EWU Guideline 502-05: Services & Activities Fee Guidelines
Students – Student Life & Activities
|EWU Guideline 502-05||Authority: EWU Board of Trustees|
|Effective: December 6, 2019||Proponent: Vice President for Student Affairs|
Summary: This guideline is established by the Eastern Washington University Board of Trustees pursuant to RCW 28B.15.045 to assist students and administration in implementing the provisions of RCW 28B.15.041-.045 relating to the programs, services, and activities funded through student services and activities fees. These guidelines are intended to give students a strong voice in presenting recommendations to the Board of Trustees regarding the allocation of such fees.
History: This guideline revises and supersedes the Services and Activities Fee Committee Guidelines dated January 21, 2011 and was approved by the Board of Trustees on December 6, 2019.
1. SERVICES & ACTIVITIES FEE COMMITTEE (SAFC)
The Board of Trustees has established a Services and Activities (S&A) Fee Committee. The purpose of the committee is to propose to the university administration and the Board of Trustees funding priorities for programs supported by S&A fees.
Current EWU students hold the majority voting membership of the SAFC. In accordance with RCW 28B.15.045, student members shall represent diverse interests and shall be recommended by the Associated Students of Eastern Washington University (ASEWU). The committee is comprised of 13 members:
• 6 students-at-large (voting members) consisting of:
o ASEWU Finance Vice President
o 5 students-at-large recommended by ASEWU
• 4 university faculty/staff (voting members) consisting of:
o 1 representative recommended by the EWU Chief Financial Officer
o 1 representative recommended by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs
o 2 staff members recommended by the Vice President for Student Affairs
• 3 ex-officio (non-voting) members consisting of:
o Vice President for Student Affairs or designee
o ASEWU President or designee
o EWU Chief Financial Officer or designee
Student members must be in good academic standing at the time of their appointment and for the duration of their term.
1-2. Committee Appointments, Terms & Officers
Appointments & Terms: All appointments to the SAFC shall be made by the President of the University based on the recommendations noted above. Student appointments must be made no-later than the third week of classes in the fall quarter and are for the current academic year. Non- Student SAFC members will be appointed for a three (3)- year rotating cycle. Committee vacancies should be filled in a timely fashion through the recommendation and appointment process outlined previously.
Officers: The SAFC will be responsible for selecting a student member to serve as the SAFC Chair and a student member to serve as Vice Chair. The Vice Chair will assume all duties of the Chair when the Chair is unavailable to serve. The Chair and Vice Chair will serve for a one (1)-year academic term.
1-3. Conflicts of Interest
All SAFC members are required to disclose their relationships and/or any conflicts of interest with respect to any student services, programs, or organizations that receive or request S&A funding prior to any discussions or actions on any agenda items. Committee members who have authority over, or who work for, such groups, shall abstain from the voting concerning such groups, but may participate in the committee’s discussions.
1-4. Quorum & Voting
Quorum for the purposes of voting will consist of at least seven (7) members. The majority of the quorum must be students. No member of the SAFC, for any circumstance, shall be granted the authority of proxy voting.
In the event of a tie, the matter will be deferred to the next meeting. If there will be no final meeting, the chair will be able to break the tie.
1-5. Meetings & Attendance
Training Meetings. The Vice President (VP) for Student Affairs (or designee) will provide an orientation to acquaint all SAFC members with the S&A fee budget allocation process and the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), RCW 42.30, after the appointment and prior to having discussions about proposed budgets. The first two meetings of the SAFC will
be reserved for training purposes. Elected members of the ASEWU Student Government and ASEWU Finance Committee are encouraged to attend these meetings.
Regular Meetings. The SAFC will convene regularly. Regularly scheduled meetings of the SAFC will be established based on membership availability. The committee chair and/or vice-chair will notify members if any scheduled meeting is cancelled. Additional meetings may be called by the committee chair. The chair will notify members of the time and place of additional meetings, giving as much notice as deemed practical based on the circumstances. Dates for S&A meetings will be submitted quarterly to the President’s Office to ensure compliance with RCW 42.30.075. A special meeting may be called with 24 hours’ advance notice by the chair or by a majority of the members, consistent with RCW 42.30.080.
Staff Support. Meeting and staff support for the SAFC will be provided by EWU Student Accounting Office staff.
Agendas & Minutes. Notice of the SAFC meetings shall be provided consistent with the OPMA and shall be posted to the SAFC website at least 48 hours in advance of said meeting. Published meeting agendas should include the name of each group and submitted funding requests should be publicly accessible. Agendas, minutes, and materials discussed at the SAFC meetings will be posted to the SAFC website.
Public Comment. Meetings of the SAFC shall be open to the public and the committee shall provide an opportunity for all viewpoints to be heard at a public meeting during the committee’s consideration of funding requests. Each guest speaker is limited to five (5) minutes. The ASEWU Student Government and EWU administration may address the committee regarding any issue during the public comment portion of the meeting or by requesting to be included on the agenda. The committee may meet in executive session if permitted by law as determined in consultation with the assistant attorney general. The committee will otherwise follow any applicable guidelines for public meetings as provided in the OPMA.
Attendance. In the event a member has more than three absences, the SAFC Chair may request through the VP for Student Affairs, a new appointment to be made by the University President. In this case, ASEWU will provide the President with more than one recommendation from which to choose.
2. S&A FEE BUDGET ALLOCATION PROCESS
2-1. Annual Funding Level
The total S&A fee amount is subject to a percentage increase not to exceed four (4) percent.
The total monetary amount of the S&A fee budget shall be provided to the SAFC members by the University Business and Finance officials prior to approving any proposals. However, the funding request review process may commence before the total budget amount is known.
“Total monetary amount” shall include, but is not limited to:
• Actual revenue collected by the University in all areas of the S&A fee
• Total fund balance not spent in previous years
• Fees associated with debt service
• Recurring payments
• Unapproved funds
• All other aspects of the S&A fee as deemed necessary by the University Business and Finance officials.
2-2. Annual Funding Proposals
Campus Notification. The SAFC will provide information in a timely manner to the campus community concerning the guidelines, procedures, and timelines for reviewing funding requests, conducting budget hearings, allocating available funds, and reviewing funded budgets. The VP for Student Affairs (or designee) will issue a call for proposals to the general EWU Community via email with a schedule for proposals submissions.
Funding Priorities. The SAFC must give priority consideration to preexisting contractual obligations, debts already incurred, legal obligations, contracted agreements recognized and approved by the committee, and stability for programs affecting students.
Budget Proposals. The SAFC will accept budget proposals from previous funding recipients as well as new proposals for S&A funding. Giving first priority to the obligations. The committee will proceed to evaluate funding requests and to prepare recommendations for the allocation of S&A fees, with supporting documentation. All requests, whether new or continuing, will be evaluated in accordance with how the funding proposals will benefit EWU students. The SAFC may ask specific departments/programs/units to attend meetings for the purpose of discussing their proposals.
S&A Fee Reserve Fund. The SAFC may recommend allocating a portion of the available funds to the S&A fee reserve fund. The S&A reserve fund shall maintain a minimum reserve balance of one million dollars. Funds allocated to the S&A reserve fund in excess of that amount may be allocated as supplemental funding in accordance with Supplemental Funding Procedures, below.
Additional S&A Fee Allocation Authorities. The ASEWU shall act as the representative of the Clubs and Organizations and will therefore identify a portion of ASEWU’s budget allocation proposal to be specifically distributed to said groups. Campus Recreation shall act as the representative of Club Sports and will therefore identify a portion of Campus Recreation’s budget allocation proposal to be specifically distributed to said groups.
2-3. Annual Recommendations
The SAFC will provide an initial recommended budget allocation with supporting documents to the VP for Student Affairs according to the annual budget-planning schedule. Following the receipt of an initial recommendation, the VP for Student Affairs will have an informal discussion with the SAFC to address any concerns.
The SAFC Chair will provide a final recommendation to the VP of Student Affairs to be shared with the President and Board of Trustees.
If there are concerns regarding the recommendation, the University administration will provide formal written feedback to the SAFC for consideration. The SAFC may revise the draft if desired and provide the revised recommendation to the President and Board of Trustees.
Consistent with the RCW 28 B.15.045 (1), the SAFC Chair will have the opportunity to address the Board before decisions are made on budgets.
Allocation Restrictions. The SAFC may recommend an instruction be issued with an allocation specifying restrictions on how the funds may be spent. Such instructions may not be used by the SAFC to engage in micromanaging; however, should the SAFC determine a unit is consistently disregarding input, specific instructions may be recommended.
2-4. Supplemental Funding Requests & Recommendations
Student services and programs receiving S&A funding are expected to operate within their allocation. Requests made outside the annual S&A fee budget allocation process shall be considered supplemental funds.
Supplemental requests will only be considered by the SAFC if they pertain to conditions which could not have been reasonably anticipated by the S&A fee budget allocation recipient at the time budget allocation requests were due for submission. “Conditions” may include unforeseen catastrophes or natural disasters, or unique awards and opportunities (e.g., national championship contests). Supplemental funds are not to be requested or awarded to support additional food/meals or promotional items for an event.
Requests for supplemental funds will be submitted in the same manner as regular proposals. The process for approval of supplemental funds requested will require a 2/3 vote and fall within the approved supplemental allocation level for the year. SAFC shall hold a supplemental S&A fee hearing on an as needed basis consistent with the notice requirements described earlier.
Any student services and programs receiving S&A funds are only allowed to submit for supplemental funds one (1) time per fiscal year.
2-5. Dispute Resolution Procedures
S&A Fee Change and Allocation Disputes. Disputes between the SAFC and EWU administration regarding recommended S&A fee changes and/or funding allocations will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures provided under RCW 28B.15.045, as now or hereafter adopted, and the remaining provisions of this section pertaining to dispute resolution procedures.
S&A Fee Committee. In the event of a dispute or disputes involving the SAFC recommendations, the EWU administration shall meet with the SAFC in a good faith effort to resolve such dispute(s) prior to submitting a final recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
Dispute Resolution Committee. If the dispute is not resolved within fourteen calendar days, the chair of the SAFC shall convene a dispute resolution committee within fourteen calendar days. The dispute resolution committee will consist of two nonvoting advisory members appointed by the EWU administration, three voting members appointed by the Board of Trustees, and three voting student members of the SAFC appointed by the SAFC Chair. The SAFC Chair will also appoint a student member of the SAFC to serve as a nonvoting chair of the dispute resolution committee.
Dispute Resolution Procedures. The dispute resolution committee shall meet in good faith and shall settle by vote any and all disputes. In the event of a tie vote, the chair of the dispute resolution committee shall vote to settle the dispute. Meetings of the dispute resolution committee shall be open to the public.
Board of Trustees. While the dispute resolution procedure is occurring, the Board of Trustees may take action on those portions of the S&A fee budget that are not in dispute in accordance with customary budget approval timelines established by the board. At the completion of the dispute resolution process, the Board of Trustees shall consider the results, if any, of the dispute resolution committee and shall take action.
Fund Transfer Disputes. Disputes among the SAFC, EWU administration, and/or Board of Trustees relating to proposed fund transfers will be resolved pursuant to RCW 28B.15.045(12) and the applicable dispute resolution provisions of this section.
3. S&A FUNDING EXPENDITURE GUIDELINES
The following guidelines and examples of impermissible and permissible expenditures are not exhaustive. If questions arise that are not addressed by the information provided below, questions can be directed to Student Accounting to research and provide direction. Student Accounting is entrusted by the SAFC to provide expenditure clarity based on existing University policies and practices in accordance with state law.
3-1. General Guidelines for Spending
• S&A fees are collected from students for the express purpose of funding co-curricular/extra-curricular student services and programs.
• Purchases supported by fees must conform to the organization’s approved objectives and expenditure plan submitted to the SAFC. If funding recipients plan to adjust approved expenditure plans, they are required to notify and request the ability to spend differently from the SAFC. Allocated funds must be used in accordance with submitted plans unless
otherwise approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the SAFC. If there is less than a $10,000 adjustment between wages and direct expense, the committee automatically approves adjustments between direct expense and wage allocations related to wage savings or wage increases. The SAFC considers how the last allocation was managed and spent. A well-documented history of prudent expenditures improves the organization’s chances for continued funding.
• Expenditures should clearly promote and conform to the University’s mission and goals.
• An organization is to discuss all purchases with their designated expenditure or budget authority prior to purchasing items or services. Individuals with budget authority can outline what is allowable and appropriate or direct people to a university office for resolution of questions.
• S&A fees are considered public monies of the state of Washington. Each purchase from an organization’s account must conform with university policies and procedures, be allowable, authorized, recorded, and appropriately used.
• Individual students may not make purchases without prior approval from Student Accounting or designated Student Affairs staff.
• Individuals may not make purchases with personal money and seek reimbursement without prior approval from Student Accounting or designated Student Affairs staff.
• All university paperwork must be completed and signed by the expenditure authority before purchases occur.
• Contracts that require an expenditure of S&A fee monies must be processed through the EWU Procurement & Contracts Department and signed by a person who is authorized to sign contracts on behalf of EWU.
• The organization must not commingle S&A fee monies with other types of funds.
• The organization must not overspend S&A fee accounts. The organization must carefully monitor expenditures and allocations. Any overages will result in a reduction of future S&A awards and/or be expected to be paid back through C&O funds.
3-2. Impermissible Uses of S&A Fees
The following are examples of S&A fee expenditures that are impermissible because they involve gifting or because they do not meet the co-curricular or extracurricular intent for current students:
• Free meals and/or lodging for anyone without consideration and with a donative intent.
• Gifts of appreciation or concern for anyone (farewell gifts, flowers for bereavement, etc.) unless in return for participation or as an award for which one has competed and won.
• Tips or gratuities for services rendered by anyone unless authorized by state’s Office of Financial Management.
• Meals, lodging, coffee hours, receptions, or teas for a guest entertainer, lecturer, etc., unless required by the contract made for their services.
• Salaries of professional employees in teaching, administrative or clerical positions not directly related to co-curricular or extracurricular student programs’ operations.
• Complimentary tickets or admissions as a gift or for public relations purposes.
• Recruitment event/services or events/services where the primary target audience is not current students.
• Campaign contributions. Under no circumstances may public funds be used as a gift or campaign contribution to any elected official or officer or employee of a public agency. Nor may any public employee authorize the use of any facilities of a public agency (employees, stationary, postage, machines, etc.) to be used for the purpose of assisting a campaign for election or for the promotion or opposition to any ballot proposition. RCW 42.17A.555; RCW 42.52.180.
3-3. Permissible Uses of S&A Fees
• Traditional and time-honored activities such as student government, clubs, student governmental or programming organizations’ activities or events, health and wellness programs, retreats, conferences, musical, dramatic, artistic, debate, and forensic presentations of an extra-curricular nature, student publications and other mass media initiatives.
• S&A fees may be used for the expenses associated with activities, including meals and lodging during group travel. These costs may be paid as a return for participation.
• Trophies, certificates or engraved plaques, stoles, clothing, uniforms etc. Items may be purchased when they are personal in nature, are of nominal value, and are purchased for individuals as a result of participation, job/position or volunteer function.
• Support for student employees in student programs operations.
• S&A fees may be used to support permanent staff only to the extent that the employees are engaged in student activities and programs–as opposed to normal maintenance and operation functions of the college.
• Premiums for liability and casualty insurance coverage for the college for actions taken by students/staff serving in official capacities or participating in such activities and programs.
• Meals for reception or award ceremony attendees who are part of the program.
• Meals and refreshments (coffee, cookies, etc.) at approved student programs as incidental thereof. Examples include: graduation ceremonies, vocational certificate awards programs, scholarship convocations or receptions, student activity or club meetings, student awards, student work sessions, new student orientations, honor society initiations, scholarship donor’s receptions, etc.
• Costs associated with child care centers for the children of students.
• Dues for institutional memberships in officially recognized student leadership, governmental or programming organizations.
• Special tutorial or co-curriculum programs provided it is not to sustain a critical operation of the University.
• A legal aid program which provides services to individual students, provided that the program is not used to institute legal action against the college or university.
• Furniture and equipment for informal or non- instructional student spaces as approved by the SAFC allocation process.
• Partial subsidization of a student food bank operation, provided that the food bank benefits only students.
• Scholarships. There may be certain circumstances where a scholarship could be funded with S&A monies. RCW 28B.10.825 expressly provides for a limited amount of S&A fees to be used for an institutional student loan fund for needy students. RCW 28B.10.703 and 704 specify particular non-S&A sources for scholarships for athletic and curriculum-related activities. Thus, there must be some alternative source of statutory authority for any additional use of S&A fees for scholarships.
• S&A fees may be used to fund officially recognized student political clubs or organizations. Allocation of funds to student political groups must be neutral with respect to the viewpoint of the groups.
• S&A fees may be used to support political speakers, travel expenses and other relevant club activities as deemed reasonable by the institution. Any such allocation must be neutral with respect to the viewpoints of the speakers.
• Lobbying. Use of S&A fees for lobbying by student government is expressly authorized by statute. However, use of S&A fees for lobbying activities by students other than by or through the student government association, is still governed by
the constraints on public agencies and reporting requirements in RCW 42.17A.1555.
3-4. S&A Fee Supported Events & Services Open to Non-Students
The primary purpose of S&A fees is to support co- curricular and extra-curricular activities and events for current students. However, SAFC recognizes the benefit of involvement and engagement of non-students in activities and events that enrich student life (e.g. parents/guardians of current students, children or spouses of current students, alumni, faculty/staff). For events or activities supported by S&A fees that involve non-students, the following conditions apply:
(a) The primary audience for all events/services utilizing S&A fees should be current students and a good-faith effort must be made to prioritize current students.
(b) If a fee is being assessed, the fees for non- students should cover the full cost of their participation. A subsidy should not be provided for non-students to engage in the event/activity.
(c) If the event is free/open to all, the cost of involving non-students should be marginal.
(d) Events/programs/services supported by S&A fees may include additional fees to cover costs and ensure that they are sustainable.
(e) In the case of fundraising/revenue activities that have used S&A funds as “seed money,” funds/revenue generated is commingled with state funds and is under college and state spending restrictions of public funds.
(f) Fundraising/revenue generated through S&A funded programs/services may not be donated and must be re-invested in activities/services that support students.
4. S&A FUND MANAGEMENT
4-1. Fund Management
S&A fees, as well as revenues generated by programs, services, or activities funded by such fees, shall be deposited, expended, and accounted for through EWU Business and Finance in partnership with Student Accounting. Such funds shall be managed in accordance with applicable state laws and institutional policies or procedures, including but not limited to the State Budgeting & Accounting Act, RCW 43.88.
4-2. Fund Transfers
With the exception of any funds needed for bond covenant obligations, once the budget for expending S&A fees is approved by the Board of Trustees, S&A funds shall not be shifted from any budgeted S&A fund account, or from the services & activities fee reserve fund, to any other fund account unless the EWU Administration provides written justification for the proposed transfer and the transfer is approved by the SAFC and by the Board of Trustees. In the event of a dispute among the SAFC, the EWU administration, and/or board of trustees, such dispute shall be resolved pursuant to the dispute resolution procedures provided under RCW 28B.15.045(12) and section 2-5 of this guideline.
4-3. Budget Review, Accounting & Reporting
Excess Fee Revenues. Any S&A fee revenues collected that are in excess of initially budgeted and allocated amounts will be subject to RCW 28B.15.045(13) and all applicable provisions of these S&A Fee Guidelines.
Over-Expenditures. Groups receiving S&A fund allocations are expected to expend and/or commit no more than the maximum amounts allocated. Over-expended fund accounts will result in an account deficit carrying forward to the subsequent year, thus reducing available funds. Repeated and/or egregious overspending will result in the account being placed in probationary status and may result in the denial of future funding. Conditions of probationary status will be determined by the SAFC and shall include mandatory periodic budget reports to the committee and applicable EWU administrators.
Under-Expenditures. Unused S&A fund allocations may be carried forward with an outlined expenditure plan from one academic year to the next and a 2/3 vote by the SAFC based on a submitted expenditure plan.
Unexpended Salary. If S&A funds are allocated to fund a staff position, and the position remains vacant for six consecutive months, any salary savings resulting from the unfilled position will revert to the SAFC for reallocation of those funds.
S&A Committee Review. The responsibility for recommending program priorities and S&A funding levels for that portion of program budgets derived from S&A fees shall reside with the SAFC. The committee reserves the right, for good cause shown, to review and recommend changes at any time to any S&A base funding allocation.
Public Records. Information pertaining to S&A fees budgets shall be made available to interested parties pursuant to the Public Records Act. In addition, by September 30th of each year, the SAFC, in coordination with the EWU administration, shall post S&A fees expenditure information for the prior academic year on the EWU website so that
the information is clearly visible and easily accessible to students and the public.