RSO Policy – Finance Changes

Overview

The impacts to the financial and funding policies are centered around the changes to the way funds are allocated – with much more streamlined bills and budget process as well as a clearer, but more strict, appeals process. The RSO Policy does supersede and replace the original JFC Policy. Additionally, there have been some changes to what information is required when your organization submits funding requests as well as where the Budgets are submitted. General policy and some item restrictions have been updated as well for both budgets and bills. 

Please be aware that these changes make all deadlines more strict without any leeway able to be granted. Each of these mentioned points is outlined in greater detail below as well as in the resources and documents provided. All of these policies and procedures are now in effect and currently enforced. If you have any questions about these financial changes please reach out to Josh Eastwood, SGA’s Joint VP of Finance.

It should be noted that all FY21 budget allocations are not impacted by these new policies and that already submitted funding requests do not need to be resubmitted.

Bills Process Changes

“Bills” are the rolling funding requests that RSOs can access throughout the year and have slightly different restrictions compared to budgets. Originally, this would require organizations to attend a JFC meeting, Graduate Student Senate (GSS) meeting, and Undergraduate House of Representatives (UHR) meeting before funding was allocated or could be used. This process did allow for greater leeway and easier appeals to JFC policy but was time consuming for organizations. The new process removes the GSS and UHR meetings, adds stricter timelines for both JFC and the RSO, and updates the submission requirements.

Currently, the submission for Bills will need a supplemental form filled out as all items now require tangible price quotes. The form will be sent to the bill submitter after they submit on JacketPages.

Restrictions and maximum item allocations have also been revised specifically for bills but mostly to make the policy clearer rather than add anything new – review This Reference Document for more information.

Updated Process

1. Submit Your Bill on JacketPages
  • Price out all the items you will need for your event, activity, or travel and be prepared to show proof of those prices. You don’t necessarily need to include them in your request but additional documentation will make the submission on JacketPages and review process easier.
  • Please ensure you include all of the applicable submission requirements in your funding request and that the submission is completed to the best of your ability. You will also receive a link to a supplemental form, after submitting your Bill, that will allow you to ensure all of the following are submitted. Those submission requirements are:
    • Required Information for All Bills:
      • A detailed written description of the program, activity, or event
      • Written cost estimates of all items or services requested
      • Documentation that you have sought funding from other sources
      • The amount of funding, if any, that you have received from other funding sources for the items or services being requested
      • The amount of funding, if any, that is being provided through an existing SGA budget allocation for the items or services being requested
      • If your RSO has received SGA funds in the past, a written statement is needed demonstrating that your RSO has used the past funds effectively to accomplish the goals for which those funds were awarded
    • For Event Funding Bills Only
      • In addition to the required information listed above
      • Information/Documentation showing that students will be involved in the planning and implementation of the event
      • A description of how you plan to promote the event to the student body
  • Please note that if an applicable submission requirement is not included or the supplemental form is not filled out you will be asked to provide the missing information in the JFC Review or you can email the JVPF with the information as well.
  • It is also advised that you review the restrictions and maximum item allocations first before submitting your funding request to ensure a smooth allocation process. If you have any questions or concerns about your request and how it might go against any restrictions feel free to reach out to the JVPF.

A detailed walkthrough of submitting your Bill on JacketPages is available Here.

You can also reach out to the Joint VP of Finance with any questions at any time.

2. Be Scheduled for a Joint Finance Committee (JFC) Meeting
  • Within 7 days of submitting your request, you will receive an email asking for you to select a 15-minute time slot in order to present the Bill to JFC. If you do not receive an email within 7 days, contact the JVPF.
  • In the email, you will receive a link to a form that must be filled out by the JFC meeting. You will be able to upload documents and submit documented price quotes here along with confirming other submission requirements. If this form is not filled out, the funds you requested cannot be allocated.
  • JFC meetings occur every Thursday between 6:00PM to 8:00PM EST throughout the Fall and Spring Semesters.
  • Anyone from your RSO can present the Bill as long as they are able to answer questions about it and provide additional information about your RSO.
  • If you or your RSO needs to reschedule, reach out to the Joint VP of Finance.
3. Attend the JFC Meeting
  • The point of the JFC Meeting is to ensure that your request meets all funding policies and ensure that all required information has been submitted properly. In order to achieve that, you will be asked to talk about your Bill and answer any questions that might come up to ensure that any item requested meets policy. 
  • Feel free to bring any materials you think might help explain your request and the prices you’ve listed.
  • This is a casual meeting, as JFC is made up of about 10 members of undergraduates and graduate students. Please do not feel the need to have a formal presentation together.
  • If you, or your RSO, do not appear at your scheduled JFC meeting time an email will be sent to you to determine a new meeting time even if you appear later in the evening. Please arrive on time as once your time-slot has passed by 10 minutes you will be required to reschedule.
  • JFC will make a determination about your Bill in that meeting. However, do not start using any funds until you receive your allocation email the following day.
4. Utilizing the Allocated Funds
  • Once you receive your allocation email by 5pm the following day, your RSO can begin spending the funds by working with the Student Organization Finance Office (SOFO). If you do not receive a final allocation email by the specified time, please reach out to the Joint VP of Finance. All communications will be sent to the original bill submitter.
  • This can be done either by reimbursement or purchase by a SOFO representative but please review SOFO policies and procedures. You can also reach out to your RSO’s SOFO representative to learn more.
  • If you received less than your requested amount you can appeal if you feel as though the reduction was arbitrary and not related to policy. For more information please refer to the Appeals Section.

Budget Process Changes

Budgets are the annual allocations of funds that should be used for items and events that occur each year – especially if that funding is needed over the summer or before the Fall semester starts. The Budget process is a bit more intensive than the Bills Process with different restrictions but this has also been updated to streamline the allocation. The old process required a budget orientation session, a JFC meeting, a Graduate Student Senate meeting, and Undergraduate House of Representatives meeting for RSOs. Now only a budget orientation and JFC meeting occur for a budget to be allocated as the legislative bodies no longer review or approve the budget allocations.

Budgets also have updated item maximums, new submission requirements, and a much stricter timeline. Under this new policy there is no leeway to the budget deadline. Also for the first time, we will be using Engage for budget requests instead of JacketPages, which is covered in the budget orientation.

A reference document is being created that details the budget funding restrictions. For now, please review the Finance Policy Changes Section for more information.

1. Attend a Budget Orientation Session
  • Attending one of these sessions is a requirement to submit a budget – if your organization does not go to a budget session your organization will not be able to submit a budget.
  • It is an hour long information session to go over the policies, procedures, and timeline of budget requests with time to answer any questions.
  • The schedule and locations of these sessions will be made available on the SGA website by the third week of the Fall semester. There will be a variety of times offered throughout the Fall semester.
2. Submit Your Budget Request on Engage
  • After compiling a list of all the items you will be requesting in the budget, fill out the budget request form on Engage.
  • We are in the process of updating the Resources Page for guidance and additional documentation – however all of this information will be covered in the Budget Orientation.
  • Please ensure you include all of the applicable submission requirements in your budget and that the submission is completed to the best of your ability. The budget form is designed to ensure you will have to submit all required information. Those submission requirements are:
    • For All Budget Requests:
      • A detailed written description of the program, activity, or event
      • Written cost estimates of all items or services requested
      • A written estimate of revenue expected to be generated in the coming year through dues, ticket sales, fundraisers, donations, or other means
      • Certification that your RSO’s advisor has been provided an opportunity to review the budget submission
      • If your RSO was registered in the prior year, a written account of revenue generated in the prior year through dues, ticket sales, fundraisers, donations, or other means
      • If your RSO has received SGA funds in the past, a written statement is needed demonstrating that your RSO has used the past funds effectively to accomplish the goals for which those funds were awarded
    • For Budgets Requesting Event Funding:
      • In addition to the required information listed above
      • Information/Documentation showing that students will be involved in the planning and implementation of the event
      • A description of how you plan to promote the event to the student body
  • All budgets must be fully and properly submitted by Friday at 11:59pm of the tenth week of the Fall semester – there will be no exceptions.
3. Schedule a Joint Finance Committee (JFC) Budget Review Session
  • By the twelfth week of the Fall semester a JFC Review session schedule will be posted to the SGA website and emailed to all budget submitters.
  • A member from your organization will be required to attend a time slot to present the budget request.
  • If a member from your organization is unable to attend due to a schedule change they should reach out to the Joint VP of Finance to reschedule their review session time slot.
4. Attend the JFC Budget Review Session
  • Similar to the Bill’s Process, bring any materials you think might help explain your budget request and the prices you’ve listed.
  • This is a casual meeting, as JFC is made up of about 10 members of undergraduates and graduate students but will take about 15 – 30 minutes depending on the length and complexity of your budget.
  • Your organization will be asked to talk about your budget and answer any questions that might come up to ensure that all items requested meet policy.
  • If your RSO does not appear at your scheduled JFC session time an email will be sent to you to determine a new time.
  • Your RSOs budget request will be evaluated against policy within that review session but any changes made do not reflect your final allocated amount.
5. Receive Budget Allocation Email
  • JFC will review all budgets first then, if necessary, reduce all budgets at a pro rata basis – proportionally across the board – to reach the allocatable amount for budgets.
  • Your organization will be contacted if this occurs to give you an opportunity to reduce your budget request on your organization’s terms and to retain what is most beneficial to your organization.
  • An allocation email will be sent to your organization by the second Friday in March confirming the total amount allocated for your budget in the upcoming fiscal year as well as be updated on Engage.
  • If you received less than your requested amount you can appeal following the procedure laid out in the Appeals Section.

Finance Policy Changes

Restrictions and item maximum allocations are also much more strict now with no way to appeal to the legislative body for leniency. A list has been complied of the changes of most expected impact to make things easier – this is just based on general expectation and the changes may have varying degrees of relevance to different organizations.

For a comprehensive list of restrictions specifically for Bills Process, please refer to This Reference Document which can also found on the Resources Page. Be aware that the changes to the Tier system and removal of multidisciplinary status have restricted funding for previously benefiting groups – please refer to the Campus Org Changes Page for more information.

If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to Josh Eastwood, the Joint VP of Finance for SGA.

Notable Changes

  • Funding travel to locations within 70-miles of Georgia Tech’s Atlanta Campus is prohibited – reduced from 150-miles.
  • Recruitment Activities can be funded now.
  • Capital Expenditures definition has been updated to include raw materials and components.
  • All dues requirements have been removed in order to submit a budget.
  • Ticket price formulas have been removed.
  • Food can be funded for events open to the entire campus at $5 per attendee or 2/3rds the total cost of the event, whichever is lower and is not to exceed $5,000 per event.

Campus Org Policy Changes Impacts

Due to some of the changes pertaining to the RSO Policy and more specifically multidisciplinary status, tier system, and competitive sports status benefits. These have fiscal implications that impacted organizations should be made aware of in order to receive the same level of funding from SGA. These are fixable and your organization does not have any chance to collapse or reduce opportunities to your members as we, SGA and the Center of Student Engagement, are doing everything we can to support you. If you have any questions or need any additional guidance do not hesitate to reach out.

Multidisciplinary Status Has Been Removed

Upon the enactment of this policy, all multidisciplinary standings of all RSOs have been removed. RSOs will only be considered on a per organization basis and not by any sub-disciplines. This removes the financial benefits for previously advantaged organizations; such as multiple coaching stipends per organization and additional number of travel/event registration available due to the multiple disciplines. 

Under this policy, coaching stipends are capped at $1000 per organization – not per discipline. Organizations are required to be participating in competitive events and programs but they do not need to be classified as “Competitive” or “Sports” organizations.

What actions you as an RSO can take to maintain your funding level or operations:

  • Split your organization under similar but different constitutions with the differences clearly defined
  • Create a governing board to maintain relative leadership synergies between the now split organizations
  • Do nothing and keep your organization as one entity

If you need assistance in creating new constitutions, governing boards, or new organizational structures please reach out to the Joint Campus Organizations Committee as they are standing by to assist RSOs in maintaining your operations. 

Please note that this change does not impact the FY21 budgets but does impact the Bills Process for this year.

Competitive Status Has Been Removed

Upon the enactment of this policy competitive status maintained by JCOC and JFC is removed. This previously provided benefits for organizations but please note that this does not remove the requirement for Club Sports to still be registered with the CRC. It does impact the level of funding previously “non-competitive” organizations can receive as now the only requirement for RSOs to receive a coaching stipend and competitive event registration funding is that they meet the definition of participating in competitive events:

“Intercollegiate competitions, tournaments, or other events where the main intent is to rank among peers, obtain status, award(s), or reward(s)”

The Tier System Has Been Removed

With the enactment of this policy, all RSOs are now considered the same “Tier” for both funding and organizational purposes. This has heavy implications for Tier IIs but not as much for now-former Tier IIIs. Moving forward RSOs will be considered simply as RSOs and not with the Tier denominator. 

If you are a leader or advisor of Tier II and have not received an email from the JVPCO or the JVPF please Contact Us immediately.

Departmental Registered Student Organization Classification Has Been Created

The creation of a new classification has been made; titled a Departmental Registered Student Organization (DRSO). DRSOs are RSOs that are in a defined relationship with a department or unit of Georgia Tech either through the involvement of property, space, resources, money, or even reputation. More information about DRSO and obtaining this status can be found on the Campus Orgs Changes site.

DRSOs do not have greater access to the funding allocated by SGA.

If you and your organization are interested in pursuing DRSO status, or would simply like to learn more, please reach out to the Center of Student Engagement which can assist in a multitude of ways. 

Changes to Prohibited Allocations and Item Maximums

Overarching Requirements to Request and Receive Funds
  • The RSO must be in Active standing as determined by the Center for Student Engagement.
  • The RSO’s funding application must be complete and include the required information.
  • The RSO must attend the required Joint Finance Committee meeting.
  • Events and activities funded through student activity fees must be open to all Georgia Tech students.
  • The RSO’s request must contain accurate cost estimates supported by reliable documentation or research, including by taking into consideration the number of students likely to attend an event. However, this criterion will not be used to consider the content or viewpoint of an RSO’s speech, including the presumed popularity or controversial nature of an RSO’s speech.
  • Any proposed facility must be suitable for the proposed events and activities based on the estimated size of attendance.
  • Any travel expense estimates must be objectively reasonable for the type of event or activity proposed.
Prohibited Allocations

These items will not be approved in any way, if this poses an issue for your organization please review other on-campus funding sources that may be able to cover the item in question.

  • Funding requested solely for the benefit of individuals who are not currently enrolled Georgia Tech students
  • Any items or resources that are more cheaply available by rental or reservation through Georgia Tech  
  • Actual or in-kind contributions to campaigns, candidates, or political parties
  • Loans
  • Items to be given out to individuals or organizations, including awards, gifts, and giveaways, except for low-cost printed publicity items such as flyers and stickers. Low-cost publicity items shall not be funded in excess of $50 total per event. Giveaways shall include any equipment that is to be used in any capacity on or with personal equipment at non-organizational events.
  • Food-related items such as plates, utensils, or napkins, unless for an event projected to involve at least 500 student attendees, in which case the total allocation for a single event may not exceed $500 and none of the items may be composed of Styrofoam
  • Alcoholic beverages or tobacco products, and any event at which alcohol and tobacco will be served
  • Lodging
  • Travel expenses for a non-student
  • Any event (including promotional items, marketing, or materials for the event) intended as a fundraiser for any individual, party, or organization
  • Any expenditure occurring in the past or any expenditure guaranteed by a contract entered in the past, unless consideration by JFC is delayed through no fault of the RSO.
  • Costs associated with hosting intercollegiate competitions, tournaments, or other events where the main intent is to rank among peers, obtain status, award(s), or reward(s)
  • Costs associated with hosting conferences in which more than 25% of attendees are not students of the Institute at the time of the event or conferences from which the RSO will receive a portion of the profit
  • Costs associated with any event for which an RSO has not yet qualified
  • Costs in which the primary purpose is seeking, gaining or acknowledging sponsors (corporate or otherwise) for the RSO
  • Costs associated with professional development activities or conferences for non-student personnel
  • Costs associated with freight, shipping, delivery, or processing of any items
  • Costs associated with retreats, unless open to GT students who are not members of the RSO
  • Clothing that does not remain with the RSO
  • Parking permits, fees, and validations for road vehicles
  • Email marketing services
  • Any costs for which the actual expenditures are not known or “miscellaneous” costs
  • Dues paid per individual through which students can compete outside of a Georgia Tech affiliated team
  • Travel to locations within a 70-mile radius of Georgia Tech’s Atlanta campus
  • Any activities which violate the laws of the United States of America, the State of Georgia, the City of Atlanta, or the regulations of the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Food or drinks for human consumption at internal RSO meetings
Maximum Allocations

These items listed may be funded up to the amounts, or based on the conditions, related to the items.

General Restrictions

No funding requests will be allocated any funding in excess of or contrary to the following limits:

  • Decorations
    • $150 if the expected attendance is less than 500 Georgia Tech students
    • $300 if the expected attendance is 500 or more Georgia Tech students
  • Costs associated with renting the Ferst Theater shall only be funded for events with an expected attendance of greater than 300 students, and only if no less expensive on-campus space exists that meets the needs of the program.

Travel
  • Travel distance must be equal or greater than 70-miles away from Georgia Tech’s Atlanta Campus
  • Automotive travel allocations shall be limited to the value obtained by utilizing the following Automotive Travel Formula:
    • R shall be the current IRS Business Mileage Rate.
    • S shall be the number of students traveling.
    • M shall be the number of round-trip miles between Georgia Tech and the destination.
    • 𝐴𝑙𝑙𝑜𝑐𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 = 0.05× 𝑅 × 𝑆 × 𝑀, 𝑀𝑎𝑥𝑖𝑚𝑢𝑚 = 𝑆 ×$75.
  • Air Travel expense allocations shall be limited to the lesser of $150 or 45% of the actual expense.
  • Only one type of travel shall be funded per person per event.
Capital Expenditures

For items that are expected to last up to or more than 3 years, raw materials, components as well as the installation and maintenance of fixed assets.

  • Capital Expenditures are defined as: A Capital Expenditure is any payment for durable goods with an expected life of three or more years under normal use, individual components, raw materials, and the costs associated with the initial installation of these durable goods. 
    • Normal use is to be considered based on the physical longevity of the item and the length of the manufacturer’s limited warranty. 
    • Individual components are to be considered a part intended to be combined, joined, or connected to other durable goods or other components, or split to achieve the material’s desired purpose. 
  • Payments for goods with a price of less than $10 each shall not be considered Capital Expenditures. 
  • JFC may fund at most the greater of $10 or two-thirds of the total cost of each item.
  • The one-year allocation from the capital outlay account to any RSO shall not exceed ten (10) percent of the funds available in this account at the start of the academic year.
  • RSOs must ensure the safe storage of items purchased through capital expenditures.
Non-Capital Expenditures
  • Conferences
    • $1000 per conference, excluding travel, not to exceed $100 per individual
  • Tournaments and Competitions: 
    • $1000 per competitive event, excluding travel, not to exceed $100 per individual
  • Program Fees for Off-Campus Activities: 
    • $1000 per activity, not to exceed $100 per individual, excluding travel
  • Speaker Fees and Honoraria:
    • $500 per event if the expected attendance is fewer than 100 Georgia Tech students
    • $2,500 per event if the expected attendance is fewer than 500 Georgia Tech students
    • $5,000 per event if the expected attendance is fewer than 950 Georgia Tech students
    • $10,000 per event if the expected attendance is 950 or more Georgia Tech students
  • Off-Campus Venue Rentals:
    • Funded at a maximum of $10 multiplied by the number of Georgia Tech students expected to attend.
  • Publicity:
    • Copies, programs, and fliers shall be funded at the current rates of the Office of Student Engagement.
    • Fliers shall not be provided in excess of one-third of current on-campus campus enrollment rounded to the nearest thousand.
    • Programs shall not be funded in excess of the event venue capacity.
    • Banners and posters shall not be funded in excess of $180 total per event.
    • No more than one half-page Technique advertisement or equivalently priced Technique advertisement(s), at the current student organization black and white rate, which is published on Technique’s webpage, shall be funded for any single event.
    • Social media advertisements (such as Facebook ads and Snapchat filters) shall not be funded in excess of $25 total per event.
    • No more than $20 of sidewalk chalk shall be funded per organization in a single Fiscal Year.
  • Food and Drink:
    • Food not intended for human consumption, not to exceed $50
    • Food may be funded up to $5 per GT attendee but not to exceed more than $5,000 per event.
    • Please note that for food to be funded the usage of food must be in line with the purpose and mission of your RSO.
  • Professional Development:
    • Background checks for non-criminal justice purposes may be funded at a maximum of $15 per student.
  • Competitive Events and Programs – any RSO participating in competitive events and programs is eligible to receive the following benefits:
    • Coaching stipends may be funded at a maximum of $1,000 total per organization
    • Costs associated with hosting intercollegiate competitions may be funded only if the following conditions are met:
      • The competition consists of only the RSO and one other team.
      • The RSO attends an equal or greater number of away competitions at which no registration fee is charged.
    • The total fiscal year allocation for all competitive events does not exceed $6000.
Budget Restriction

These items will not be funded in a budget but in certain instances may be funded in a Bill.

  • Capital expenditures, except for items required for maintenance of capital assets
  • Benefits for part-time employees working less than twenty (20) hours per week
  • Postage
  • Costs associated with CRC-hosted intramurals
  • Employee compensation and student stipends
  • Speaker fees or honoraria
  • Registration costs for Homecoming events
  • Office supplies
  • Personal items, including, but not limited to, nametags, photo albums, scrapbooks and business cards
  • Food or drinks

Please note, that the budget dues requirement has been removed. Dues of any kind are not required in order to submit a budget. Additionally, dues were never required to submit a Bill.


The reference document linked to the right, and throughout this page, provides a downloadable version for all of the prohibited allocations and item maximums for the Bills Process.


Updated Appeals Process

Appealing a funding request decision, Bill or Budget, has also been updated. Originally, if the amount of funding allocated was less than originally requested and the requesting organization determined that the decision was against policy they would have to appeal to the Judicial branch of SGA, where a trial would be brought up to review the request, process, and application of policy to make a final determination. Now, this process has been adjusted to only go through the Dean of Students’ office along with a clearer timeline and criterion for placing an appeal.

Updated Process

1. Receive Less than Originally Requested from Bill or Budget
  • After going through the Budget or Bills process, if your organization has received less than you originally requested you are able to begin the appeals process.
  • Please be aware that there is a strict timeline for this so if you are interested in pursuing an appeal it is recommended that you read through the process and policy first.
2. Request and Receive a Written Decision from the Joint Finance Committee (JFC)
  • Within 10 business days of receiving your allocation for the request in question, submit a request through this form for a written decision from JFC outlining the determining factors behind reducing your request.
  • A Written Decision request form will be located on the SGA website.
  • For the time being, please reach out to the Joint VP of Finance requesting a written decision through email.
  • If JFC does not return a written decision within 10 business days after your request has been made, you may move forward to the next step.
3. If the Decision to Reduce was Either: Arbitrary, Discriminating, or JFC Failed to Follow Procedure
  • Once you have your written decision, if your organization believes that the reduction to your request was for any of the aforementioned reasons you should submit an appeal.
  • For more exact language surrounding the grounds in which the appeal is being made please review the RSO Policy Here or below.
4. Submit an Appeal to the Dean of Students
  1. At any time after receiving your written request from JFC your organization and making the determination on the basis of your appeal, your organization can submit an appeal to the Dean of Students
  2. The Appeals Form is maintained by the Dean of Students and is still be created at this time.
  3. For the time being, please contact the Student Organization Finance Office (SOFO) to continue the process.
5. Receive a Final Decision
  • Within 20 business days of submitting your appeal, a final written decision from the Dean of Students’ Office will be sent to your organization.
  • The decision will detail the reasoning for that determination and will include the monetary amount in which your allocation has been adjusted if the appeal has been approved.

Appeal Bases

Taken directly from the RSO Policy – all appeals must be based on one of the following grounds:

  • JFC’s disapproval of the Annual Budget Request or Bill Request, or JFC’s determination regarding any allocation for an item therein, was arbitrary or capricious; 
  • JFC engaged in viewpoint discrimination or another legal violation; or,  
  • JFC failed to follow the Funding Request processes and procedures outlined in this policy.