FAB Constitution

Please note this document is under review to FAB’s recent merger with the Campus Life Student Programming Advisors. Funding-related policies in this document will likely remain the same, but programming policies are to be added.

Section 1: Mission Statement of the Funding & Activities Board

  1. The Bates College Student Government (BCSG) Funding & Activities Board (FAB) 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 Re-Registration processes.

Section 2: Membership and General Operations

  1. FAB 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 FAB is elected by FAB and serves for one calendar year. Only one individual may serve in this capacity.
    1. The new Chair of FAB 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 FAB
      2. First Sunday in November — all nominations, by a board member or by oneself, will be submitted to the sitting Chair of FAB
      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 FAB that has completed one semester with the board may run for Chair.
    4. Every member of FAB 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 FAB.
      1. Arrangements to allow for their nomination and pitch will be made should an individual abroad choose to run.
      2. If the Chair-elect is off-campus, an exception will be made for the outgoing Chair of FAB to remain in position through early January to allow for transition time.
  3. The Assistant Dean of Students for Campus Life & Student Leadership serves as the primary advisor to FAB and attends all meetings.
  4. No member shall serve as Treasurer of a BCSG-recognized club.
  5. FAB 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 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 FAB member is an affiliate will take place without the FAB member present. The FAB member may not exert influence over the decision in any way, at or outside of FAB meetings. If quorum cannot be reached due to the number of FAB 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 FAB 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 FAB members to assist with this process, but must personally present this information to BCSG.
  8. Meetings are held on a weekly basis.
  9. Considering funding requests
    1. Prior to the start of each FAB meeting the Chair sets a debate time for each funding request that has been submitted. This is communicated to the other members of FAB via email no later than six hours prior to the start time of the meeting. 
    2. Deliberation on a single request shall not exceed 30 minutes. There is no minimum deliberation time. 
    3. At the start of each FAB meeting, members review the deliberation times and alter them as needed. 
    4. While deliberating, if deliberation time must be extended, board members must add time by requesting a vote to add five minutes to the deliberation, which will be approved by simple majority vote.
  10. Quorum required for a legitimate vote is a simple majority of the members of FAB.
  11. 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
      • An account with the Bates College Accounting Office.
      • Ability to apply to the Funding & Activities Board (FAB) for money for club activities.
      • Ability to request additional funding from campus entities that provide such funding to BCSG-recognized clubs.
      • Monthly account activity reports from the Accounting Office.
    2. Logistical support
      • Orientations and trainings for club leaders provided by FAB and/or Campus Life.
      • A group on Bates Engage, including your club’s description, contact information, and links to your social media pages. This group also enables leaders to communicate with current and prospective club members.
      • If requested from Campus Life, a delegated email address to use for official club business.
      • The ability to reserve event, program, and meeting spaces via the Event Management System.
      • Robust support in the areas of club advising and event/program planning from 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 Re-Registration Application and Mid-Year Report.

Section 4: Student Club Funding Rules

  1. FAB 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 for 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. FAB reserves the right to determine reasonable value of awards and prizes on a case-by-case basis.
    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 must be made in moderation.
    1. Food at events
      1. Clubs are required to have attendees register in advance for events at which food will be served. Clubs may spend no more than $20 per registrant on food at events. To allow time for coordination, it is recommended that the deadline for registration be no later than one week prior to the event date. Bates Engage should be used for event registration.
    2. Food at club meetings
      1. Clubs may spend no more than $10 per club member on food at meetings.
    3. Food during off-campus travel
      1. Clubs may spend no more than $30 per person per day on food expenses incurred during Campus Life-approved off-campus travel.
    4. Other considerations
      1. FAB recommends that clubs consider obtaining meal replacements from Catering before requesting or spending money on food. These may consist of pre-packaged items, or even raw materials to cook meals. This is a free service. For more information, check out this page.
  4. Promotional merchandise
    1. Clubs may spend no more than $30 per person per academic year on customized clothing.
    2. Clubs are permitted one round of advertising merchandise per year (e.g, stickers, cell phone wallets, pop sockets, etc.).
    3. Regardless of type, all promotional merchandise expenditures may only be used to promote a club or club-sponsored event or program.
    4. Promotional merchandise may not be personalized with an individual’s name or nickname.
    5. Promotional merchandise featuring a Bates mark must be purchased via an approved vendor. You may find more information about college licensing here.
  5. Large-scale annual events
    1. FAB guarantees funding for large-scale annual events. The base budget for a large-scale annual event is set at the same amount of funding allocated for the event in the 2023-24 academic year.
    2. FAB defines large-scale annual events as events that meet all of the below criteria:
      1. Expected attendance of at least 150 people.
      2. Minimum budget of $2500.
      3. Has occurred at least once before, with the most recent occurrence in the previous academic year.
    3. Incremental growth
      1. Beginning in the 2025-26 academic year, FAB permits clubs to request an increase in the allocation(s) for their large-scale annual event(s).
      2. In order to request a large-scale annual event allocation increase, the club must:
        1. Have taken attendance at the last occurrence of the event, ideally via Bates Engage or Eventbrite, and had at least 150 people attend.
        2. Have completed an online or in-person event planner evaluation within one month of the last occurrence of the event.
      3. Provided the above criteria are met, a large-scale annual event allocation increase request may be made via the club’s Bates Engage Accounting Book. Depending on the number of attendees at the last occurrence of the event, the club will be eligible to request an increase of:
        1. 150 to 199 attendees: up to a 5% increase.
        2. 200+ attendees: up to a 10% increase.
      4. Please note that even if an event meets the above criteria, FAB is under no obligation to approve an allocation increase request, or may approve an increase of less than the percentages listed above. 
      5. If an event attracts less than 150 attendees, or the club fails to complete an event planner evaluation in a single year, its funding will continue to be guaranteed for one additional year, with no option to request an allocation increase.
      6. If an event attracts less than 150 attendees, or the club fails to complete an event planner evaluation, two years in a row, it will no longer be considered a large-scale annual event, and the club will have to submit a budget request to obtain funding for it.
      7. The maximum allocation a club may receive for a large-scale annual event may not exceed 10% of FAB’s total budget for allocations in the current academic year.
      8. Clubs may request a maximum of $4000 for first-time large-scale events intended to be annual.
  6. Overnight travel
    1. Clubs may request and be allocated a maximum of $3000 per academic year for off-campus overnight travel.
    2. Clubs planning to travel may request to have their $3000 cap rolled over to the subsequent year one time, for a maximum cap of $6000 every two academic years. Such clubs should contact FAB at fab@bates.edu to request this.
    3. Please note that even if a budget request for overnight travel is within these guidelines, FAB is under no obligation to approve an allocation, or may approve an allocation of less than the maximums listed above. 
  7. All expenses must be in accordance with the club’s mission statement as defined by the club’s constitution.
  8. FAB’s capacity to fully fund more than one activity per club exceeding $2000 in total cost is limited. Therefore, it is recommended that clubs be strategic about how they plan their calendar and budget.
  9. Clubs shall not have any accounts other than their BCSG-designated account.
  10. At the end of the college’s fiscal year (June 30, or the closest business date), remaining funds in a club’s account, except restricted gifts in the form of donations and fundraising revenue, shall be transferred to FAB to be re-allocated for the upcoming year.
    1. In order for such gifts to remain in the club’s account, they must be communicated to Campus Life and the Accounting office as restricted, with a specific use for the funds designated.
  11. Debt

    1. Clubs that have gone into debt may not request additional funding or make additional expenses until the debt is resolved.

    2. In order to address this debt, the president and treasurer of the club must meet with the Assistant Dean of Students for Campus Life to discuss the events that led to the club being in debt, and best practices to avoid going into debt in the future.

    3. After the meeting, the Assistant Dean may recommend to the BCSG Funding & Activities Board that the debt be forgiven. FAB may accept this recommendation by a majority vote.

    4. After the debt is forgiven, if the club goes into debt again in the same academic year, the club’s account may be frozen for the remainder of the academic year, meaning the club may not request additional funding or make additional expenses. Whether a club’s account becomes frozen shall be determined by majority vote of FAB.

    5. 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 Re-Registration

  1. The Club Re-Registration Application will consist of the following elements:
    1. A copy of the constitution the club intends to have in effect for the following academic year.
    2. 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.
    3. Position-holders of Treasurer, Community Liaison, and three other officers 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.
      2. Please note these officers will replace the officers on record in Bates Engage after the conclusion of the current academic year. If a club changes its officers between Re-Registration and the end of the current academic year, officers will still be replaced by the ones submitted during Re-Registration.
    4. A qualitative report of a club’s activities, including accomplishments, challenges, and goals for the coming year.
    5.  

If applicable, a list of club members who should have key or swipe access to the club’s storage or office space for the coming academic year.

  • Re-Registration opens on Feburary 1 or the closest business date thereafter. It is due the second Monday in March at 11:59pm.
    1. If a club is late in submitting their Re-Registration without an extension from the Chair of FAB, that club risks loss of BCSG-recognized status.

      Deadline extensions are granted only by the Chair of FAB, and can be requested by emailing fab@bates.edu.

  • After Club Re-Registration has been submitted, FAB and Campus Life will review each submission individually. Please note this process may require correspondence among the club, FAB, and Campus Life – simply submitting Re-Registration does not guarantee continuation of BCSG-recognized status. Club officers are advised to be attentive to their email, and respond promptly to ensure a smooth process.
  • Clubs that have not submitted a Re-Registration, and have no evidence of activity (including events, programs, meetings, and/or funding transactions) may be deemed inactive by FAB 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 after one full calendar year from the date of inactivation 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, Community Liaison, and Secretary 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, FAB will review each individually.
      1. On or about the first Monday in January, Campus Life shares the fall semester’s account data for each club with FAB.
      2. FAB verifies that the account data correlates with the data each club submitted via the Mid-Year Report.
      3. FAB, 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, FAB allocates funds to a club’s account.
          1. Clubs newly recognized in the current academic year may receive a maximum mid-year allocation of $250.
        3. Mid-year withdrawal: based on account activity, or lack thereof, in the fall semester, FAB 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 FAB 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. FAB 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. FAB 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 FAB 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 FAB and club leaders about the withdrawal. FAB members present should document the conversation and share notes with the Chair of FAB and 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 FAB members holding the hearing may recommend that the withdrawal be canceled.
      6. If a club fails to schedule or misses their hearing FAB may proceed with withdrawing funds.
    5. Mid-Year Report decisions are sent to the officers on record 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 FAB 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 after one full calendar year from the date of inactivation via the New Student Club Application.

    Section 7: Budget Requests

    1. Club funding may be obtained by submitting a budget request in the club’s Bates Engage accounting book. This resource can be accessed to support any financial needs related to the successful operation of the club.
    2. All budget requests are subject to FAB approval.
    3. Clubs must submit budget requests at least two weeks before said funds are required. FAB is under no obligation to consider requests that are submitted less than two weeks before the funds are required.
    4. Clubs may submit only one budget request per activity. Once a request has been approved, it is the club’s responsibility to stay within budget. Additional requests for same activity will not be considered, except in extenuating circumstances, and at the discretion of FAB.
    5. FAB reviews each request through the lens of the Club Operations Policy, and Section 4 of this constitution.
    6. Any club submitting a budget request over $1000 will be required to meet with FAB in order to provide context and any additional information about the request. FAB may extend a mandatory meeting invitation to any club regarding a budget request regardless of the amount of the request.
      1. The Chair of FAB will extend an invite to a regular FAB meeting to the individual that submitted the request. Any club members in addition to this individual may attend.
      2. The meeting regarding the request will take place during the regular weekly FAB meetings and will not exceed a time of 20 minutes. 
      3. After conversation with the club member(s) has concluded, they will be asked to leave the room so FAB may deliberate.
      4. FAB may prioritize meetings based on the urgency of each request.
    7. FAB will determine how much 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 FAB shall notify the Assembly of each decision at the next BCSG General Body Meeting.
    10. Budget requests will be reviewed in consideration of the club’s current account status.

    Section 8: New Clubs

    1. New student club applications are accepted and reviewed by FAB and Campus Life during the fall semester. The application opens on the first day of fall classes and closes on the last day of fall classes.
    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 a minimum of five club officers (typically President, Vice President, Treasurer, Community Liaison, and Secretary). Clubs are required to have a community liaison, but the other four positions may have any title, provided all officer duties required by the constitution template are encompassed in the club’s board.
      7. A list of inaugural club members.
      8. Faculty or staff advisor(s), if applicable.
        1. Clubs that are affiliated with an entity external to the Bates community (e.g., a parent organization, national chapter, or charter) must have a faculty/staff advisor.
      9. Financial support requested with an itemized budget, if applicable.
      10. Recreational Sport 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. Applications for new competitive club sports will not be considered by FAB. Such groups seeking official recognition should contact Athletics and the Club Sports Council.
    4. 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 FAB to be in conflict with the Student Code of Conduct, Campus Life and FAB club policies, 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, Community Liaison, and Secretary.
    5. Recreational Sport Clubs – In addition to the criteria required for all prospective clubs, students considering starting a recreational sport club must meet the following criteria:
      1. Club must not participate in competitive league or tournament play intercollegiately, extramurally, regionally, or at the national level.
        1. Club may participate in recreational scrimmages or meets with entities outside of Bates College.
      2. There may be circumstances in which clubs may engage in one-off competitions, representing their club and Bates College, subject to the approval of FAB and Campus Life.
        1. Travel for individual competitions may not exceed 300 miles by car from the Bates campus.
      3. Clubs may not be not be associated with a governing body that has developed standards for participation.
      4. There must be on campus facilities available for the club to practice and/or hold intramural competitions and other events. The Department of Athletics will make this determination.
    6. New Club Approval Process
      1. Based on the materials submitted, FAB will vote on whether to recognize the club. The vote has two possible results: approved or rejected.
      2. FAB will also consider and vote on the club’s budget request, if applicable. Newly recognized clubs may receive a maximum of $250 for an initial allocation.
      3. After the vote(s), the decision will be communicated to the club officers on record 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 will receive further information from Campus Life within one week.
      5. Regardless of the outcome of the vote, the decision will be communicated by the Chair of FAB at the next BCSG General Body Meeting.
    7. Appeals Process
      1. If rejected, a written appeal may be submitted to FAB via email within seven days of the date of FAB’s original decision.
      2. The members of the proposed club shall have a hearing with FAB within fourteen days after the appeal is received.
      3. Upon closure of the hearing, if there is at least 40% vote of FAB 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 FAB, 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 FAB Audit Committee shall conduct audits of BCSG-recognized clubs when necessary.
      1. The committee shall be comprised of individuals currently serving on FAB, and will form when necessary.
    2. BCSG-recognized clubs can be audited under one of two possible conditions:
      1. Information indicating violations of Student Club Funding 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 FAB guidelines, or there is evidence of fiscal irresponsibility, FAB 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 FAB. The Chair of FAB will share these findings with the BCSG General Body.

    Section 10: Amendments

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