Any confusion about running and funding clubs—from buying with p-charts to finding resources for club events—was discussed at the Annual Finance Workshop Oct. 3.
After being approached by a number different clubs about budget misunderstandings, Vice President of Student Concerns Emily Spiegel decided that the clubs at Colorado College needed a financial workshop to clarify some of the complexities.
Less than three weeks later, Vice President of Finance Alejandro Salazar had the entire workshop organized. 28 out of the 60 on campus showed up for the event.
One of the main issues discussed was how clubs can purchase things by using p-charts. First off, clubs need to be aware that they only have access to p-charts through their club advisors. Many of the reported issues have been about confusion with the advisor system that prevented some clubs from having access to their p-charts.
CCSGA is working to solve this current dilemma. CCSGA recommends that clubs initially buy with their own money and then fill out a check requisition form for reimbursement.
Senior Financial Accountant Joan Taylor also went over alternative ways that clubs can access money. Usually, clubs depend on CCSGA as their sole source of money, which burdens CCSGA because it only has a limited budget to share among all 60 clubs.
Also, CCSGA’s funds dipped drastically during the recession, and they still have not completely recovered. Therefore, Joan suggested that clubs ask for money from other pools. Untapped funds include the Dean’s Office, the Culture Tractions Fund, the academic departments, and the President’s Office.
Vice President of Finance Alejandro Salazar then went on to explain application processes. The application forms ask the clubs to list their main events and the cost of each event. For the 2012- 2013 academic year, clubs requested $247,501.17; CCSGA only has $227,996.08 to distribute.
That budget includes endowment money, the college’s funds, and CCSGA’s $30,000 rollover from the previous year. Salazar spent 26 hours within two days reading all the application forms and reviewing the budget. He narrowed the initial requests of the clubs to $111,180, which includes collaborative funds.
Alejandro came up with the idea of collaborative funds while “in the shower,” he said. The point of the collaborative fund is to encourage clubs to organize joint events with each other by “freezing” ten percent of every clubs’ budget until they have joint events with other clubs.
“The bottom line is that you work with one group once a year, and you get the full amount of your budget,” Salazar said. So far, six groups on campus have used their collaborative funds, but any group should be able to create a joint event, “no matter what the club’s purpose,” said Salazar.
Another aspect of funds to be aware is that the funds are split into semesters. Last year’s Financial Representative Stanley Sigalov invented this split budget concept to increase the effectiveness of budget allocation.
CCSGA gives a designated sum of money during the first semester and a second sum during the second semester. If a club does not spend all its money during the first semester, CCSGA can roll back the club’s funds. Currently, CCSGA’s finance team is deciding on allocation of funds.
In the future, Alejandro plans to have the entire application system online. Therefore, “people aren’t just asking for blank checks,” he says, and the whole system will be more organized and secure.
CCSGA’s finance team also hopes to put on another workshop that will last an entire day. It would explain club finances and how to find and use resources. This would make transitions from past club coachers to current club coachers much smoother. “It wouldn’t be mandatory, but highly encouraged for new coachers to come to this,” Salazar said.