BCB Constitution

Ratified November 2017

Section 1: Mission Statement of the Budgets & Clubs Board

  1. The Bates College Student Government (BCSG) Budgets & Clubs Board (BCB) shall be responsible for the disbursement and oversight of BCSG recognized club budget allocations, the BCSG Co-sponsorship Fund, the BCSG budget, the Grievance Fund, and recognition of new clubs as well as reviewing club activity annually.


Section 2:  Membership and General Operations

  1. Membership: BCB shall include up to four student members from each class year selected by the Committee Selection Board. Members remain on th Board until the beginning of winter semester of their senior year.
  2. The Chair/Co-Chairs of BCB is elected by BCB and serves for one year.
  3. No member shall take a direct part in the finances of any BCSG-recognized club nor serve as Treasurer of a BCSG-recognized club.
  4. Meetings are to be held on a weekly basis to review application requests.
  5. Quorum is a simple majority of the members of the Board.
  6. Voting: All members have one vote excluding the Chair/Co-Chairs. Each vote requires a simple majority and the Chair/Co-Chairs breaks any ties.


Section 3:  Student Club Rights and Responsibilities

  1. All BCSG-recognized clubs are entitled to:
    1. Financial Support
      1. An account with the Bates College Accounting Office.
      2. If approved by BCB, a budget allocation to address the costs of operating expenses.
      3. The ability to request additional funding from campus entities that provide such funding to BCSG-recognized clubs, including the right to apply for funds from the BCSG Application for Additional Funding on the BCSG website.
      4. Monthly activity reports direct from the Accounting Office.
    2. Logistical Support
      1. Orientations and trainings for club leaders provided by BCB and/or the Office of Campus Life.
      2. A profile hosted on the BCSG Student Clubs website.
      3. A dedicated Google Group (list serve).
      4. If requested from the Help Desk, a delegated email address to use for official club business.
      5. The ability to reserve event, program, and meeting spaces via the Event Management System (events.bates.edu).
      6. Robust support in the areas of club advising and event/program planning from the Office of Campus Life.
  2. All BCSG-recognized clubs have the following the responsibilities:
    1. Adhere to all rules governing the operation of BCSG-recognized clubs.
    2. Be active on campus and in engaging with the off campus community.
    3. Attend required meetings and hearings in a timely and orderly fashion.
    4. Submit an annual club renewal.


Section 4:  Student Club Budget Rules

  1. A club shall not be permitted to use their funding for the following:
    1. Alcohol, tobacco products, and drugs.
    2. On-campus events that are not open to all Bates students for attendance and/or use. This includes events in which no concerted effort was made to get the campus community involved and/or informed.
    3. On or off campus events for alumni.
    4. Donations and gifts (does not include awards or prizes).
    5. Promotional merchandise (only if the merchandise is part of a fundraising effort and the money spent on the merchandise is put back into the club’s budget, will it be allowed). If costs are not covered by sale of merchandise, the difference will come from the club’s final budget allocation.
    6. Payments directly to students for services rendered.
    7. Under advisement of the Office of Campus Life, exceptions to these rules may be granted.
  2. Food expenditures must be made in moderation.
  3. All expenses must be in accordance with that club’s mission statement as defined by that club’s BCSG-approved constitution.
  4. Student clubs may fundraise, but must first have their fundraiser approved by the Office of Campus Life, and report all fundraising activity to the Office of Campus Life. All fundraised monies for the purpose of club support shall be deposited into the club’s BCSG-designated account.
    1. During the annual budget allocation process, the BCB reserves the right to reduce the budget allocation of any student club authorized to raise funds outside of Bates College.
  5. Student clubs may not spend into debt. If any club spends into debt at any time, the Treasurer of said club must immediately report this to the Chair of BCB. Clubs can be penalized the amount they spend into debt from the following year allocation.
  6. Clubs shall not have any other accounts outside their BCSG-designated account.
  7. All remaining funds except gifts in the form of donations and fundraising revenue in a club’s account at the end of the College’s fiscal year shall be transferred to the Co-Sponsorship Fund for the upcoming year.
  8. If a club desires to spend funds exceeding their budgets on things such as tournaments, concerts, speakers, uniforms, apparel, etc., an out-of-pocket expense may be expected if BCB is unable to meet the funding request.  However, if the expected out-of-pocket expense incurs a hardship on a club member they can contact the Office of Campus Life to discuss potential options.


Section 5: Travel Policy

  1. All clubs are required to comply with the Campus Life Travel Policy, which includes submitting Overnight Travel Approval Form via the Campus Life website. Clubs that are not approved for overnight travel by the Office of Campus Life may not use their club budget on such expenses.
  2. All students traveling away from campus for club activities are expected to financially contribute towards their expenses. However, if the expected out-of-pocket expense incurs a hardship on a club member they should contact the Office of Campus Life to discuss potential options.
  3. BCB requests clubs demonstrate fiscal responsibility and price consciousness with all club finances and particularly in regards to lodging. Clubs should consider options where students can share accommodations and limit overnight travel. BCB will approve lodging expenses of $40 per person per night maximum. Any lodging expenses over this amount are the responsibility of the individual person(s) travelling.
  4. All travel applications are reviewed on a per case basis. Submissions for travel should include student financial contributions.


Section 6: Club Renewal Process

  1. Club Renewal will consist of the following elements:
    1. Active membership.
    2. Leadership of President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Community Liaison for the following year.
    3. Use of current allocation from the beginning of the fiscal year to the time of application submission.
    4. Anticipated spending from the time of submission to the end of the fiscal year.
    5. Proposed budget for the following academic year.
    6. Other items as deemed necessary for proper budget allocation decision-making.
  2. Club Renewals are due the second Monday in March at 11:59pm for the following school year. Budget allocation hearings shall take place during Short Term.
    1. Clubs electing to receive no funding during Club Renewal must declare no requested funding.
    2. If a club is late in submitting their budget request without an extension from the Chair of BCB, that club shall have 10% deducted from their final allocation.
    3. Club Renewal extensions are granted only by the Chair/Co-Chairs of BCB.
  3. Budget Hearings
    1. Budget hearings involve BCB reviewing with club leaders their expenditures for the academic year, and their anticipated expenditures for the following academic year.
    2. If a club misses their hearing BCB is under no obligation to allocate any funds.
    3. If an club is late by five (5) minutes or more to their budget hearing, the club shall forfeit 5% of their initial budget allocation.
  4. Final budget allocation decisions shall be made by BCB upon return to campus and announced the 3rd week of school.
    1. Clubs will receive their total budget allocation along with a justification of funding allocated.
  5. The Grievance Process is optional, and provides clubs the opportunity to appeal their budgets if they demonstrate that their initial budget is insufficient to carry out their club’s mission.
    1. The Grievance Process shall involve the BCB Chair, representatives of the grieving club, and a Grievance Arbitrator, selected from the Assembly by the BCB Chair. The arbitrator allocates the Grievance Fund based on the needs of the grieving student club.
    2. The Grievance Fund shall be allocated 1.5% of the base amount of the total annual budget.
    3. Any funds not used in the Grievance Fund shall be transferred to the BCSG additional funding for the current fiscal year.


Section 7: Additional Funding

  1. The BCSG Co-Sponsorship Fund can only be allocated at BCB’s approval and the Assembly’s authorization.
  2. Any BCSG-recognized club may request additional funds. Clubs must submit additional funding requests via the Application for Additional Funding on the BCSG website at least two weeks before said funds are required.
  3. If BCB approves or partially approves the additional funding request, the Chair/Co-Chairs of BCB shall bring the request before the Assembly.
  4. BCB may rescind additional funding all or in part if the receiving club fails to use the sum total of additional funds allocated.
  5. Additional funding for on campus meals are rarely permitted and approved on a one off basis.
  6. Requests for additional funding are intended for after a club has exhausted their initial budget allocation.


Section 8: New Clubs

  1. New student club applications, submitted via the BCSG website, are evaluated by the Budgets & Clubs Board according to the following criteria:
    1. Compliance with the Bates College handbook and College policies.
    2. Clearly articulated purpose, objectives, and goals of the proposed student club.
    3. Demonstrated non-duplication of the mission/ purpose of previously recognized clubs.
    4. Feasibility of funding the club’s goals or projects.
    5. Local autonomy of the club: club is led completely by Bates students without direction, interference, pressure from, or obligation to, any entity external to the Bates community (e.g., a parent organization, national chapter, or charter). If the external entity maintains guidelines, policies, or other documents of any kind that are found by BCB to be in conflict with the Student Code of Conduct, the BCSG-Recognized Club Handbook, or the Bates College non-discrimination policy, the proposed club must disavow such items in writing in order to be approved. The club may not function solely or predominantly as a fundraising vehicle for the outside entity, or as a means for the outside entity to host events/programs on campus.
    6. Interest by no fewer than seven Bates student members.
    7. Demonstrated plan for sustainability of the club.
    8. Demonstrated benefit to the members, campus, and/or community.
    9. Demonstrated need for recognition based on benefits provided to Bates-recognized clubs.
    10. A leadership team of President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Community Liaison.
    11. New Club Approval Process
      1. BCB will vote to approve bringing the club’s constitution to the BCSG with a majority vote. The vote has three possible outputs: Approved, Abstained and Rejected.
      2. Those who wish to appeal the decision made by BCB may submit a written request and the reasons for the appeal to the Chair of BCB, within ten days of the date of BCB’s original decision.
        1. The group shall have a hearing with BCB after the appeal (the written request) has been received.


Section 9:  Communication and Inactivity

  1. Student clubs that have not submitted a Club Renewal document, or have no recorded transactions in their account for an entire academic year may be deemed inactive.
  2. Student clubs deemed inactive will have all funds currently in their account transferred to the BCSG Co-Sponsorship Fund and their accounts closed.
  3. Student clubs deemed inactive may re-apply for club status during the following fiscal year via the New Student Club Application.


Section 10: Audits

  1. BCSG-recognized clubs can be audited under one of three possible processes:
    1. Information or suspicion of violations of Student Club Budget Rules.
    2. Information or suspicion of fiscal irresponsibility.
    3. A randomized process that shows no bias.
  2. The Audit Committee shall notify the club’s president and treasurer of the impending audit before it begins.
    1. The Audit Committee will then collect all necessary data pertinent to the investigation provided by the audited club.
    2. If questions arise from the data obtained, then the student club’s President and Treasurer will be asked to provide clarifications.
    3. If questions of possible improprieties remain, the Audit Committee feels that there is evidence of violation of BCB guidelines, or there is evidence of fiscal irresponsibility, then BCB is authorized to take whatever action it may feel necessary to facilitate three goals.
      1. To determine whether the situation arose due to intentional fiscal irresponsibility on the part of the student club.
      2. To determine and enforce a suitable penalty for such an infraction.
      3. To provide a reasonable solution so as to ensure that there are no repetitions of such infractions.
      4. When the process is completed the Audit Committee will submit a report of their findings to the Assembly.


Section 11:  Amendments

  1. This document may be amended by BCB if the amendment is ratified by two thirds of BCB and the BCSG Assembly.