Ways & Means Funding Information
What is the Student Activity Fee?
The student activity fee is a $60 fee paid by students during the fall and spring semesters at Michigan Tech. The fee goes directly to the Undergraduate Student Government for allocation to student organizations, campus traditions, and campus improvements. Every year the fee is split between SBG (special budgetary groups) and RSO (registered student organizations) groups with some funding remaining available for new opportunities that come up the next year.
Who is Eligible for SAF Funding?
Any student organization that is registered with student activities and has membership open to all students is eligible for funding. Funding will be allocated at the student government’s discretion. Factors that the are taken into consideration during budget hearings include (but are not limited to):
- Number of students impacted
- University impact
- Alignment with the university’s strategic plan
- Uniqueness of the opportunity
Understanding The Process
We understand that for those new to SAF funding the process can be a bit daunting. That’s why we’re working on a new step-by-step infographic that walks newcomers through the process. Once you’ve done it a few times it’s not hard. But if you have an idea on how we can improve the process don’t hesitate to share them with us!
Make sure your organization and request meets the requirements to be funded by the SAF
Organizations must meet the following criteria to be funded by the SAF.
- Be a registered student organization in good standing with Student Activities
- Be an open organization as defined by student activities
Organizations not meeting these criteria are not eligible for SAF funding. If you believe your request is an exception please contact our treasurer who will help you through the special exception process.
In addition there are things that USG cannot fund, or rules about what funding can be allocated. A summary of these rules is included below:
- USG will not fund Alcohol, food, or any giveaways to members or non-members
- Food may be funded if and only if the food is available to all students as a part of a widely publicized event. This does not include organizational meetings. Food may also be funded for contracted speakers or performers as required by their riders.
- Salaries for full or part-time staff may not be funded
- Contributions to campaigns are prohibited from coming from the SAF
- Awards may not be purchased with SAF funding
Determine which form to fill out.
This can be a bit tricky. There are two options here. The opportunities fund and the reserve fund. Example of requests are included below, but the general rule the opportunities fund exists to support startup costs, unpredicted expenses, or new initiatives. The reserve fund is used for equipment replacement costs, equipment upgrades, and equipment safety concerns. The reserve fund may also be used for campus improvements depending on the amount in the fund.
Opportunities Fund Examples
- A new organization is looking to rent space at the SDC
- A organization wants to attend an unexpected conference
- A organization wants to put on a new event not previously anticipated
Reserve Fund Examples
- A organization wants to replace outdated equipment
- A major safety concern has come up in an organization that requires funding to fix
- A organization wants to remodel part of a building used by Undergraduate students
Sign up for a Ways and Means Time slot (WAM)
WAM is the Ways and Means committee for USG. They are our financial experts and are given the very complex task of assigning value to new student initiatives. We ask all requests to go through WAM before coming to the body. This allows us to collect all the needed information for the body to make a decision.
The WAM meeting takes about 15 minutes and can be scheduled between 6 and 7pm on Wednesdays. The more information you can bring, the better. These guys like numbers.
Give us your pitch at a Meeting
We want to get to know your organization. Come share with us what you’re passionate about and help us answer the question of why you’re new initiative is worth an investment from the student body. We love hearing new ideas. Feel free to bring in a pamphlet, and other documentation for us to look over while making your pitch. Keep it brief, around 3 -5 minutes is perfect and leaves plenty of time for questions.
We’ll make an allocation
After the body feels like they’ve got a good grasp on the impact your initiative will have on the campus, a USG member will make a motion. The motion may be to accept the WAM recommendation, or they may propose a different amount. After discussion and a vote you’ll have a definitive answer on how much money your organization has been allocated.
Go For It!
It’s go time! You’ve gotten approved and have the money set aside for you in USG’s on-campus account. Here you have two options. You can submit an advanced reimbursement request, which are great for big purchases that members can’t foot the bill for up front. Or you can go ahead and buy the approved items and we’ll reimburse you (regular reimbursement).
Pick up the Money
Once reimbursement forms are submitted they are approved on the following Wednesday. From there a check is ordered from Michigan Tech’s accounting department. Checks will arrive in Student Activities MUB 112. They will not go to USG. You or your treasurer should get an email from someone in Student Activities regarding your check. Checks usually take up to 2 weeks to arrive after being requested.