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Club sustainability and managing a BSG budget

by Kristina Livingston - MANAGING EDITOR
Tue, Feb 28th 2017 09:00 pm
Emma Misiaszek/PHOTO EDITOR
MONEY MATTERS - Brockport Student Government's club budgets may be difficult for clubs to understand at times, there is an easy way to keep your budget and manage your funds well.
Emma Misiaszek/PHOTO EDITOR MONEY MATTERS - Brockport Student Government's club budgets may be difficult for clubs to understand at times, there is an easy way to keep your budget and manage your funds well.

 With clubs and organizations playing a pivotal role in maintaining an enjoyable campus climate, the "ins-and-outs" of qualifying for a budget used to put on events, collaborate with other clubs or generally make their presence known within The College at Brockport community are often misunderstood.

Clubs and organizations work very closely with the Brockport Student Government to maintain a secure system of self-accountability for all.

Each year, BSG is allocated a capped amount of funding within its budget which may then be distributed further to the four separate club councils: Academic, Service, Cultural and Fine Arts. 

According to BSG Treasurer Zachary Loveless, the club points system, a record which tracks club standings with BSG, is a relatively new addition to the relationship between student-created organizations and administration.

"In years past, the treasurer would literally go through with a red marker; 'this club gets a budget, this one doesn't,'" Loveless said. "Now our system is more democratic; we divide it into percentages where each council gets a percentage ... based on quantitative values, qualitative values of the student attendance of events, productivity, whether a club's met club points or not and whether they are a charter organization."

Approximately five years ago, a club's standing with BSG was represented by event attendance, an aspect many believed was unfair, as clubs with a larger reserve of funds have the potential to put on larger events, according to BSG Business Manager Tyler Brown. 

During this period, BSG had very little information on record on how clubs were operating.

"The business manager and treasurer would go through the budgets and essentially decide what the clubs were going to get," Brown said. 

"We put the decisions in the clubs and the club reps' hands rather than us [the Business Manager and BSG Treasurer] just dictating who is going to get what and then taking that to [BSG] Senate for approval."

Brown went on to explain that the aforementioned councils are equipped to distribute budgets to their respective clubs, permitting BSG approval. 

All clubs within any one council must have collective budgets which add up to, or are less than, the council's budget as a whole. 

Any remaining funds not included in club budgets are placed in the council's reserve for future use. 

In order for a club to transition from a temporary club into a legitimate club eligible for a budget, the club must operate for a year before its founders are able to apply to earn club status.This is followed by a year-long probationary period.

 Once the waiting period is over, the club is then granted equal responsibility as its counterparts. 

Clubs without budgets may request funds from their council or the BSG Senate Contingency Fund account. 

Clubs are overseen by their respective councils and once formed, become responsible for gaining a sufficient amount of club points with the ultimate goal of having its budget approved by BSG. 

Club points can be earned through a diverse range of activities, such as attending club officer training workshops, attending council meetings, and submitting event flyers to the BSG Treasurer's office for approval to be posted around campus and on social media account. 

In recent years, campus organizations have been encouraged to collaborate with one another, a decision which can be translated into club points as well. 

According to Loveless, the club points system is designed to encourage clubs to remain active and reinforce students' awareness of their existence. Its structure is accommodating and convenient for students managing both academic and extracurricular activities, providing abundant opportunities for clubs to meet their point requirements each semester.

Despite outlined suggestions as to how clubs can receive points, Loveless has noticed the extent to which certain opportunities to earn points are not taken advantage of by clubs.

"We're not trying to deny anybody a budget," Loveless said. "It's [a budget] supposed to be something they [clubs] earn, not a right. It's a privilege." 

He encourages club members to attend weekly BSG Senate meetings, Fridays at 4 p.m., as well as to keep in mind that flyers are to be sent to him via email for approval before being posted. 

While no disciplinary action is in place to handle unapproved flyers, he believes it is important to keep in mind doing so is a part of the club's responsibility, and unapproved, posted flyers do not contribute to a club's point total.

"It's really in the club's hands," Loveless said. "This [the club points system] gives them structure."



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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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