Financial Bylaws

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These Bylaws reflect changes approved by the SBA Board of Directors at the SBA meeting on September 16th, 2013.

Contents

Article I: Name

The name of this committee shall be the Student Bar Association (SBA) Appropriations Committee.

Article II: Mission

The mission of the SBA Appropriations Committee is to support student-driven programming by providing funding to law student organizations. The SBA Board has fully empowered the Appropriations Committee to make all funding decisions to enable the Committee to respond quickly and efficiently to student organization funding needs.

Article III: Objectives

The SBA Appropriations Committee intends to support student-driven programming by:

  1. Assessing and allocating funds in a transparent and fair way for new and continuing student organizations.
  2. Developing policies to promote collaboration among student groups.
  3. Championing accountability between the SBA and student groups.
  4. Maintaining a balanced budget from year to year.

Article IV: Committee Membership

Section 1: Definition of Committee Members

The members of the Appropriations Committee shall be comprised of the following five committee members:

  1. SBA Director of Finance (Appropriations Committee Chair)
  2. Appropriations Member At-Large – First-Year Student
  3. Appropriations Member At-Large – Second-Year Student
  4. Appropriations Member At-Large – Third-Year Student
  5. SBA Chair

Section 2: Election and selection of committee members

  1. SBA Director of Finance (Appropriations Committee Chair): Shall be elected in accordance with Article IV of the SBA Constitution.
  2. Appropriations Members At-Large:
    1. The second-year member at-large and the third-year member at-large shall each be elected during the Spring Semester by majority vote of those students voting, following procedures devised by the sitting Board.
    2. The first-year member at-large shall be elected in the first three weeks of the Fall Semester by majority vote of those students voting, following procedures devised by the sitting Board.
    3. Any law student, whether already an existing SBA Officer or not, may run for a position as an Appropriations Members At-Large.
    4. Candidates must disclose any affiliations they may have with student organizations, whether as a general member or a member of the executive board.
    5. Terms of Appropriations Committee membership will coincide with terms for SBA Officers, i.e. May 1 - April 30.
    6. If any position is left vacant, the SBA Board may choose to appoint a member at-large or fill the position by another SBA Officer.
  3. SBA Chair: Shall be elected in accordance with Article IV of the SBA Constitution.

Section 3: Voting Rights

  1. Each Appropriations Committee member is entitled to one vote on the Appropriations Committee.
  2. If any of the members recognize that they may have a conflict of interest on any particular funding proposal, they are strongly encouraged to recuse themselves.
  3. While Appropriations Members At-Large each have a vote on the Appropriations Committee, this voting privilege does not extend to being entitled a vote on issues before the SBA Board. Voting rights of the SBA Board are defined by Article II, section D of the SBA Constitution.
  4. The Director of Finance may exercise his or her executive power to decide on a funding request on his or her own without a majority vote if the following three requirements are all satisfied:
    1. The committee does not reach a majority decision on a funding request after at least six calendar days;
    2. The Director of Finance sends an email with the following information to each committee member's school-issued email address at least 24 hours prior to his or her decision to exercise his or her executive power;
      1. His or her intention to use the executive power;
      2. His or her decision on the funding request; and
      3. The date and time at which his or her decision becomes final if the committee does not reach a majority decision
    3. 24 hours after the Director of Finance sends out the notification, a majority decision still has not been reached by the committee.

Section 4: Duties

  1. SBA Director of Finance (Appropriations Committee Chair): It shall be the duty of the Appropriations Committee Chair to preside at all meetings of the Appropriations Committee, approve Law Event Approval Forms (LEAFs) for events and student travel, and propose a contingency plan for new and unexpected funding requests.
  2. Appropriations Members At-Large (one member from each class): Each appropriations member is to assess the budget proposals of each student organization and provide recommendations on funding allocations. In the absence of or at the request of the Appropriations Committee Chair, the third-year appropriations member at-large shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the Committee Chair.
  3. SBA Chair: It shall be the duty of the SBA Chair to provide information, changes in policies, and feedback from law students and Student Services.

Article V: Budget submissions

A. Semester Notifications

At the beginning of each semester, the SBA Director of Finance will announce that funding request will be evaluated on an event-by-event basis and that all funding requests must be submitted to the Appropriations Committee at least fourteen (14) days prior to the occurrence of the event for which funds are being requested.

B. Student Organization Budget

Student organizations with plans to request funds from SBA shall submit one budget proposal each semester on or before the deadline. The deadline shall be set by the SBA Director or Finance and shall be within three weeks of the beginning of the semester. A budget form will be made available to student organization leaders at the start of each semester. Student organizations that do not submit a budget on or before the deadline are ineligible for funding that semester. Student Organizations are not guaranteed funding for events listed in their budget proposal.

C. Funding Requests

Anyone requesting funds from the SBA must submit a mandatory “Law Event Approval Form” (LEAF) which may be found and submitted to Student Services through the UCI Law Intranet. The form must be submitted to Student Services at least fourteen (14) days prior to the occurrence of the event for which the funds are being requested. To ensure fair allocation of funding amongst student groups, it is within the discretion of the Appropriations Committee to consider requests that are submitted less than fourteen (14) calendar days in advance of the event.

D. Limits

The Appropriations Committee seeks to encourage active enrichment of the student body. At the start of each semester, the Appropriations Committee shall designate student organizations a funding category that determines the maximum allotment of funds for the following semester. The categories are as follows:

  1. Active: A student group is Active when it hosts meetings, events, conferences, off campus events, co-sponsorships, or any other activity that encourages participation from that group’s membership or the student body as a whole. The maximum funding allotment will be awarded to Active student groups.
  2. Inactive: A student group is Inactive when it does not meet the terms listed above in the definition of Active. The funding allotment will be significantly lower, or zero, to Inactive student groups.
  3. New: A student group is New when it is recently formed and ratified according to SBA guidelines by the start of the semester. Groups that form after the start of the semester may be eligible for a lesser funding amount, at the discretion of the Appropriations Committee. Further guidelines are included in Article VIII, Section 2 of the Financial Bylaws. The funding allotment for New groups will be between the Active and Inactive groups, at the discretion of the Appropriations Committee.

E. Timeline

  1. A requester will submit a LEAF to Student Services at least fourteen (14) days prior to the event for which the funds are being requested. Student Services will forward the LEAF to the Director of Finance. Student Services will continue to process and coordinate the entire LEAF, except for the budget section. The Director of Finance will present the budget section to the Appropriations Committee in any reasonable manner that will allow the Committee to vote on the funds being requested in the budget portion of the LEAF.
  2. The Appropriations Committee will attempt to notify the submitter of all funding decisions within seven (7) calendar days or as soon as practicable following the submission of the LEAF.
  3. After the LEAF is processed and the funder is notified of the results, the organizer must advertise the event to the entire student body. Any event funded using any amount of SBA funding must be announced to the student body through the student email listserv or by coordinating with Student Services to have an announcement of the event emailed to every student. Additionally, organizers are encouraged to use the electronic message board throughout the common facilities used by the law school to advertise the event.
  4. Any funding requests approved by the Appropriations Committee will be communicated to Student Services.
  5. After the event, the requester must fill out a Check Reimbursement Form and turn it into Student Services. The Check Reimbursement Form must be accompanied by original receipts substantiating all the expenses incurred. The reimbursement request may not exceed the amount approved by the Appropriations Committee otherwise the request will be rejected and the Dean of Student Services may be notified. The form may be found at:http://www.law.uci.edu/students/organizations/financial_procedures.html.
  6. The requester will then receive a reimbursement check from ASUCI.

F. Requirements for Funding Submissions to the Appropriations Committee and Appropriations Committee considerations for funding certain requests.

Section 1: Law Event Approval Form (Mandatory)

Requests for funding must be initiated by completing a Law Event Approval Form (LEAF) which can be found and processed through the UCI Law Intranet. Each event requires a separate LEAF. Forms combining events may be returned to the submitter for revision. The Appropriations Committee may base its allocation decision on factors such as:

  1. Timeliness of the LEAF submission;
  2. Management of past semester(s) funding;
  3. Amount of specificity in your organization's request;
  4. Number of students served by the organization (both as members and event attendees);
  5. Whether the event is being co-sponsored by two or more student organizations. The Appropriations Committee looks favorably upon events co-sponsored by multiple student organizations.

Section 2: Additional Material Information Submission (Optional)

A requester may provide additional details about the event that they think will assist the Appropriations Committee in coming to a decision. Any additional information must be limited to two (2) double spaced pages with 1-inch margins and no less than 12 point font. The additional information must be submitted at the same time as the LEAF and must be emailed to the SBA Appropriations Committee at lawsbafunding@lawnet.uci.edu.

Article VI

Article VI has been repealed.

Article VII. Spending Guidelines

Section 1: General

  1. Guidelines will be in line with main campus requirements

Section 2: Ineligible for SBA funding

  1. Summer events are ineligible for funding
  2. Student-Sponsored Symposia will not be funded by SBA budget

Section 3: Conference Travel

  1. Travel Eligible for Funding:
    1. Travel by individual students to present papers at academic conferences.
    2. Travel by individual students or members of student organizations to attend conferences, including but not limited to academic conferences, legal association conferences, law journal conferences, and public interest conferences.
    3. Travel by individual students to serve on the board of a national student organization.
    4. Other student-initiated travel that is consistent with UC Irvine Law's mission and not funded (or funded completely) through other internal or external sources.
  2. Funding priorities: Student travel to attend a conference or program should benefit a student organization, the student government, or the broader law school community.
  3. Approved costs:
    1. SBA will approve conference registration fees up to a maximum of $250.
    2. SBA will approve half of the total transportation/lodging costs to a conference up to a maximum of $250. For travel made by driving a private car over 100 miles roundtrip, half of the gas mileage will be reimbursed at a rate of $0.20 per mile.
  4. Limits
    1. Limit one reimbursement per conference, and
    2. Limit one reimbursement per student organization per year.
    3. The Committee may set a limit on the number of students who travel to the same event or conference. In such cases, students may choose whether to send only that number of students or to disburse the money equally over a larger group of students.
  5. Exceptions: In the case of special circumstances, unanimous approval is required for any exceptions to the above or to override any threshold.

Article VIII: New and unexpected funding requests

The Allocations Committee is required to vote on small ad hoc and emergency funds as well as funding for new organizations.

Section 1: Small ad hoc/emergency funds

Requests of up to $150 (per year per group) to support emergency expenses for organizations subject to:

  1. The student organization not being able to reasonably anticipate the expense when initially applying.
  2. The funds are disbursed on a “first come, first served” basis and are not guaranteed.
  3. The Appropriations Committee can revise the approved emergency fund at its discretion for the sake of preserving funds and equitable allocation among student groups.

Section 2: Funding for new organizations

  1. If a new organization has registered by the semester deadline, then the organization is eligible for funding ,up to the maximum allotted.
  2. Up to $100 (if available) may be requested to support an emerging organization that is launched after the first month of the semester if the Appropriations Committee determines that the new organization will enhance the law school environment.
  3. Funding for new organizations is subject to revision by the Appropriations Committee at its discretion for the sake of preserving funds and equitable allocation among student groups.

Article IX: Recognition and derecognition of student organizations

  1. Recognition and derecognition process should include both Student Services and SBA
    1. Recognition process will be ongoing throughout the academic year.
    2. Law school recognition process will be in-line with main campus recognition process
    3. Need to submit: Mission statement, Constitution, Bylaws, Roster, signed acknowledgements
    4. If an organization misses the semester allocations process, it may apply for discretionary funding.
  2. Derecognition: An organization will be de-recognized if inactive for one year.

Article X: Amendments

  1. Funding bylaws will be evaluated each year in the spring semester, with any recommendations put forth to the board so that the SBA Board can discuss and vote before April 30 (end of term of office). In order to remain flexible and meet the demands of the student body, funding bylaws will also be evaluated on an ongoing basis with any proposed changes brought to the board for approval.
  2. Any changes to the bylaws made by the SBA Board will either take at any reasonable time chosen by the SBA Director of Finance.
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