Missouri State University - West Plains

Student Organizations Funding Handbook

This handbook is prepared by the office of Student Life and Development and the Student Government Association (SGA). It is designed to help organizations understand how to request funds from SGA and how to ask permission for additional fundraising, if necessary.

Student Organization Funding Allocation Committee Guidelines

Summary:

  • SGA reserves a portion of the Student Activity Fee for student organization funding.
  • Student organizations should request SGA funds before considering fund-raising activities.
  • Only registered student organizations may request funding.
  • The maximum amount of funding is generally $1500 each academic year.
  • Funding proposal forms are available from Student Life (Putnam 115).
  • If the approved amount is insufficient, student organizations may then request permission from the Development Office to conduct a fund-raising activity.

Narrative:

SGA maintains a portion of the Student Activity Fee and receives proposals and allocates funding to registered student organizations at Missouri State University-West Plains. The main objectives of the funds are to 1) assist registered student organizations in their effort to sponsor services or events that directly contribute to the betterment of their individual members, entire organization and/or the student body; and 2) to sponsor travel and programming that is broadly in the best interests of the student body.

To ensure that these objectives are met, SGA, at its discretion, may require funded organizations or individuals to give back to the University. For example, if SGA funds an organization’s trip to a leadership conference, it may require the funded organization to present a leadership program at the Missouri State University-West Plains Leadership Conference. The method by which the funded organization is asked to give back to the University is discretionary and determined by both SGA and the organization.

Meetings:

Minimally, SGA meets weekly, September through May.

Eligibility:

Any student organization currently registered with the Office of Student Life and Development is eligible to apply for funding, provided records are updated by the deadline set forth by the Coordinator, (usually the second week in October), to be eligible for funding during the current academic year.

When evaluating proposals, the SGA will strongly consider the degree to which the proposal’s funding purpose meets the funding objectives. Other factors SGA will consider in determining funding support are: each student organization’s participation in University events and the organization’s overall contribution to the University. The organization’s past relationship with the SGA process will also be taken into consideration.

SGA will not fund any activity that is required by an academic department or directly supports classroom instruction. SGA will not support the funding of University personnel unless requested in the proposal. SGA will provide reasonable travel expenses for University personnel (advisor/coach) who are needed to oversee the organization function and represent the University.

The following is a list of those items which cannot be funded:

  • Awards or scholarships of any kind.
  • Academic paper presentations at conferences.

Groups requesting funds to rent local facilities will not be funded unless there is a clear indication to SGA why a campus facility will not meet the event needs.

SGA has also placed limits on some areas of funding. These are general limits, however, and SGA will review proposals on a case to case basis.

  • Conference travel may be limited, and usually funds are provided to a maximum of four (4) students to attend each event.
  • Travel outside of the Continental United States.
  • Funding for a single organization will be limited to a maximum of $1500 per academic year. Exceptions may be considered by SGA in clearly exceptional cases.

Process:

Student organization representatives may request guideline and proposal forms for funding from the Office of Student Life and Development (Putnam 115). Funding proposals must be scheduled ten (10) business days in advance of the SGA meeting during which the student organization plans to attend and submit a funding request. Proposals must then be heard at least ten days before the funds are needed. Proposals will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Proposals must be in the form specified by SGA. Proposals must be accompanied by an oral presentation before SGA. The oral presentation must be made by the student organization’s president or his/her designee (both of whom must be Missouri State University-West Plains students), and should not exceed five (5) minutes, (extra time will be allowed for questions from SGA). Due to the fact that student involvement fees are being allocated it is appropriate that requests for such funding be articulated by students. For that reason, student representatives, rather than faculty advisors, will be asked to describe the request and answer questions. Faculty advisors may be present, and may be asked questions by SGA members. However, faculty advisors should not be extensively involved in the student presentation to requesting funds. SGA will review proposals and funding will be allocated within five (5) business days following the meeting. The proposal due dates will be posted during the first week of each semester.

Funding:

Funding for approved projects is ordinarily limited to a maximum of $1500, but exceptions may be considered by SGA in clearly exceptional cases. The approved amount may or may not include the entire amount requested. If the amount approved is insufficient to fund the entire student organization project, organizations are then permitted to request approval of the Development Office, Kellett Hall (417) 255-7240, to conduct fund-raising activities. The Development Office requires formal application, 30 days in advance of the proposed fund-raising activities.

All funds expended by the organization must be according to the allocation approved by SGA. Any advertising or promotions for a SGA-funded event must include the following: [This event was funded in part by the Student Activity Fee and approved by the Student Government Association.] For any performances which require a contract between the performer and the University, the organization must use the contract/addendum approved by the Board of Governors. This contract, as well as any performer contract, must be approved and signed by the correct University official before the event can take place. Expenses not approved in advance by SGA will not be reimbursed. Unless expressly moved by SGA, funds allocated to a student organization that are not expended by the end of the fiscal year (June 30), remain in the balance of SGA’s account for further allocation to any student organization applying for funding. In addition, SGA will seek to close accounts for specific events shortly after the event date. Any remaining funds will be reallocated to SGA’s general account to be made available for other organizations seeking funding. If receipts from the event are not provided in a timely manner, it may affect SGA’s ability to reimburse the organization.

All University rules, regulations, and policies are expected to be followed in any event for which SGA provides funding. If any University rules, regulations, or policies are not adhered to in any event for which SGA provides funding, the sponsoring organization who received funding must return the SGA money and will face University sanctions. Alcohol is not permitted at any event funded by SGA, and it is the funded organization’s responsibility to prevent the presence of alcohol at any such event.

Funding is allocated based on a majority vote of the voting SGA members present at a meeting (of which there must be a quorum). Once funding is approved by SGA, proper University purchasing procedures must be followed. All questions, receipts, and necessary documentation must be directed to the Coordinator of Student Life or his/her designee. In the event an organization submits a payment request to SGA that is larger than the amount allocated to the organization, the amount in excess of the allocation should be submitted with the payment (i.e. SGA allocates $100.00 to the organization and the organization submits a payment request for $150.00, then the organization needs to include $50.00 with the payment request). It is the responsibility of the student organization’s president, treasurer, and advisor to comply with all University policies. All organization accounts must be reconciled by the end of the semester in which the event, program, or service was funded. Any funds not spent by the end of the fiscal year will be refunded to the SGA budget.

Any equipment purchased will become the property of Missouri State University - West Plains and the responsibility of a Missouri State University - West Plains department through which the student organization is sponsored. The sponsoring department must agree in writing to accept responsibility and maintenance for the equipment.

Travel Expenses:

Reimbursement of travel for motor vehicles can be either by gasoline receipts, or mileage. The determination must be consistent for all vehicles used, and must be indicated in the proposal. Mileage rates are reimbursed according to current rates, as determined by Motor Pool and University travel policies.