BCB Constitution

Ratified September 2018

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, additional funds to be allocated to clubs, the BCSG budget, recognition of new clubs, and reviewing club activity regularly, including during the Mid-Year Report and Club Renewal processes.

Section 2: Membership and General Operations

  1. BCB shall include up to four student members from each class year selected by the Committee Selection Board. Members remain on the Board until the beginning of winter semester of their senior year.
  2. The Chair of BCB is elected by BCB and serves for one calendar year. Only one individual may serve in this capacity.
    1. The new Chair of BCB is elected prior to the close of the fall semester in order to allow for a sufficient transition period under the sitting Chair.
    2. The timeline for elections is as follows:
      1. Last Sunday in October — nomination period opens for Chair of BCB
      2. First Sunday in November — all nominations, by a board member or by oneself, will be submitted to the sitting Chair of BCB
      3. Second Sunday in November — nominees will present their pitches to the board and the board will vote immediately after
      4. Start of Winter Semester — Chair-elect will take over as Chair
    3. Any member of BCB that has completed one semester with the board may run for Chair.
    4. Every member of BCB will have a vote, including nominees. Each individual will vote anonymously and submit their votes to the sitting Chair to be counted.
    5. Those individuals who may be studying off-campus during the first semester may still run for Chair of BCB.
      1. Arrangements to allow for their nomination and pitch will be made should an individual abroad choose to run.
        1. If the Chair-elect is off-campus, an exception will be made for the outgoing Chair of BCB to remain in position through early January to allow for transition time.
  3. The Director of Campus Life serves as the primary advisor to BCB and attends all meetings.
  4. No member shall serve as Treasurer of a BCSG-recognized club.
  5. BCB members are required to disclose affiliations with clubs and organizations on campus. This information should be kept up-to-date throughout the academic year. Disclosure must be submitted in writing to the Office of Campus Life, and will be posted publicly on the Student Clubs website.
  6. To avoid ethical concerns and conflicts of interest, applications and funding requests for which a BCB member is an affiliate will take place without the BCB member present. The BCB member may not exert influence over the decision in any way, at or outside of BCB meetings. If quorum cannot be reached due to the number of BCB members affiliated with a club, the request will be reviewed and approved by a BCSG-appointed committee made up of individuals not affiliated with the club submitting the request.
  7. The Chair of BCB is responsible for reviewing club budgets on a monthly basis and to report out at a BCSG meeting in November, January, March, and May. The Chair may designate other BCB members to assist with this process, but must personally present this information to BCSG.
  8. Meetings are held on a weekly basis.
  9. Quorum required for a legitimate vote is a simple majority of the members of BCB.
  10. All members have one vote excluding the Chair. Each vote requires a simple majority and the Chair 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, an initial 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 Application for Additional Club Funding.
      4. Monthly activity reports sent to the club’s Treasurer 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 Student Clubs website.
      3. A dedicated Google Group (listserv).
      4. If requested from the Office of Campus Life, 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 and policies governing the operation of BCSG-recognized clubs stipulated in this document, and on the Campus Life website.
    2. Be active and inclusive 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 Application.

Section 4: Student Club Funding Rules

  1. BCB requires all clubs adhere to the Club Operations Policy outlined here, in addition to the below stipulations.
  2. A club shall not be permitted to use their funding for the items below:
    1. 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.
    2. On or off campus events for alumni.
    3. Donations and gifts. Awards and prizes are permitted, but should be purchased in moderation.
    4. Personal items
      1. Exceptions may be made by Campus Life if the money spent on the merchandise is returned to the club account via fundraising. If fundraising does not fully reimburse the club account, the difference will be deducted from the following year’s initial budget allocation.
  3. Food expenditures may be made in moderation.
  4. Promotional merchandise expenditures may only be made using funds obtained via the Application for Additional Club Funding. Such expenditures (t-shirts, stickers, cell phone wallets, etc.) must be made in moderation, may only be used to promote a club or club-sponsored event or program, and must be distributed to the Bates community. Promotional merchandise may not be purchased solely for club members.
  5. All expenses must be in accordance with that club’s mission statement as defined by that club’s constitution.
  6. Clubs shall not have any accounts other than their BCSG-designated account.
  7. At the end of the college’s fiscal year (June 30, or the closest business date), remaining funds in a club’s account, except gifts in the form of donations and fundraising revenue, shall be transferred to BCB to be re-allocated for the upcoming year.
  8. If a club is in debt at the end of the college’s fiscal year, that debt shall remain in the club’s account, meaning that it will detract from the club’s initial budget allocation for the following fiscal year.

Section 5: Club Renewal

  1. The Club Renewal Application will consist of the following elements:
    1. A complete roster of active members. Active membership is defined as continual participation in club meetings, events, programs, and other activities, and should be determined as participation in at least 51% of the club’s activities.
    2. Position-holders of President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Community Liaison for the following year.
      1. Proxies for these position-holders may be accepted, if the club constitution stipulates that selection of these individuals does not occur until after the application is due.
    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. The Club Renewal Application opens on February 1. It is due the second Monday in March at 11:59pm.
    1. If a club is late in submitting their application without an extension from the Chair of BCB, that club shall have 10% deducted from their initial budget allocation.
    2. Club Renewal Application extensions are granted only by the Chair of BCB.
  3. After Club Renewal Applications have been received, BCB will review each application individually.
    1. Preliminary application review and budget hearings take place prior to the conclusion of Short Term in the academic year in which applications were submitted.
    2. On or about the first day of upperclass move-in for fall semester, the Office of Campus Life shares the previous academic year’s account data for each club with BCB. BCB uses this data to review the budget allocation requests in conjunction with the Checklist for Club Allocations.
    3. BCB finalizes allocation recommendations based on submitted materials and data provided by Campus Life. They submit these recommendations to Campus Life for advisement and review by the first Friday in September.
      1. Clubs less than 1.5 years old may receive a maximum initial allocation of $250.
  4. Budget Hearings
    1. Budget allocation hearings take place prior to the conclusion of Short Term.
    2. BCB reviews with club leaders their expenditures for the previous academic year, their anticipated expenditures for the current academic year, and the club’s initial allocation for the current academic year.
    3. All BCB members should be present at each budget hearing.
    4. The hearing should function as a conversation between BCB and club leaders about the allocation. BCB members present should document the conversation and share notes with the Director of Campus Life.
    5. If a club misses their hearing BCB is under no obligation to allocate funds.
    6. If an club is late by five minutes or more to their budget hearing, the club shall forfeit 5% of their initial budget allocation.
  5. Budget allocation decisions are sent to the President and Treasurer of each club in the first full week of the fall semester.
    1. Clubs receive their initial budget allocation along with a justification of funding allocated.
  6. Clubs that have not submitted a Club Renewal Application, or have no recorded transactions in their account for an entire academic year, may be deemed inactive by BCB and Campus Life.
    1. A club deemed inactive has all funds currently in its account transferred to additional club funding and its account closed.
    2. A club deemed inactive may re-apply for club status during the following fiscal year via the New Student Club Application.

Section 6: Mid-Year Report

  1. The Mid-Year Report will consist of the following elements:
    1. A complete roster of active members. Active membership is defined as continual participation in club meetings, events, programs, and other activities, and should be determined as participation in at least 51% of the club’s activities.
    2. If club leadership changes per semester, the position-holders of President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Community Liaison for the winter semester.
      1. Proxies for these position-holders may be accepted, if the club constitution stipulates that selection of these individuals does not occur until after the report is due.
    3. Use of current allocation from the beginning of the fiscal year to the time of report submission.
    4. Anticipated spending from the time of submission to the end of the fiscal year.
    5. Other items as deemed necessary for proper decision-making.
  2. The Mid-Year Report opens on November 1. It is due the first Monday in December at 11:59pm.
  3. After Mid-Year Reports have been received, BCB will review each individually.
    1. On or about the first Monday in January, the Office of Campus Life shares the fall semester’s account data for each club with BCB.
    2. BCB verifies that the account data correlates with the data each club submitted via the Mid-Year Report.
    3. BCB, under the advisement of Campus Life, and referring to the Checklist for Club Allocations, makes a funding decision for each club out of one of three options:
      1. No change: the club account is left as-is.
      2. Mid-year allocation: based on anticipated winter semester expenses, BCB allocates funds to a club’s account.
        1. Clubs less than 1.5 years old may receive maximum mid-year allocation of $250.
      3. Mid-year withdrawal: based on account activity, or lack thereof, in the fall semester, BCB transfers funds from a club’s account to post-allocation funding.
        1. The conditions to justify a mid-year withdrawal are limited to:
          1. Post-allocation funding from BCB that was not fully spent. Only funds leftover will be transferred back.
          2. Funds that were initially allocated for a specific purpose in the fall semester remaining unspent.
          3. Clear inability or disinterest in spending funds for a specific purpose in the winter semester or Short Term.
        2. Clubs identified for a mid-year withdrawal will attend a budget hearing.
    4. BCB finalizes funding recommendations based on submitted materials and data provided by Campus Life. They submit these recommendations to Campus Life for advisement and review by the second Friday in January.
  4. Budget Hearings
    1. Budget hearings take place in the third week of January, for clubs identified for mid-year withdrawal.
    2. BCB reviews with club leaders their expenditures for the fall semester, their anticipated expenditures for the winter semester and Short Term, and the club’s initial allocation for the current academic year.
    3. A minimum of two BCB members should be present at each budget hearing, preferably both having had a role in determining the withdrawal.
    4. The hearing should function as a conversation between BCB and club leaders about the withdrawal. BCB members present should document the conversation and share notes with the Chair of BCB and Director of Campus Life.
    5. If it arises during the conversation that the club has intent to spend the funds currently in its account in a way that observes Section 4 of this document, the BCB members holding the hearing may recommend that the withdrawal be canceled.
    6. If a club misses their hearing BCB may proceed with withdrawing funds.
  5. Mid-Year Report decisions are sent to the President and Treasurer of each club in the 3rd week of the winter semester.
  6. Clubs that have not submitted a Mid-Year Report, or have no recorded transactions in their account for an entire academic year, may be deemed inactive by BCB and Campus Life.
    1. A club deemed inactive has all funds currently in its account transferred to additional club funding and its account closed.
    2. A club deemed inactive may re-apply for club status during the following fiscal year via the New Student Club Application.

Section 7: Post-Allocation Funding

  1. Club funding in addition to the initial and mid-year allocations is available to be accessed via the Application for Additional Club Funding on the Student Clubs website. This resource can be accessed to support:
    1. Conferences, professional development opportunities, tournaments, meets, and other club travel
    2. Events and programs, including but not limited to logistical needs and harm reduction (e.g., security, event staff, food, etc.)
    3. Other miscellaneous funding needs for club-related activities and operations
  2. Post-allocation funding is subject to BCB approval.
  3. Clubs must submit funding requests at least two weeks before said funds are required.
  4. BCB reviews each request through the lens of the Club Operations Policy, and Section 4 of this constitution.
  5. A representative from the club submitting the request may be asked to attend a BCB meeting to discuss their application.
  6. If a club representative is present, after conversation has concluded, the representative will be asked to leave the room so BCB may deliberate.
  7. BCB will determine how much additional funding to transfer to the club account, and then vote.
  8. The club representative, if present, will be notified in person; in addition, the club President and Treasurer will be notified of the decision via email within 48 hours.
    1. The emailed decision will be specific, and have clear, comprehensive reasoning as to why the decision was made.
  9. The Chair of BCB shall notify the Assembly of each decision at the next BCSG General Body Meeting.
  10. Applications for Additional Club Funding will be considered in light of the manner in which the submitting club has to date spent their initial budget allocation.

Section 8: New Clubs

  1. New student club applications are accepted and reviewed by BCB and Campus Life between October 1 and the last day in February.
  2. A complete New Club Application consists of the following:
    1. Contact information for the individual submitting the application.
    2. The proposed club name.
    3. The proposed club category.
    4. A PDF copy of the club constitution.
    5. Indication of whether the proposed club would be a chapter of, or otherwise affiliated with, an external organization.
      1. If so, guiding documents (rules, regulations, policies, guidelines, etc.) the external organization has for college chapters or affiliates.
    6. Information regarding the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Community Liaison of the club.
    7. A list of inaugural club members.
    8. Faculty or staff advisor(s), if applicable.
    9. Financial support requested with an itemized budget, if applicable.
    10. Club Sports addendum
      1. Space needs the club might have.
      2. The location the club intends on engaging with the sport or activity.
      3. Equipment storage space.
      4. Active season.
      5. Gender(s) the club sport accepts.
  3. New student club applications are evaluated 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 and 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.
  4. New Club Approval Process
    1. Based on the materials submitted, BCB will vote on whether to recognize the club. The vote has two possible results: approved or rejected.
    2. BCB will also consider and vote on the club’s budget request, if applicable. Clubs less than 1.5 years old may receive a maximum of $250 for an initial allocation.
    3. After the vote(s), the decision will be communicated to the club President and Treasurer within 48 hours.
      1. The emailed decision will be specific, and have clear, comprehensive reasoning as to why the decision was made.
    4. If approved, the club President will be directed to complete the New Club Registration form at their earliest convenience.
    5. Regardless of the outcome of the vote, the decision will be communicated by the Chair of BCB at the next BCSG General Body Meeting.
  5. Appeals Process
    1. If rejected, a written appeal may be submitted to BCB via email within seven days of the date of BCB’s original decision.
    2. The members of the proposed club shall have a hearing with BCB within fourteen days after the appeal is received.
    3. Upon closure of the hearing, if there is at least 40% vote of BCB in favor of the proposed club, the club’s application materials will be brought before the BCSG Assembly at the next regularly scheduled General Body meeting.
    4. Before the Assembly votes, a report will be submitted by BCB, summarizing the pros and cons about granting club status to the Assembly before the final decision is made.
    5. A majority vote of the BCSG Assembly is required for approval.

Section 9: Audits

  1. The BCB Audit Committee shall conduct audits of BCSG-recognized clubs when necessary.
    1. The committee shall be comprised of individuals currently serving on BCB.
  2. BCSG-recognized clubs can be audited under one of two possible conditions:
    1. Information indicating violations of Student Club Budget Rules and/or the Club Operations Policy.
    2. Information indicating fiscal irresponsibility.
  3. The Audit Committee shall notify the club’s President and Treasurer of the impending audit.
    1. The Audit Committee will collect all necessary data pertinent to the investigation.
    2. If questions arise from the data obtained, then the 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, BCB takes action to facilitate three goals.
      1. To determine whether the situation arose due to fiscal irresponsibility on the part of the 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 BCB. The Chair of BCB will share these findings with the BCSG General Body.

Section 10: Amendments

  1. This document may be amended by two-thirds vote of BCB members, followed by notification of the BCSG Assembly at the next General Body meeting.