Student Activities Council Funding Policies and Guidelines for Student Groups

Funding Policies for Student Groups

(The following policies are binding and must be adhered to by the Student Activities Council Executive Committee)

  1. While determination may be made that organizations or activities are not eligible for funding, decisions on whether or not an organization or activity is denied funding will not be based on the content of the speech or expression of such organization or activity.
  2. A student activity or program that is designed to support or oppose a particular party or candidate or to influence legislation will not be funded.
  3. In accordance with University guidelines, Student Activities or programs designed to elicit support for religious ideologies and promote membership in sectarian groups will not be funded.
  4. All activities must file and maintain complete capital equipment inventories with the Office of Student Life. This should be submitted in the beginning of the year with the annual registration form.
  5. All activities are held responsible for full disclosure of all financial actions of the group to the Executive Committee (especially changes or planned changes in usage of allocated funds) upon penalty of immediate forfeiture of all funds remaining in their accounts.
  6. All funded activities must maintain their own set of books upon penalty of immediate forfeiture of all funds remaining in their accounts. These should be available to the Executive Committee upon request.
  7. Executive Committee members intimately connected with a student organization must declare their affiliations with these activities and may not vote on the allocations of that particular student activity. Furthermore, they may not attempt to influence the other Executive Committee members. They may function only as resource people.
  8. No organization shall enter into any contract without the written consent of the Director of OSL or designee. Moreover, all monies involved must first be approved by the Executive Committee.
  9. All activities must submit reports on the activities sponsored by the organizations during the previous year as a part of their annual budget requests.

Examples of programs or activities not eligible for funding under these criteria include:

  1. College Democrats, College Republicans, or other groups designed to support a political party;
  2. A student activity that is designed to or does in fact campaign on behalf of a candidate for public office or participate in a political campaign. For example, Students for Smith for Congress;
  3. An activity designed to influence legislation.

These criteria would not prohibit funding a political forum at which different viewpoints are expressed.

Funding Guidelines for Student Groups

(These guidelines are not binding on the Student Activities Council Executive Committee)

  1. Duplication in activities will be eliminated; the better program in the Committee’s judgment will be funded.
  2. No mailings (summer or otherwise) will be funded.
  3. Meal subsidies for members of student activities will not be funded.
  4. Publications will be required to collect 25% of their total budgeted operation through advertising or other revenue. If this is not done, the Executive Committee will freeze the account. Any changes in the status of a publication (e.g. dates, issue size, copies printed) must be reported to the Executive Committee Liaison.
  5. All publications printing more than one issue per academic year must submit a schedule of distribution dates to the Executive Committee with their annual budget request. Complete copy for each issue must be submitted to the printer at least three weeks prior to the date of distribution. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the cancellation of one issue. Under no circumstances may a publication submit copy after April 1st or distribute an issue after the third week of April.
  6. No individual can be paid a salary or wage for services which can or should be rendered by a student.
  7. All capital equipment allotted to an activity must be stored in a University facility.
  8. Concerning conferences and travel for non-competitive groups, travel will be funded ONLY if a group provides proof that said travel is essential to the operation of that group (e.g., required by national charter or necessary for national membership). In this case, only one-half of all travel and lodging will be funded. In this case, only one-half of all travel and lodging or $250 per person for travel and lodging will be funded.
  9. No funding will be given for SAC student-run conferences. All cost must be covered in the conference registration fees (or by other sources of income).
  10. The cost of printing tickets for all events should be covered in the price of the tickets.
  11. No funding will be given for printing of Newsletters.
  12. If a SAC-paid director or coach requests his/her salary before the normal end of semester pay date, he/she may be paid 20% of the total semesterly salary. The remaining 80% will be paid at the semester’s end.
  13. Any group seeking to bring a speaker must approach Connaissance for co-sponsorship before approaching the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will not fund speakers if the speaker is specific only to the group’s members and is not appropriate or relevant to the whole University community. Honoraria request to the Executive Committee must not exceed $100.
  14. The Executive Committee may decide to reconsider a request denied to an organization if
    1. legitimate factors (e.g., number of members) have changed to make the original circumstances regarding the decision no longer valid, OR
    2. the parties involved (e.g., SAC Representative, Executive Committee, Executive Liaison) feel strongly that an honest misunderstanding took place regarding the facts and figures of the particular case.
  15. The Executive Committee does not fund international travel for competitive groups. This differs from national championships/tournaments which may be funded upon request and demonstration of appropriate need by the competitive group.
  16. Any program which is considered campus wide, social, shall be referred to SPEC.
  17. If a program is being partially funded by the Social Planning and Events Committee, it will not be funded by the Student Activities Council.
  18. No funding will be given retroactively.
  19. Membership dues to national organizations will only be funded if deemed essential for the group’s existence as a group in the Penn community and/or for the proper functioning of the group and then only for the absolute minimum number of members required to achieve and maintain membership in the national organization.
  20. Any budgets (excluding contingency request) submitted after the allocation process has been completed in February/March of the spring semester will be subject to a 25% budget reduction.