Guidance Letter B-050


SUBJECT:  Student Activity Fee Funds

  1. Authority
    The student activity fee is collected pursuant to authority granted the college and Student Government Association by Chapter 606 of the Tennessee Public Acts of 1978.  Upon approval by the college administration and the Student Government legislative body, a referendum question on whether or not an activity fee of one dollar should be collected was submitted to the student body.  A majority of the students voted to approve the question for the fee.  The fee became effective Fall quarter 1979.
    During the 1991 academic year, the Student Government Association proposed that the student activity be increased from one dollar to three dollars.  This was passed by the student body and approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents.    
  2. Purpose
    The Student Government Association of Cleveland State Community College, after lengthy discussions with students, student leaders, student organizations and staff from student services, felt that the collection of an activity fee from every student enrolled in a credit course during each semester would be beneficial to students at Cleveland State Community College.  Through the process described in this document, revenues collected from the activity fee would be used to:      
    1. Increase the amount of major student programming;
    2. Assist all student organizations by providing funding for operational budgets and programming needs;
    3. Supplement the Student Government Association budget so as to increase that organization's ability to deliver services to students; and
    4. Provide additional scholarships to college students.
  3. Definitions
               The following definitions shall be applicable to these guidelines:
    1. Eligible Student Organizations and Individuals.  Any organization recognized by Cleveland State Community in accordance with the procedure set forth in the student handbook is eligible for student activity funds.  No organization under any sanction from the college for any reason or which otherwise fails to meet at all times all the initial requirements for college recognition in the student handbook shall be an eligible organization.  Additionally, an organization found to have abused or misapplied student activity funds or which violated any procedures or regulations applicable thereto may be found not be an eligible organization if so ordered by the Activity Fee Appropriations Awards Committee.
    2. Appropriations.  An Activity Fee Appropriations Awards Committee shall be appointed by the president of the college.  Three student members of the Committee shall be recommended by the president of the Student Government Association and three faculty members of the committee shall be recommended by the dean of student affairs.  The chairman of the committee shall be the Coordinator of Student Activities who shall vote only in the case of a tie.  The Committee shall make recommendations to the college president for allocation of money from the student activity fee.
      The dean of student affairs shall hear appeals concerning the denial of funds to any eligible student organization by any administering authority.  The Committee shall also hear requests for reconsideration as an eligible student organization from any organization previously removed from eligible student organization status after a finding that the organization has violated these procedures/regulations.  The members of the Committee shall be appointed for a one-year term and shall be eligible for reappointment.
    3. Student Activity Fee.  In addition to the regular maintenance fees, a fee of $3.00 shall be collected from each student who enrolls in any credit course during any semester.  Any activity fee funds collected will be restricted current fund additions.
    4. Administering Authority.  The administering authority will be the dean of student affairs, dean of financial affairs, student government president, and president of the college.
    5. Program/Programming.  The sponsorship of any significant educational workshop, seminar, lecture, speaker, literary performance, reading, or other event of potential general interest to a significant portion of the student body will be considered.  Priority shall be given to on-campus functions.
  4. Allocations
    1. General Application of Funds.  Funds collected should be allocated as a percentage of the total amount using the following formula:
      1. Approximately 20 percent for student scholarships;
      2. Approximately 20 percent for student activities;
      3. Approximately 40 percent to assist eligible students and organizations with operational needs or direct programming; and
      4. Approximately 20 percent to Student Government Association.
    2. Allocation Criteria.  Student activity fee funds apportioned as shown above shall be allocated by the appropriate administering authority utilizing the following criteria applicable to the particular function:
      1. Student scholarships shall be administered through the Office of Institutional Advancement in conjunction with the Appropriation Awards Committee.  The criteria considered in providing for and awarding these scholarships shall be available in the Office of Institutional Advancement;
      2. Funds designated for use for Student Activities will be administered by the Coordinator of Student Activities.  These funds will serve to supplement regularly budgeted funds for student activities;
      3. Funds designated to assist eligible student organizations with special operational needs shall be administered by the Coordinator of Student Activities.  The following criteria shall be utilized:
        1. Preference will be given to those eligible student organizations which have no source of funding for normal operational expenses;
        2. All awards will be made "in kind" (i.e., through the furnishing of products or college services) if at all possible.  However, the coordinator of student activities may make appropriate exceptions to this policy;
        3. Initial awards will be made in the time period and manner determined by the Awards Committee with the remaining funds being allocated on a first come, first served basis to eligible student organizations which apply thereafter under these criteria:
          1. The membership, viability and demonstrated need of the eligible student organization;
          2. The nature of the program;
          3. The ability of the eligible student organization to successfully sponsor the proposed program based on past performance or other pertinent factors;
          4. The potential of the proposed program to enhance cultural, educational, social or recreational development of the student body;
          5. The potential number of students to be served by the proposed program;
          6. The potential of the proposed program to attract a broad cross-section of the student population as audience/ participants; and a low priority shall be given to catering, food service and for travel expenses.
        4. The Awards Committee may develop additional reasonable criteria to be considered in awarding funds.  Additionally, the Committee shall develop procedures relative to the receiving of applications for and the awarding of student activity fee funds.  Copies of these criteria and procedures will be available in the Office of the dean of student affairs.
  5.  Procedures and Regulations
    1. Procedures.  Each category of funds will be allocated according to these procedures:
      1. Awards of student activity fee funds may not be made by the Awards Committee prior to September 1 of each year, and the Committee may commit funds for a period extending to the following August 30.  Applications may be received at any time subject to the rules of the Awards Committee;
      2. All applications must be made on the appropriate form supplied by the Coordinator of Student Activities and contain all information requested therein;
      3. The Awards Committee and the Coordinator of Student Activities may develop reasonable additional procedures relative to receiving and/or processing applications for student activity fee funds within the requirements of these guidelines;
      4. An eligible student organization may appeal the denial by the Awards Committee for student activity fee funds to the dean of student affairs.  There shall be no appeal from a decision by the dean of student affairs to deny the applications for funds to an eligible student organization.  The Committee will hear any written appeal filed within three days of notification of denial by the Awards Committee.  Appeals should be filed in the Office of the dean of student affairs.
    2. Regulations.  The allocation of all student activity funds shall be subject to the following regulations:
      1. No salaries shall be provided from student activity fee funds;
      2. No student activity fee funds shall be used by any person or eligible student organizations for the personal benefit of any of its members, other persons or another organization;
      3. Student activity fee funds shall not be used to establish petty cash funds;
      4. Student activity fee funds shall not be used to finance, support or influence voting on any issue currently on a college, local government, state government, or federal government election ballot.  Additionally, such funds shall not be used in any manner to influence public opinion or legislation;
      5. If any program funded in whole or in part by student activity fee funds yields a net profit, that net profit must be returned to the student activity fee fund.  Under no circumstances shall any profit from a program funded in whole or in part by student activity fee funds be donated to any individual or organization, regardless of whether or not the donee is an on-campus or off-campus entity or is a charitable nature;
      6. All eligible student organizations receiving funds from the student activity fee are subject to the regulations and auditing procedures set forth by the student handbook, college procedures, and the rules of the Tennessee Board of Regents.              
      7. All ticket sales for a program funded in whole or in part by student activity fee funds must be conducted through the student activities office, unless the organization is exempted from this requirement in writing in advance by the dean of student affairs;
      8. Each organization must complete a program evaluation and expenditure report within ten class days of the completion of a program in which student activity fee funds were used and deliver it to the coordinator of student activities;
      9. The maximum initial award to any eligible student organization from funds awarded by the Awards Committee in any one funding period shall not be more than $2,000.  After the initial award, an eligible student organization may apply for additional funds after the first day of the following semester;
      10. Any organization which is found by the Awards Committee to have abused or misapplied student activity fee funds may be ineligible for any further allocations of funds during the remaining portion of the current funding year.  Additionally, the Committee may find the organization ineligible to receive student activity fee funds during the next succeeding full funding year.  After this period, an organization may be considered an eligible student organization by the Awards Committee upon finding that the organization and its members/officers are of sufficient integrity to again properly manage student activity fee funds.
  6. Program Evaluation and Reapproval Initiative
    A comprehensive evaluation of the student activity fee, its use, application, and general effectiveness shall be made in writing by the Student Government Association and the dean of student affairs every three years.  Additionally, at any time after the fee has been in effect for an initial period of three years, the student body by a petition signed by five percent of the total credit student enrollment as of the fourteenth day of the previous fall semester, may require that the continued collection of the fee be conditioned upon its reapproval by the administration and the student body.  The required student body approval must be obtained by general referendum at the next regular election for Student Government Association officers.  The absence of the required administrative and/or student body approval at the next regular election for Student Government Association officers shall cause collection of the Activity Fee to cease.

Source:  TBR Guideline B-060

Revised:  January 1, 1993; March 17, 1994