Why are we amending the SRB Constitution?: The constitution drafted by “Matt the 3L” and passed by the student body in Fall 2012 left blank the section of the SRB constitution on Student Organization Funding. Last year, the SRB modeled the funding process after what had been done in previous years. We now need to fill in the constitution and formalize how student groups are funded. We’ve also decided to make some minor changes to existing constitutional rules regarding how new student groups are recognized. These changes are based on our experiences in reviewing new student organization applications over the past two years.
How will these changes impact my student organization?: Most of the new language merely formalizes how things are currently done, so most student organizations should experience little change. Here are some important things you should be aware of:
- The SRB has no oversight over the funding or creation of SPOs or Journals, so this constitutional language does NOT apply to SPOs or Journals.
- Last year, we heard complaints from student group leaders that the process for student group funding was too secretive. The new process takes the same application process that was used in previous years and adds transparency. There will be very little, if anything, that your group must do differently. However, you will be aware of who is on the Student Funding Board and how they were selected. The SRB will also vote on the final allotment in a public meeting, and the allotment for all organizations will be publicly available.
- All student organizations will be assigned to one member of the Student Funding Board each fall. This is to give your organizations someone to whom you can direct questions about how your group’s activities will impact your funding application for the following year. This individual will have NO audit or supervisory function. This should be an asset to your organizations.
- All currently approved student organizations are automatically considered full student organizations.
- The current constitution creates two tiers of organizations: provisional organizations and full organizations. We think allowing for provisional organizations is an important way to get new student organizations started without diverting money away from existing, proven student organizations. The proposed new language simply adds more structure to this process. We have also added a third tier: probationary student organizations. Probationary status creates a period before an inactive student organization can be dissolved.
- The constitution currently requires all student organizations to submit an annual statement of continuing existence. This provision was not enforced last year. However, to facilitate provisions in the constitution regarding the dissolution of defunct student groups, we will request these statements this year and in the future. We envision this form being VERY short, as it is purely to identify if a group is no longer operating.
- We’ve heard a number of complaints from student leaders and the administration that Presidents and Treasurers have a difficult time keeping track of how a student organization is spending its money. To help streamline this process, we are adding a requirement that the President or the Treasurer of a student organization must sign for any invoices, reimbursements, or other spending requests from the group’s annual funding allotment.