The proposed reforms to the Finance Board are designed to give student organizations additional flexibility over funds issued to them from the Finance Board, simplify the process, and reduce uncertainty in the allocation process.
- The Finance Board will operate on a budget-based system. Student organizations will submit a budget each semester for the events that they wish to hold for the next semester.
- All criteria by which the Finance Board makes allocation decisions will be updated and maintained on the SGA website in SGA’s Guiding Documents.
Addressing the Current Problems
Finance Board Precedents
Every year, a new Finance Board is elected into office. Under the current system, with each new Finance Board comes a new set of precedents. How will food be funded? What’s the policy on off-campus conferences? Will decorations be funded? Are giveaways allowed? All of these questions remain unanswered until the Finance Board convenes, makes a decision, and creates a precedent that will be applied to each organization they see thereafter. Sometimes these precedents only last one semester, and can’t be carried through to the spring semester, which can be incredibly frustrating for student organizations.
We believe this process is problematic. Instead, we are going to write criteria into SGA’s Guiding Documents. While the guiding documents can be amended, it provides student organizations significantly clearer expectations from the Finance Board so that your student organization can plan more effectively. All of SGA’s Guiding Documents are updated and maintained on the SGA website for public access.
Off-Campus and On-Campus Opportunities
Some student organizations operate entirely on-campus, while others are based on traveling beyond the loop to showcase the talents of UMBC undergraduate students. Under the current system, both types of organizations are held to the same criteria, and due to the Finance Board’s responsibility to foster a vibrant campus life, preference is often given to on-campus events.
To accommodate the diverse needs of different student organizations, at least 65% of the Finance Board allocation pot per semester will be delegated to on-campus opportunities, while no more than 25% of the Finance Board allocation pot per semester will be allocated for off-campus opportunities.
Highlights from the Reform Town Hall
Note: Many changes have been incorporated based on student feedback since our original town hall.
Proposed Budgetary Statutes
The goal with the new Budgetary Statutes is to make sure that student organizations understand expectations of the Finance Board. Our proposal is based off significant restructure of this SGA Guiding Document to both be more sustainable and provide specific criteria for funding.