Student Organization Finances

Student Organization finances are the responsibility of the officers of the student organization. Officers are held liable for all financial obligations incurred by the group. Decisions regarding student organization finances should be made by officers of the student organization without significant influence from outside of the organization. While Faculty/Staff advisors and other University staff provide valuable input and advice, students should lead the decision making process and make the final decision.

All student organization funds fall into one of the three categories listed below. If you have any questions regarding student organization finances, please call Poawit Yang, the Student Involvement Business Manager, at 414-229-5780 or email at yangp@uwm.edu.

External Revenue – Includes funds that have been generated and collected directly by the student organization without using University resources. Examples of external revenue include organization dues or fundraising that has occurred off-campus. These funds should be deposited with a financial institution such as a bank or credit union. Officers of the student organization are responsible for opening the account with a financial institution and should set up a system to track, reconcile, and maintain records for the account.

***A condition of being allowed to use University resources (such as space in the Union, or grant funds) is that a student organization must provide records on External Revenue upon request by the University.

Internal Revenue – Includes funds that have been generated by the student organization through using University resources such as space or equipment. An example of internal revenue is monies generated by ticket sales for a dance held on campus in the UWM Union. These funds are collected by the University during the event, and deposited into the State Treasury on behalf of the student organization. They are considered State funds. The organization is allowed to use these funds, but must work through the Student Involvement Business Office to make all purchases, etc. to ensure that all expenditures comply with University and State financial policies.

Student Allocations Committee (SAC) Grant Funds – Student organizations may receive grant funds from the Student Association – Student Allocations Committee (SAC). Information on how to apply for SAC Grants is available by contacting the SAC at sa-sac@uwm.edu. SAC grant funds are not disbursed to the organization. They remain in the State Treasury. Once a student organization has been allocated a grant by SAC, they will work with the Student Involvement Business Office to make all purchases, etc. to ensure that all expenditures comply with University and State financial policies.

Spending State Funds

There are many policies and procedures that govern the use of State funds. Failure to comply with these policies and procedures may result in student organization officers being held personally liable for any obligations incurred by a student organization. The steps listed below have been implemented to help student organization officers navigate the State procurement process and MUST be followed in order to use state funds.

Events

To use a SAC grant or Internal Revenue funds to pay expenses related to an event that is being planned on campus, an officer of the student organization will need to do the following:

  1. Complete the online Event Start-Up Form located in PantherSync. Click here to go to the form.
  2. Schedule a meeting with a Student Involvement Assistant Director by calling 414-229-5780.
  3. At the meeting, the Assistant Director will discuss event expenses and review all applicable University and State policies with the student organization officer.
  4. The student organization officer must follow through with all action items identified during the event planning meeting with Student involvement. Failure to do so may cause issues ranging from a delay in the event, to a loss of grant funding.

Please note that many aspects of event planning, such as the contracting process takes a long time. The above steps need to be complete at least 45 days in advance the event.

Travel

To use a SAC travel grant or Internal Revenue funds for Travel expenses, the student organization member who is traveling will need to do the following:

  1. Complete the online Travel Request Form located in PantherSync. Click here to go to the form.
  2. Schedule a meeting with the Student Involvement Business Manager by calling 414-229-5780.
  3. At the meeting, the Student Involvement Business Manager will book and pay for travel arrangements, and also go over pertinent information regarding University and State travel policies with the student traveler.

To take advantage of lower fares and ensure compliance with University travel guidelines, the above steps need to be completed at least 21 days in advance of your desired travel departure date.

Operational Expenses

To use a SAC grant or Internal Revenue funds for operational expenses such as office supplies, or equipment, a student organization officer will need to do the following:

  1. Schedule a meeting with the Student Involvement Business Manager by calling 414-229-5780.
  2. At the meeting the Business Manager will review the expense. If consistent with your SAC Grant Allocation and within state purchasing guidelines, the Business Manager will pay for the expense with grant/internal revenue funds.
  3. If the student organization is ordering an item, it will be shipped to the Student Involvement office in Union 363 first and then entered into the inventory database.
  4. An officer of the student organization will need to sign an inventory agreement when picking up any item.

Please note that all items purchased with State funds are property of the State and must be stored on the UWM campus. Student organization officers must keep track of these items and will be required to complete an annual inventory review. Lost or damaged items must be reported to Student Involvement within 7 business days.

Reimbursements

Reimbursements are only allowed in very specific situations, and must be approved by the Student Involvement Business Manager prior to the expense actually being incurred. Please, do not make any purchase with the expectation of being reimbursed by SAC grant funds or Internal Revenue funds as we may not be able to facilitate this occurring. Contact the Student Involvement Business Manager at 414-229-5780 with any questions regarding reimbursements and we are happy to help you make your desired purchase.

Plan Ahead! We are here to help right now…

The State procurement process can be confusing and frustrating, that is why we are here to help you get your student organization work done as quickly and easily as possible. Because of the sometime complex purchasing processes, we ask that students plan ahead and provide the following timelines to help you be successful in working with us.

Estimated Timelines for Purchasing for Student Organizations:

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