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Sourcebook (Revised 2012)
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Sourcebook (Revised 2012)

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  • 1. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 2/28/12 SSGGAA SSoouurrcceebbooookk I. Summary and Purpose 1. Student Organizations a. Starting a New Organization b. Renewing Your Registration c. Benefits of Registration 2. Organization Functions 3. Faculty Advisors and Your Organization a. Responsibilities of an Advisor 4. Publicity Resources a. Campus Post Office Boxes/ Home Addresses b. STIR c. Bulletin Boards d. Table Tents e. E-mail Resources f. Phone Messages g. Sidewalk and Window Chalk 5. Student Organizational Websites Campus Facilities 6. Events Policy a. Related Forms b. Responsibilities of Student Event Coordinator c. Responsibilities of Advisors 7. Finance Policies a. Budget Expectations b. Fundraising c. Suspension of Spending Privileges d. Methods of Requesting Funds e. Budget standards 8. Spending Criteria Grievance and Petitioning Policy 9. Processes to be Followed by Executive Cabinet 10. Probationary System - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - II. An Afterword
  • 2. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 I. Summary of Requirements of Student Organizations In addition to the current requirements specified in the SGA Constitution and By-Laws, the SGA Sourcebook calls for SGA member organizations to complete the following tasks (for more information on each requirement, see the specified article of this document): Each organization will renew their registration with SGA at the end of the academic year for the following year. This is done by submitting a list of officers to the Director of Campus Activities before the May General Assembly meeting. (1b) Organizations are expected to hold either an officer’s meeting or a general membership meeting at least once per month. The minutes from these meetings are to be turned in to the Executive Secretary for inclusion in the SGA archives. (2a) Detailed, itemized budgets including event explanations and completed funding contract accounting for all expenditures requested for the semester must be turned in on the official form by the required date for each semester. (7a) Attendance at General Assembly meetings is required as per SGA Bylaw Article IV, Section 2, A. Organizations must follow all purchase request and budgeting guidelines as detailed in 7c, 7d,7e, and 7f of this document. After each event, each Organization must fill out an event evaluation form in order to help with future events and a reflection of the event to learn what went well and what can be improved upon. These forms can be obtained in the SGA office or on the SGA website and must be turned in to the Director of Campus Activities in a timely fashion. Sterling College Student Government Association The Sterling College Student Government Association serves campus organizations as a governing body, administers financial resources, and acts as a liaison between students and administration. Purpose of the SGA Sourcebook The SGA Sourcebook is a resource containing SGA policies and procedures to facilitate the effectiveness of student organizations on the Sterling College campus. This should not be considered an exhaustive catalog. Inquiries should be directed to the SGA Executive Cabinet.
  • 3. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 1. Student Organizations Student organizations are intended to enhance the student experience at Sterling College. Organizations recognized by SGA become members of the General Assembly and have voting rights as such. Provisional organizations must register with SGA in order to become a part of the organization. All organizations are expected to follow guidelines specified in this document and the Constitution and Bylaws in order to remain in good standing with SGA, therefore ensuring that all privileges are retained. a. Starting a New Student Organization In order to become a registered provisional organization under SGA, a group must meet the following criteria: Demonstrate a need and viability for their group on campus by presenting a petition with the signatures of at least 25 Sterling College students who have shown an interest in the organization to the Director of Campus Activities. Submit the name of a faculty or staff advisor to the SGA Director of Campus Activities. Submit a list of officers to the SGA Director of Campus Activities . Submit a mission statement and constitution or Bylaws to be kept on record in the SGA office. Sign an agreement that the organization will uphold the core values of Sterling College and the policies of the college and SGA. b. Renewing Your Registration Current provisional organizations must renew their membership in SGA each spring by submitting a list of the following year’s officers to the SGA Director of Campus Activities prior to the May General Assembly meeting. Failure to do so will result in loss of recognition as a provisional organization and will necessitate repeating the registration process. c. Disbanding a Student Organization In order to formally disband, an organization must obtain, complete and submit a Disbanding Organization Request Form from the SGA office. Upon submission, the Student Senate will approve the disband request. Organization information will be kept on file for future reference. d. Benefits of Registration The benefits given to member organizations include: Voting membership in the General Assembly Free access to campus facilities for functions and meetings Right to advertise organization events on campus Privilege of requesting SGA funds Tax exempt status Assistance with budgeting and accounting procedures Leadership experience and development
  • 4. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 2. Organization Functions a. Meetings Organizations are expected to meet a minimum of once per month. This can be a general meeting of all members or simply a planning meeting for officers to discuss upcoming issues before they are brought before the general membership. Meetings should follow an agenda to provide structure and facilitate productive discussion. This agenda should be sent out to members a few days before the meeting, which will allow members to think about things that will be brought up at the next meeting. Keeping minutes during the meetings will also help the organization to be aware of its history and past activities, which SGA sees as a valuable service to future Sterling College students. Because of this, it is the responsibility of the organization’s secretary to provide the minutes of each meeting to the SGA Executive Secretary to be kept on record in the SGA office. b. Events Events are an important part of an organization’s role in the campus community. It is the expectation of SGA that event planning will take place under the supervision of the organization’s advisor. All events should be evaluated for improvements in the future, by filling out and submitting to the Director of Campus Activities an Event Evaluation form in a timely fashion.
  • 5. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 3. Faculty Advisors and Your Organization Purpose and Responsibilities of an Advisor Each registered Sterling College student organization is required to have an advisor who is a member of the staff or faculty. An advisor serves as a resource for you, other officers, and the organization. He or she can serve as a historian of past activities to offer continuity and stability, a source of information on college politics and procedures, and help in critical analysis of important decisions. They can also be a mentor to help you better understand your role as a leader in your organization. While the level of involvement is to be determined by the advisor and the organization, the minimum expectations are as follows: To act as a resource to the officers and members of the organization in a non- classroom setting, including attending meetings and events of the organization To sign appropriate forms implying knowledge of the organization’s activities and fiscal status, but not assuming fiscal responsibility To serve as a liaison between old and new officers and the college administration, providing stability and continuity of operation To assist in determining and evaluation of the organization’s progress toward goals To serve as a chaperon and supervise organization programs or projects when appropriate
  • 6. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 4. Publicity Resources Publicity is important to student organizations to ensure that events will be well attended. Ways of publicizing an event, and guidelines for the use of these resources, on the Sterling College campus include: a. Campus Post Office Boxes/ Home Addresses A student directory (the PHIZ) is printed every fall and includes home addresses and phone numbers as well as college boxes and extensions for all students, faculty and staff. Students needing to contact others through the mail about events can use this as their source of information. The SC post office should not be used for commercial solicitation by organizations. b. STIR The STIR provides a forum to reach the campus community as well as the community of Sterling. To place an advertisement, contact the STIR editors at stir1@sterling.edu or stop by the STIR office, which is located in Mabee Library. c. Table Tents Table tents may be placed in the cafeteria with permission from the food service director. The following guidelines must be met: Only one organization can place table tents at a time Must be neat and present a positive appearance The sponsoring group must be clearly identified on the table tent The sponsoring organization is responsible for the placement, maintenance, and removal of their table tents The table tents must be removed within one week of placement. SGA and/or Student Life will consider, if need be, any exceptions of these policies. f. E-mail Resources Sterling College will provide each campus organization with a club email address. Organizations may send out two error-free and appropriate emails per event. SGA expects that this privilege will be used responsibly by all organizations. If an organization does not follow proper email etiquette, the Student Government Association may revoke the organization email privileges. h. Sidewalk and Window Chalk It is acceptable to publicize events by writing advertisements on sidewalks or windows on campus with removable media. Permission must be obtained from Student Life before writing on any campus property. Windows in the Student Union are available for this purpose. Window chalk must be removed by the sponsoring organization within 48 hours of the advertised event. Student Life reserves the right to request that organizations clean up sidewalk chalk if it becomes unsightly. i. Student Organizational Websites
  • 7. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 Each Sterling College student organization is included on the Sterling College general website. Organizations wishing to utilize this as an avenue for advertisement should contact the Office Consultant. SGA reserves the right to remove or request immediate removal of any advertisements deemed inappropriate.
  • 8. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 5. Campus Facilities The Sterling College Student Union has meeting rooms and other facilities available for use free of charge by registered organizations. Other buildings also have meeting space available for student use. Reservations for all campus facilities should be made through the Public Relations Coordinator, located in Cooper Building. Use of these meeting rooms is restricted to normal operating hours of the student union or location. Scheduling the use of classrooms for organizational meetings or events should be coordinated with the Registrar and the Public Relations Coordinator. In no event should a registered organization serve as a front for a non-College affiliated organization. This could result in a loss of privileges and/or representation for registered organizations. Organizations are responsible for restoring used space to the condition it was in when they arrived.
  • 9. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 6. Events Policy The Event Policy is intended to cover both on- and off-campus events coordinated by registered student organizations. These events are considered social and participative in nature and involve pre-planning or the intention to coordinate an event on campus. It is the expectation of SGA that all events will receive sufficient planning and preparation. a. Responsibilities of Advisors It is the expectation of SGA that the advisor participate in the planning of events. Specifically, the advisor will be knowledgeable of all aspects of the approved events, including approved funds, financial considerations and event explanations. b. Performance Contracts If your organization is scheduling a performer on campus (speaker, entertainer, etc.), you are required to complete a performance contract one month prior to the event. This ensures that all terms discussed between the performer and the organization are clearly agreed upon in advance. A contract may NOT be signed by any student organization on behalf of SC. Contracts must be signed by the VP for Student Life as well as the student organization’s advisor and organization president. In order to complete a performance contract, an organization should follow these steps: 1. Pick up a performance contract from either the SGA office or Student Life. 2. Complete the form. Make sure to get a Social Security Number or a Tax Identification Number for the person/company to which the check will be written, as well as a mailing address. 3. All expenses must be itemized. This would include performance fees, travel, lodging, meals, and related expenses.
  • 10. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 7. Finance Policies Student clubs and organizations are funded through activity fees collected by the college. The fees support the student’s programs and activities. SGA, publications, and student organizations are examples of such expenditures. SGA aims to ensure that all registered student organizations have an equitable opportunity to receive funds. SGA has authority over all student organizations’ funding, financial transactions, and accounts. a. Budget Expectations Organizations wishing to receive SGA funding for activities must submit a budget request no later than the date declared by the Executive Cabinet to the SGA office and via email. The SGA Executive Cabinet and Student Senate must approve funds requested prior to the passing of the budget. Organizations should be aware of all budgetary items such as copying, postage, and publicity costs. Any monies allocated by SGA and not spent by the organization in the semester distributed will be transferred back to the SGA account at the end of the semester. b. Fundraising Sterling College student organizations are permitted to hold fund raising events to finance budgeted items not covered by their allotment from SGA. Money raised by the organization from outside sources through fundraising or donations is not subject to the same spending guidelines as student fee money. Monies raised independently by the organization will remain property of that organization from year to year. Organizations raising funds should be aware that the first deposit of funds into their account each year from fund raising activities is tax exempt, but any subsequent deposits are subject to taxes. In order to avoid paying unnecessary taxes, groups should plan to deposit as much of the money as possible as part of the first, tax-free sum. c. Suspension of Spending Privileges It is the responsibility of the organization to be aware of their account balance before making purchases in order to avoid overdrawing their account. In the event that a negative balance is incurred or any financial improprieties transpire, an administrative review will take place with the SGA Executive Cabinet, the officers of the organization in question, and the organization’s advisor. The results of this review will determine the continuation of funding for the current academic year as well as the status of funding for the following academic year. In addition, the review board may recommend that disciplinary action be taken against the student(s) in question. Organizations missing more than one General Assembly meeting in a semester can also have purchasing privileges revoked (as per Article IV, Section 2, C of the SGA By- Laws). d. Methods of Requesting Funds Authorized individuals wishing to use SGA budgeted monies to purchase items for an event have several options for obtaining those funds. Using these methods helps ensure that the college gets credit for its tax-exempt status.
  • 11. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 Students should note that where tax exempt status is available for Sterling College. The tax paid on purchases made without the tax exemption will not be reimbursed by SGA. Charge Cards Available for: Dillons (Sterling) and Wal-Mart (Hutchinson). You must ensure that your organization has adequate funds to cover charges. You may retrieve the card from the SC Business Office. The receipt must be signed with the Organization name, the event and the name of the one purchasing the items and turned in with the card after the purchase. A copy of the receipt must also be submitted to the Executive Treasurer. Checks If the exact price of purchase is known, a check can be requested for that exact amount. One week’s notice is needed for processing of all checks. The receipt for the purchase must be turned in within one week of purchase. Attention should be paid to the posted office hours of the SGA treasurer. If sufficient time is not given for check processing (one week), the treasurer cannot guarantee that a check will be cut in time for the purchase. Please do not expect the SGA treasurer to make special trips to the office to do last minute financial transactions. SGA is not responsible for overdue payments due to negligence on the organization’s part. Personal Reimbursement If the exact price of purchases is not known, the individual can pay for the items personally and KEEP ALL RECEIPTS to be turned in to the SGA treasurer for reimbursement. Without a receipt you CANNOT be reimbursed. With this method, it is very important to check the account balance beforehand to make sure that there are sufficient funds. Students writing personal checks for organizational expenses should be especially careful. If the account becomes delinquent after personal charges are made due to negligence of the individual, reimbursement may be withheld. e. Spending Criteria All receipts, vouchers, and requests for funding must be turned in to the SGA treasurer no later than two weeks after an event has occurred each semester. Presidents or treasurers of organizations are the only students authorized to sign off on any financial transaction of that organization. SGA does not provide funds to buy t-shirts for organizational members. SGA will not finance recreational trips. SGA funds cannot be used to buy items for the personal use or payment of organizational officers or members.
  • 12. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 Spending of monies must be in compliance with all policies stated in the Sterling College handbook and the core values of Sterling College. Budgeted monies cannot be used for direct donations to charities, direct benefit of political candidates or lobbyist groups, supporting the candidacy of individual students seeking student government office, the purchase of alcohol or any illegal activity. f. Budget Standards Organizations are expected to carry out all events included in their approved budget. Any monies allocated by SGA for an event will be transferred back to the SGA account should that event not take place. Any excess monies from a previously executed event totaling less than $15.00 may be automatically reallocated to a future event in the same budgetary period. The Executive Treasurer must be given notice of this reallocation prior to the spending of excess funds. Organizations may reallocate excess funds over $15.00 from a previously executed event to a future event in the same budgetary period pending SGA approval. All reallocation requests must be submitted to the Executive Treasurer. The Executive Treasurer must have a minimum of three days to process and approve/deny the reallocation request. Any additional requests to deviate from the approved budget must be reviewed and approved/denied by the Student Senate.
  • 13. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 8. Grievance and Petitioning Policy Any organization or individual wishing to express concerns with the Sterling College community may do so through the grievance policy outlined in Article X of the SGA Bylaws. This formal process begins with the student presenting their concern to the SGA Executive Cabinet, leading up to discussion of the petition at a General Assembly meeting and follow-up by the SGA Executive Cabinet. SGA invites legitimate questions, concerns, and recommendations from the student body to help facilitate the improvement of life on campus for Sterling College students.
  • 14. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 9. Processes to be Followed by Executive Cabinet A. Process: To Hear and Address Student Concerns 1. Agree to a goals and outcomes such as: to hear the needs and problems of students in the areas of academics, social life, spiritual life, and physical development. 2. One time each year do an electronic survey of the students to obtain their concerns and perceptions. 3. The SGA Executive Cabinet decides how to address the compiled concerns and assigns projects to the appropriate committees or individuals. The concerns can be addressed through the study, discussion, public meetings, etc. 4. SGA makes quarterly reports to the student body regarding student concerns and SGA actions to respond to the concerns. 5. SGA takes the concerns and recommendations to the President of the College. 6. SGA takes the concerns and recommendations to the College Trustees at their invitation. B. Process: To be an Important Voice Within the College Community 1. Develop a written agreement with the College President that defines what and how the student will be involved in the decision making process of the college. 2. Re-visit the agreement annually and make necessary changes. 3. Monitor the decision making activities of the College to initiate involvement if necessary. 4. SGA recommends student representatives to appropriate College committees or ad hoc groups that make decisions in the agreed-to areas. 5. Use the information gathered from the students about their needs and concerns to guide the actions of the student representatives. 6. Report to the student body the deliberations and the decisions that are made. 7. SGA will be the voice of the students in decision making areas outside the agreement but that are of significant concern to students. C. Process: SGA Relationship to Student Life Office and Faculty Advisors 1. Have written partnership agreements with Student Life and faculty advisors that specify responsibilities, roles, budgeting, and reporting processes. 2. The Student Life Office would provide staff support in the area of student activities. 3. SGA and Student Life Staff would collaborate for leadership training and community development activities. 4. SGA would collaborate with academic departments to provide the services of the college newspaper and yearbook. 5. The SGA faculty or staff advisor will be selected by SGA from faculty or staff members who express an interest in serving in this role. SGA must confer with the Dean of Students when selecting their staff advisor to ensure a successful and effective advisor appointment.
  • 15. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 6. The SGA President will meet regularly with the Vice-President for Student Life, the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the President of the College to facilitate communication and collaboration.
  • 16. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 10. Probationary System SGA seeks to help its organizations be as productive and efficient as possible, while recognizing that the officers and members of these organizations are busy people with multiple responsibilities. Because of this, SGA requires only a few things from its member organizations. These things are outlined in the Constitution, Bylaws and preceding sections of the Sourcebook. In the event that some of these membership requirements are not met, the following system has been put in place to deal with offending organizations. 1st offense: Each semester, the first time a member organization fails to complete a required task, a warning will be received in writing by both the organization’s president and advisor explaining the specific oversight or offense. 2nd offense: If a second event occurs during the same semester, the organization will be placed on alert with SGA. The president and advisor will be notified both in writing and verbally by the SGA Executive Cabinet member that supervises the particular organization. This warning is to let the organization know that another offense will put their funding for the following semester in jeopardy. 3rd offense: Should the organization have a third offense within that same semester they will be considered not in good standing with SGA and will be placed on probation for the following semester. During this probationary period the organization will not be allowed to request SGA monies to fund their activities. If the organization remains in good standing with SGA during the probationary semester, full privileges will be resumed the following semester.
  • 17. Edited by Sarah Tucker SGA President 3/1/12 II. An Afterword The SGA Sourcebook was drafted December 4th-6th, 2002 by the 2002-2003 Executive Cabinet. It was approved by the college administration on February 7th, 2003 and went into effect on February 17th, 2003. Changes to the SGA Sourcebook must be made in accordance with the policy for amending the SGA Bylaws. By no means does SGA claim that this document is all-inclusive or exhaustive. For further inquiry, consult the SGA Constitution or Bylaws. If your concern has still not been addressed, please consult an SGA cabinet member. The SGA Sourcebook was updated by the Executive Cabinet and approved by the Student Senate in accordance with the policy for amendments as stated in the SGA Bylaws on March ______, 2012.