The Appropriations Committee also decides the destination of any funds sold this way. Sale or disposal of equipment prior to approval will be considered a misuse of Student Senate property and may be subject to disciplinary action.
- If an organization dissolves, all property purchased with the Student Activity Fee returns to Student Senate to be disposed of, stored, or sold.
- Materials used by student organizations that are defined as consumable supplies (i.e. office supplies, yarn, paint, etc.) will be reported with the equipment inventories as long as they are still available.
- Student Senate must maintain paper and paint for use in creating banners for the Commons.
- Student Senate must maintain a supply of buttons for the button machine. The buttons will be granted to groups through the funding process.
Article XI. Reserve Accounts
- Any student organization may establish a reserve account, with approval of the Chair of Appropriations.
- One purpose of a reserve account is to combine funding over several years for larger purchases, so as to not put extreme stress on the budget of the student organization or of Student Senate in a single year.
- Another purpose of a reserve account is to fund purchase lasting equipment or supplies vital to the operation of that organization (i.e. computers, technical equipment, climbing ropes, replacement parts, swords, etc.).
- Reserve accounts must be maintained separately from the organization's general account, and these funds shall not be reclaimed by Student Senate at the end of the academic year.
- A collection of organizations can pool together their reserve account funding into a single account so long as the net balance of that reserve account does not go below zero. This collective account will be treated like any other reserve account.
- If an organization does not require a reserve account any more, the reclamation process shall be observed for any funds remaining in the account and also a separate request shall be sent to the Chair of Appropriations by the main contact for the student organization to terminate the reserve account.
- Termination of a reserve account funded by Student Senate will be at the discretion of the Appropriations Committee and will result from mismanagement of reserve account funds or if the account is no longer needed.
Article XII. Fundraising and Fundraising Accounts
- Fundraising money is defined as any funds from a non-Student Senate source, such as donations, fundraising projects, or profits from products sold.
- Student Senate encourages fundraising by individual groups, as Student Senate is not meant to be a sole source of financial support for groups. Groups are eligible to request seed money to support fundraising efforts. These funds must be returned on use, through the reclamation process.
- Student organizations are responsible for reporting fundraising totals in their main account to the Chair of Appropriations and the Business Office before the end of the academic year.
- Student organizations have complete control over money fundraised by their group.
- If a student organization does a substantial amount of fundraising, they can request the Chair of Appropriations to establish a fundraising account to keep their fundraising money separate from Student Senate-allocated funds in their general account. This ensures that there is no confusion about the source of funds.
- If any funds from fundraising attempt to be reclaimed by Student Senate, the Chair of Appropriations shall bring the matter to the Appropriations Committee, instead donating those funds to their choice of charities.
Article XIII. Funding Restrictions
- Student Senate-funded groups may not charge a fee for rental of their equipment. The individual who checks out the equipment is responsible for loss or damage incurred while the equipment is checked out.
- Student Senate will not fund organizations that require membership dues or fines. However, Student Senate groups can co-sponsor campus-wide events with these non-Senate organizations.
- Student Senate will not consider funding for the purchase of clothing apparel unless it is for:
- Purchase of uniforms for athletic organizations/events not provided by the Athletic Department
- Purchase of costumes by groups not provided by the Fine Arts Department
- Events that utilize the clothing apparel as artwork to send a specific message
- Other special projects subject to approval by the Appropriations Committee
- No Student Senate funds will be awarded as a cash prize. Use of gift cards is allowed, but the Chair of Appropriations must be informed by the student organization prior to awarding any prizes that there is use of a gift card prize.
- Films that are purchased with Student Senate funds must be placed in the Cornell Library for public use. Therefore, all films being placed in the library must be pre-approved by the College Librarian before purchase. All licensing requirements must be met and fulfilled regarding the rental or purchase of any films funded by Student Senate.
- Student Senate funds may not be used to purchase alcoholic beverages unless the funding request includes the endorsement of the Dean of Students.
- Student Senate will not fund the purchase of food/beverages for executive board, general, committee, or regular meetings of any organization.
- Student Senate funds may not be used to pay Cornell College student performers.
- Student Senate may not allocate funds to groups for donations. Student Senate reserves the right to donate money in the name of the entire Cornell College student body.
- Any deviations from approved budgets and other financial requests by any organization must be approved by Student Senate or the Appropriations Committee. Please refer to Section 2, Article III for more information on reallocating funds within a budget. If deviations are made without approval, the Appropriations Committee may consider this a mismanagement of funds. Disciplinary actions concerning mismanagement of funds will be recommended to the General Assembly by the Appropriations Committee.
Article XIV. Records
- All groups funded by Student Senate are responsible for maintaining accurate financial records for a minimum of two, full academic years.
- Financial records include: budgets, ledgers, and receipts
- Receipts must be held by the organization or turned in to Student Senate
- Budgets and ledgers must be stored in an online format available to both the specific student organization and Student Senate
- The Chair of Appropriations must provide groups with updated budgets and ledgers for the current academic year no later than the third Friday of 1st block.
- Student Senate funds will be returned to the Senate General Account after the completion of each academic year. Funds for student organizations will not be carried over into the following academic year, with the exception of fundraising and reserve account funds.
- Student groups are responsible for turning in or updating complete ledgers, inventories, and receipts by the end of the academic year.
- Student organizations failing to turn in or update requested materials by the stated deadline may be subject to a loss or decrease in funding for the following academic year.
- The Appropriations Committee reserves the right to examine, at any time, all records for any Student Senate-funded expenses of a student organization. If discrepancies are found, the Appropriations Committee also reserves the right to turn the matter over to the General Assembly and/or the Dean of Students for investigation. This audit process will be coordinated with the Auditor.
- Student organizations failing to comply or cooperate during audits may be subject to a loss or decrease in funding for the following academic year.
- All Student Senate-funded groups must keep a separate sub-account in their ledgers for money raised through fundraising. Remember, this sub-account balance must be reported at the end of the academic year so that Student Senate does not reclaim funds that rightfully belong to the group. Groups should retain a copy of such a notice in their financial records.
Article XV. Annual Budget Process
- The main budgets for all student organizations shall be approved through Student Senate in the spring semester for the subsequent academic year. All other requests for funding must come in as appropriations requests.
- Any unrecognized student organization requesting a budget must provide written approval from a College department or office.
- The Appropriations Committee must provide groups with budget requests and procedure forms at an informational meeting no later than the first Monday of 7th block.
- Student organizations must have a representative at this meeting in order to receive a budget for the subsequent academic year. If a group cannot send a representative, they must set up another date with the Chair of Appropriations prior to the mandatory meeting to allow the organization to receive funding.
- All budget requests must be returned to the Appropriations Committee by the stated deadline/s.
- Budgets must undergo review by the Appropriations Committee, where feedback is sent on each organization’s budget.
- The General Assembly must approve budgets before the end of the spring semester.
- The Chair of Appropriations is responsible for scheduling and publicizing the exact dates, times, and locations of the above mentioned meetings and deadlines.
- The Chair of Appropriations shall make a good-faith effort to provide budget requests to the General Assembly in advance of budget fest, and update those materials as necessary.
Article XVI. Funding Process Exceptions
- Student Senate acknowledges that opportunities for events and activities can emerge spontaneously, at a time when it is not possible for the established appropriations procedure to be followed. Requests for the funding of such activities may be approved if they meet the following criteria:
- The genesis of the event and the event itself occur between Appropriation Committee meetings. The factor of appropriate advertising may be taken into consideration as well
- The group requesting funds must submit a request to the Chair of Appropriations stating why the event could not have been approved through regular procedure
- Organizations requesting funds can prove that they did not know about the event in time to follow normal request procedure
- If the request is $100 or less, the Chair of Appropriations may approve the request unilaterally.
- If the request is more than $100 and less than $1,000 then the Chair of Appropriations, President, and Vice-President must all concur that the request should be approved.
- However, if the request is $1,000 or more, then the Chair of Appropriations, President, and Vice- President shall decide whether to conduct an electronic presentation and ballot of the General Assembly. Voting protocols must still otherwise be met to pass the request.
- If the General Assembly has not been elected into office yet, the Executive Board of Student Senate reserves the right to vote on these funding requests. A unanimous vote is required to pass the request.
- All requests approved through this procedure shall be announced at the following Appropriations Committee and General Assembly meetings.
Article XVII. Ethics in Committee Members
- All members of the Appropriations Committee, including the Chair, shall fully disclose their involvement in campus activities and organizations, at the beginning of the academic year, and again following that year's Executive Board elections
- If an appropriation or budget request is brought before the Appropriations Committee by an organization with which a committee member is affiliated, they shall immediately disclose this to the committee and they shall remove themselves from the discussion and abstain from voting.
- If the committee member fails to remove themselves, the Appropriations Committee shall remove that member from the discussion and count their vote as an abstention, pending majority vote.
- If a committee member feels a personal conflict of interest during an appropriations request or budget request, they shall disclose this to the Appropriations Committee.
Article XVIII. Violations
If a student organization is found to be in violation of the Constitution of Student Senate, these by-laws, or other stipulations and requests made by the Appropriations Committee and/or Student Senate, the following consequences may occur at the discretion of the Chair of Appropriations and the Executive Council of Student Senate.
- Freezing of funds: the Chair of Appropriations would instruct the Business Office not to approve any transactions after a said date, but will honor outstanding checks and debts already incurred by the offending organization.
- Organizations may be placed under review and may be susceptible to a loss of future funding for up to one full year.
Article XIX. Temporary Override of this Document
- Any provision of these By-Laws may be temporarily over-ridden for a specific duration given a two-thirds majority vote of Student Senate.
Approved by Student Senate: February 21st, 2012