Sustainability Fee Expenditure Process:
Once receiving notification of a funding award, at least one member from the awarded group must attend a mandatory meeting hosted by the Sustainability Fee Council (SFC) to review sustainability fee expenditure guidelines. If a student group, the group’s advisor must also be in attendance. Dates for the meetings will be communicated in the award notification email. The notification email will also include a project timeline template which groups must complete and submit prior to making any purchases.
After attending a mandatory expenditure process review meeting and submitting necessary documentation, groups that have been awarded funding should email all invoices or quotes to email@example.com for payment processing. Advisors should be copied on any emails from student groups. Make sure to include your student group or department name in the email. All payment requests should be sent at least 2 weeks prior to the payment deadline. All awarded funds must be used by the end of the fiscal year in which the funding award was given. Fiscal year-end (FYE) is June 30 for Georgia State University. Therefore, in order to ensure all payment is process prior to FYE, all requests must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 1st.
The following are basic guidelines for the expenditure of Sustainability Fee Funds. Because they are considered state funds, fee funds generally follow the same restrictions as those placed on revenue from tax dollars, with few exceptions.
State of Georgia laws prohibit the following:
- No activity fee funds may be expended for “personal use”.
- No honorarium may be paid to a political candidate seeking public office.
- No donations to charities, churches, or any non-profit organizations are allowed.
- All equipment and certain goods and services must be bid by the GSU Purchasing Department.
- All equipment and materials purchased with fee funds become the property of GSU and must be kept on campus unless authorized in the approved manner for that item.
The University requires the following in regard to the expenditure of fee funds:
- Anyone who is not a classified GSU employee cannot obligate the university financially. This means that students are not authorized to purchase goods or services.
- All financial transactions must be approved and signed by a classified employee.
- All transactions, including the purchase of goods, student travel, consultants, and contracts, must follow regular university procedures and policies applicable to fee funds.
- Any organization collecting monies through dues, sale of goods, donations, etc., other than through the sustainability fee allocation process, must open and maintain a bank account in the name of the student organization and run all of the non-fee money through the account. Only current officers of the organization are allowed to perform transactions on the account.
- Student organizations must cooperate with all reasonable requests for information from the University including, but not limited to, requests to review financial information and records.
- No university funds may be used for the purchase of alcohol.
- Whenever activity fee funds are expended and revenue is generated, all revenue must be deposited into the designated sustainability fee account that is associates with the chartered student organization sponsoring the event. The expenditure of revenue generated is subject to university rules and regulations.
In addition to the above, the SFC has established additional restrictions:
- Fee funds are not to be used for academic departmental costs, such as office supplies, equipment, staff, or faculty.
- Each student organization must have a staff or faculty advisor. This advisor must approve all expenditures and is responsible for adhering to these policies and other applicable policies of Georgia State University.
- Pay of personnel (student assistants, temporary employees, extra compensation, etc.) must be approved by the SFC in advance.
- Any changes to the original budget proposal in regards to how the awarded funds will be spent, must be detailed in writing and sent to the SFC chair for approval.
- Any expenditures incurred by a fee budget which is not allowed by SFC restrictions will be charged to the department to which the budget reports.
- The purchase of food for meetings is limited to no more than 10% of the organization’s approved budget or $2,000, whichever is less.
- No fee funding can be transferred to other departments or accounts without SFC approval.
- Under no circumstances shall fee funds be used for the explicit or implicit purpose of obtaining financial advantages at the students’ expense.