SGA Funding FAQ
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SGA has altered the rules and processes regarding funding in numerous ways in order to ensure the health and safety of all parties involved. All university-sponsored travel has been suspended indefinitely; therefore, SGA cannot fund any travel events at this time. Any catering needs of an organization for an event must be fulfilled through Chartwells on campus. Additionally, any events that receive funding from SGA must meet the health and safety guidelines established by federal, state, and local governments/public health entities as well as recommendations set forth by SGA, which can be found on the SGA website. The appropriations process is conducted entirely in a virtual format. SGA Financial Affairs Committee meetings where organization representatives appear to discuss their funding requests are entirely virtual as well as SGA Legislative Body meetings.
Active student organizations, university programs (i.e. Penguin Productions & Emerging Leaders), and club sports are permitted to receive SGA funding for specific event or travels costs (when travel is permitted).
There are two key requirements that must be met in order to apply for SGA funding. First and foremost, the organization, university program, or club sport must be deemed active on campus through the office of Student Activities at Youngstown State University. In addition, at least two members from the organization must attend a minimum of three sessions and the keynote speaker at the Student Leadership Summit during the academic year the event/travel (when permitted) will be taking place. At least one of the aforementioned sessions must be the SGA Financial Appropriations session.
How far in advance should a student organization, university program, or club sport apply for SGA funding?
Organizations looking to receive funding from SGA should fill out an application on the SGA website 4-6 weeks in advance of their event or travel occurrence (when permitted). If an event or travel date falls within 4-6 weeks of advanced notice, please fill out a funding application; however, SGA cannot guarantee that funding will be approved.
What are the differences between the different funding applications that can be found on the SGA website?
There are three different types of funding applications available on the SGA website, including “Event Funding Application,” “Club Sport Funding Application,” and “New Student Organization Funding Application.” The “Event Funding Application” is for organizations seeking funding to cover itemized costs for a specific event they are hosting or traveling (when permitted) to attend. The “Club Sport Funding Application” is for club sports seeking funding to cover costs associated with travel (when permitted) and their competitions. The “New Student Organization Funding Application” is for new organizations in their first full semester of existence seeking funding to help defray costs associated with the early and continued success of their organization.
SGA can only defray costs for a specific event or travel occurrence (when permitted). Potential costs that SGA can provide funding for include, but are not limited to, registration costs for a conference or webinar, catering costs, speaker fees, marketing materials/banner costs, hotel/flight/rental car fees (when travel is permitted), and tickets for fundraisers. Additionally, new student organization funding can be provided to help defray itemized startup costs including, but not limited to, printed marketing materials, YSU catering, checks, apparel, and other expenditures related to the early success and continuity of a new or provisional student organization. SGA-funded events, excluding travel, must be open to all YSU students or the general public.
How much funding is available for student organizations, university programs, and club sports annually?
Each fiscal year, running from the beginning of Summer II (July 1st) through the end of Summer I (June 30th), student organizations and club sports are permitted to receive 3% of the SGA appropriations budget while university programs are permitted to receive 2%. For the fiscal year 2020-2021, 3% of the budget equates to $3,990 whereas 2% of the budget equal $2,660. Recommendations beyond this amount are permissible but can only be passed with the unanimous consent of the Financial Affairs Committee.
Before applying for funding, the organization, university program, or club sport seeking funding must be active and meet the Student Leadership Summit attendance requirements. An appropriation application must be filled out 4-6 weeks in advance of the event or travel occurrence (when permitted) on the SGA website. Once the application is submitted and deemed complete, a representative from the organization will be asked to speak in front of the SGA Financial Affairs Committee to discuss the funding request. A funding recommendation will be developed by the Financial Affairs Committee and subsequently sent to the SGA Legislative Body to be approved or denied. Student organizations and university programs must then meet with Lora Graneto, Student Activities, and club sports must meet with Domonique Sak, Campus Rec, to discuss funding logistics. Check out the SGA funding checklist on the SGA website to see a detailed outline of all the steps in the process.
If an event is intended to generate revenue for philanthropic or fundraising purposes, any commodity subsidized by SGA must not be sold for profit. Tickets, however, may be listed as an itemized cost by an organization or university program and subsidized by SGA in order to facilitate student participation and attendance as such events. Tickets must be created and marketed by the organization for students to pick up at the Student Activities front desk where they will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The following details must be included on the ticket: ticket number, value, name of event, sponsoring organization, location, date, and time. In the event of a virtual fundraiser, SGA will create and monitor an online sign-up form that students can access to demonstrate their interest in the event. The confirmation email sent from the sign-up sheet will serve as the virtual ticket to the fundraiser and include the link to the virtual event.
What rules or limitations exist surrounding applying for SGA funds to cover catering costs for an event?
SGA is permitted to appropriate funds related to defraying catering costs incurred by an organization for an event; however, the university requires that the catering be fulfilled through Chartwells for events held on campus. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all catering on campus must be fulfilled through Chartwells. Under normal circumstances, outside vendors are permitted to be used in the Pollock House or the Stadium Club in Stambaugh Stadium on campus. Catering costs can be covered for events held in off-campus locations with outside vendors.
Does a reimbursement process exist, or does SGA need to directly pay for itemized costs listed in the funding application?
Yes, a reimbursement process exists; however, SGA prefers to pay for itemized costs directly for an organization. When SGA purchases items on behalf of organizations, the funding process is streamlined; however, SGA is required to use specific, university-approved vendors. The reimbursement process requires the organization to keep and submit detailed receipts in order to receive the funding. Lora Graneto, Administrative Assistant for Student Activities, is the contact person for the reimbursement and direct funding process.
Who can you contact if you have any questions regarding what SGA funding can be used for or the appropriations process in general?
The main point of contact for SGA appropriations is Jeffrey Senediak, Vice President for Financial Affairs. Jeffrey can be reached via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (330.941.3592). Additionally, his office is located in the SGA/Student Activities suites across from The Cove in Kilcawley.