Student Activity Fees are collected for the purpose of supporting programs and services in all aspects of university student life. Programs and services supported by the Student Activity Fee are student centered with students as the primary beneficiaries. Every year, downtown campus students pay a fee of $5 each semester to the Student Activity Fee to go towards sustainability initiatives on the downtown campus. The Sustainability Fee Council, made up of students, faculty, and staff then accepts and votes on funding proposals submitted by campus members and allocates the funding as they see appropriate.
MEMBERSHIP OF THE SUSTAINABILITY FEE COUNCIL
The Student Government Association should appoint at least five voting student members annually to serve on the Sustainability Fee Council. In addition to the students, there must be at least one voting faculty member and one voting staff member. The Chair of the Student Fee Council will serve as a non-voting member. There must be a student majority on the council.
All members, voting and non-voting are expected to attend all scheduled meetings. In the absence of a voting student member, a non-voting student alternate becomes a voting student member, a non-voting student alternate becomes a voting student member for that meeting as designated by the chair. The quorum for all votes shall consist of four voting members. Motions require a simple majority vote to pass. Tie votes are treated as failed-to-pass.
SEQUENCE OF THE MEETINGS
At the beginning of each academic semester, the Chair, voting staff member, and voting faculty member will mutually agree upon meeting dates and send to the SGA Staff Advisor to request that they assist in identifying, at the minimum, five SGA student representatives that can serve on the council at those selected dates/times. Specifically identified meeting dates will include a separate meeting for:
- Providing an overview of the Sustainability Fee Council and reviewing criteria for evaluating proposals
- Evaluating proposals and voting on Sustainability Fee Council allocations
- Potential Q&A Session with certain applicants where proposal clarity may be requested by the Council following initial evaluation. Followed by a final vote in the same meeting.
CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING PROPOSALS
In non-priority order, the following are the criteria for evaluating the proposals:
- Student Impact (# of students impacted, length of impact, quality of impact)
- Past performance and budget management
- Programs and services that cross organizations and encourage co-sponsorship and shared responsibilities.
PROPOSAL EVALUATIONS AND DETERMINING PROPOSALS
Following the initial meeting to review the purpose of the fund and voting criteria, the committee members will receive all of the submissions via email. They will also receive a review template with the above listed voting criteria and a “1-10” rating scale under each item. They will have three weeks to review the proposals and submit their ratings to sustainability.gsu.edu with the subject line: “Sustainability Proposal Reviews”. The proposals with the highest average ratings will then be the starting point of discussion during the meeting in which allocations are determined. There must be a quorum in order for a simple vote to pass any funding allocation.
In the case that there are questions regarding a favorable proposal that affects voting, the Chair will contact the applicants and ask that they attend the question and answer session with the committee. If there are no proposals that require a question and answer session, this meeting will be canceled. Following the Q&A Session, applicants will step out of the room and the council will vote on the remaining proposals. If the applicants cannot make the Q&A session, they will have the opportunity to submit answers to council questions via email by the Q&A session date. If they choose not to submit answers via email or attend the Q&A session, the council will not vote to allocate funding to their proposal.
INFORMATION REQUIRED TO BE ACCESSIBLE ONLINE
- The application form
- Sustainability Fee Council Guidelines
- Sustainability Fee Purchasing Guidelines
OTHER SUSTAINABILITY FEE COUNCIL OPERATING PROCEDURES
- Any voting member who submits a proposal or is a member of a department or a student group that has submitted a proposal must recuse themselves from voting on that proposal.
- All meetings will take place in the Office of Sustainability (75 Piedmont Avenue, Suite 750)
- Once the final allocation decision is voted on by the council, the Chair will email the applicants notifying them of the council decision. Those who receive funding MUST attend one of the two mandatory meetings hosted by the council regarding purchasing and spending policies, submit an estimated project timeline, and submit a signed agreement to abide by sustainability fee purchasing guidelines. For student groups, at least one student as well as the group’s advisor must be present.
- Initial email announcements of funding allocations as well as notifications of unused funds, must include the Faculty Advisor of the student group or the department Chair/Director of the department.