Budget Committee Funding Guidelines

Preamble: Budget Committee
Section I
General Principles
Section II Sources of Funding
Section III Travel and Conferences
Section IV Travel and Off-Campus Events
Section V Conference Funding

Section VI Food

Section VII Events and Programs

Section VIII Printing and Publications
Section IX The Cultural Organization Fund
Section X Libraries, Collections, and Club-specific Amenities

Section XI Advertising

Section XII Other

See the Funding Rules in the CSA Bylaws.

See the Budget Committee Procedures in the CSA Bylaws.

See the rationale behind the recent changes to the conference funding guidelines.


The Carleton Student Association Budget Committee, the Committee, will use cost-benefit analysis to reach conclusions on how to distribute CSA funds. These funds, generated from the Student Activity Fees and other sources, will be used to fund opportunities for Carleton students in a way that most effectively benefits the campus within the academic year it is collected. All decisions regarding matters not related to the bylaws are at the discretion of the Committee. The following guidelines establish the objective principles and financing framework that the committee endeavors to follow in the exercise of its discretion. The Committee will enforce the bylaws as stated.

Section I General Principles

  1. Funding exists to create meaningful opportunities for the Carleton community.
  2. Events funded above $50 by the committee are required to acknowledge CSA’s contribution and co-sponsorship by incorporating CSA’s logo in materials related to the funded event. Such materials may include posters, programs, and publications.
  3. Funding shall only be available to chartered student organizations whereby the individuals making the requests either have email communication from or are themselves members of the leadership within their organization. Note that the Budget Committee retains the right to request this email communication during the funding request process and can deny funding requests to organizations that do not produce it.
  4. The Committee is disinclined to fund programs that do not benefit the broader Carleton community, including programs such as but not limited to career preparatory events, job training, courses that offer certification, internships, and research-related events.
  5. Preference will be given to opportunities that benefit larger chartered organizations and/or the entire campus.
  6. Funded events should be open to as much of the Carleton community as possible.
  7. Requests must be submitted at least nine days before the Wednesday before the proposed event; any request submitted after this deadline cannot be funded.
  8. All requests over $1000 can only be recommended by the committee, and must be confirmed at the Senate meeting on the following Monday. The Committee can confirm all requests that are under $1000.
  9. It is encouraged that funding be used in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
  10. It is encouraged that organizations buy from small and locally owned businesses when possible.
  11. The Committee is disinclined to co-fund events with other schools or similar institutions unless costs are distributed proportionally to the participation of Carleton students.
  12. The Committee shall not fund seed money for events in which proceeds will go to benefit the CSA Organization requesting the funds or any other organization.
  13. The committee is disinclined to fund summer events.
  14. The Committee reserves the right to deny funding to requests it deems unreasonable or otherwise unprecedented.

Section II Sources of Funding

  1. For programs and events, students should also look to campus offices and departments that may have related interests, such as the Dean of the College, the Chaplain, the Career Center, and the ACT center.
  2. The Committee encourages the use of CSA funds other than Special Allocations (i.e. Snack Bev, SAO Metro Access Fund for trips to the city, SUMO co-sponsorship for screening rights, the Cave co-sponsorship for artist fees, SAO Student Leadership and Involvement Grant for conferences) where applicable.

Section III: Travel and Off-campus Events (during winter and spring breaks):

  1. The Committee is disinclined to fund more than three quarters of the CSA Activity Fee ($249.75 per person for 2019-2020).
  2. The Committee is disinclined to fund more than 10.5 times the CSA Activity Fee for a Spring Break Trip
  3. Budget Committee follows Section IV 5 through 7 when funding winter and spring break trips.

Section IV: Travel and Off-Campus Events (during the term)

1. Budget Committee is disinclined to fund air travel (i.e., plane tickets) for more than two students to travel within 420 miles of Carleton or for teams to fly to tournaments during the term.

2. The Committee does not fund more than 3.5 times the Student Activity Fee (i.e., $1165.5 in the 2019-20 academic year) per off-campus event, rounded up. The Committee funds students attending the same off-campus event on a first-come, first-serve basis.

3. The Committee is disinclined to fund office or otherwise departmental off-campus events.

4. Budget Committee considers two approaches to funding off-campus events:

    a. Within 420 miles: the Committee is disinclined to fund more than three-quarters the Student Activity Fee (i.e. $250 of the $333 activity fee in the 2019-120 year) per student towards off-campus events within 420 miles of Carleton.

    b. Beyond 420 miles: the Committee is disinclined to fund more than six-fifths the Student Activity Fee (i.e. $400 of the $333 activity fee in the 2019-120 year) per students towards off-campus events more than 420 miles away from Carleton.

5. Off-campus events must be open through application to as many members of a given student organization as is reasonable whereby the organization must demonstrate the selection process used to determine which members attend the off-campus event.

6. Off-campus events must provide benefits to the campus community, where the benefits must be demonstrated to the Committee upon application for funding.

Section V Conference Funding

  1. Conference Funding is subject to all guidelines from Section III and IV and will be treated as such. A conference is an off-campus event where students gain knowledge to bring back to campus.
  2. The Committee is disinclined to fund chartered student organizations that have not attempted to obtain a second source of funding such as but not limited to fundraising, funds from departments or affiliated offices, and grants, whereby proof of such attempts must be reported in the funding request. The Committee is entitled to request documentation of such attempts to gather second sources of funding and is at liberty to withhold funds until such documentation is provided.
  3. The Committee shall host a Conference Showcase during spring term whereby all members who have attended a conference through CSA funding provide brief presentations on what they learned from their respective conferences. If these individuals have hosted a post-conference workshop or brought back knowledge in other ways to campus, they can share how they did so during this Conference Showcase as well. Depending on how many conferences the Budget Committee has funded that academic year, the Conference Showcase may thematically be split into two parts. The Conference Showcase will be open to all of campus and posted to the campus events calendar.
  4. The Committee requests organizations have a fair and rigorous process (i.e. application) to determine who gets to attend a conference, especially those who have the ability to give back to the campus community.
  5. The Vice President shall obtain a confirmation report from the student organization detailing participation in the Conference Showcase any other details the Vice President deems of importance.

Section VI Food

  1. Budget Committee is disinclined to fund food unless the food provides a learning experience.
  2. Budget Committee is disinclined to fund full meals.

Section VII Events and Programs

  1. 1Events should be well organized and planned well in advance.
  2. If the event involves a speaker, the expectation is that the speaker will have an opportunity to interact meaningfully with Carleton students.
  3. Events must be publicized extensively and well in advance. If attendance is limited, signups must be advertised and open to the entire campus.
  4. Decorations for events such as club supplies, shall be preserved for future events whenever possible. Budget Committee is disinclined to fund requests for decorations that are disproportionate to event attendance.

Section VIII Printing and Publications

  1. The Committee is more inclined to fund publications which have demonstrated campus demand through online content, polls, or department support.
  2. Copies intended for off-campus distribution will not be funded.
  3. The use of on-campus printing service is strongly encouraged.
  4. Publications are strongly encouraged to employ, at least in part, a subscription-based distribution model. By “subscription-based model”, CSA means any sort of system which requires readers to confirm, prior to printing, that they would like a copy of the publication. This provides publications with a more accurate forecast of readership, CSA is, therefore, more inclined to fund publications which do so. A subscription model is defined as follows: Publications are recommended to survey the student body annually for a number of prints for a series of editions. Data from online media (i.e. Facebook) is allowed.
  5. The Committee is disinclined to fund more than $115 amount for the first edition of first-run publications.
  6. The Committee is inclined to fund colour printing for publications where the images used are original creations by the student(s)
  7. In accordance with Clause 9 of Section I, the Committee is inclined to reduce the number of publication copies in order to reduce waste.

Section IX The Cultural Organization Fund

The Cultural Org Fund provides funding to student organizations that promote, create community for, and celebrate culture. Under this fund some CSA Financial Guidelines are bypassed, though all applicants must apply for funding and seek the approval of the CSA Budget Committee. 

Requirements to gain access to funds: 

  1. To gain access to funds an organization must be chartered through the Carleton Student Association or be associated with a chartered organization.
  2. To gain access to funds an organization’s charter must include a mission or description noting their dedication to fostering a culturally safe space or community, sharing and exposing the richness of a culture, or engaging with or advocating for students of color, international students, and their allies.
  3. Before requesting money from the Cultural Org Fund, organizations should make sure that their request cannot be funded through traditional special allocation funding.

Funding Guidelines:

  1. With this fund, the Budget Committee can bypass the CSA Financial Guideline regarding purchasing food so long as it promotes community among their organization.
  2. With this fund, the Budget Committee can bypass the CSA Financial Guideline regarding private or personal property so long as it benefits the entire organization and any money spent remains within the Carleton Community, meaning it is only spent on members of the CSA, as defined by Article I, Section 2 of the CSA Constitution.
    1. The Budget Committee cannot approve a request for medical services 
    2. The Budget Committee cannot approve a request for an item or items that will only benefit one member of the CSA or Carleton community
    3. The Budget Committee cannot approve requests for items deemed unnecessary for: building community, facilitating wellness among the CSA community, engaging in activism on behalf of the CSA community, or producing opportunities for the CSA community. 
  3. All other CSA Financial Guidelines apply.

Sustaining the Fund:

Section X Libraries, Collections, and Club-specific Amenities

  1. The Budget Committee shall spend no more than $30,000 per year and no more than $10,000 per term. However, to maintain the fund, it is recommended that the Budget Committee aim to spend less than $30,000 per year.
  2. When planning for the next year, the CSA Budget Committee should refill this fund to at least $30,000 during Spring Allocations as stipulated in the CSA Bylaws. 
  3. At mid-term and end of term the CSA Vice President and Treasurer should send an email to all cultural organizations as defined under Section II, part A to inform them of how much money is left to spend for the year.
  4. These funds should only be allocated during Special Allocations. Should an organization make a request in their Spring Allocations that fits the criteria of the Cultural Org Fund, then they may recommend that the organization make their request during Special Allocations.
  1. Organizations desiring to have or to grow a club library must show there are no other methods by which they may access the material.
  2. Inventories must be kept and submitted to the CSA Treasurer every term.
  3. Web hosting away from Carleton is strongly discouraged except in extraordinary circumstances when Carleton ITS cannot provide services integral to an organization’s mission.

Section XI Advertising

  1. As the least expensive option, 8 1/2 x 11 sized paper is preferred.
  2. Utilizing all advertising opportunities such as posters, All-Campus email, the central events calendar, Facebook, banners in Sayles, etc. is strongly encouraged and required for organizations receiving funding for their programs or events.
  3. Generally, advertising funding will be allocated at $5 per event.

Section XII Other

  1. Funding for students to receive compensation for work associated with students or student organizations is not recommended.
  2. Budget Committee requests that all chartered organizations that receive funding fill out an evaluation form after the proposed event takes place.
  3. All-campus mailings and paid NNB ads shall not be funded.
  4. Political campaign contributions, lobbying efforts, alcohol, and tobacco shall not be funded.
  5. All goods purchased with the CSA’s funds belong to the CSA. No goods shall be funded that will become personal property, excepting those goods that have been funded each year for the past five years. Personal property shall be defined as material goods that remain in the possession of an individual (or individuals). Publications shall not constitute personal property.
  6. Funding requests shall not be accepted retroactively.
  7. Chartered student organizations may ask for suggested donations for charitable endeavors.
  8. Honoraria for performers shall not be funded until the availability and willingness of the performer has been confirmed.
  9. Contracts
    1. An authorized employee of the College shall sign all contracts for performers.
    2. All contracts for goods and services other than one time performances made on behalf of the CSA or a CSA chartered student organization must be reviewed by the President, Vice President, and Treasurer prior to engagement or renewal. Following the majority approval of Senate, the treasurer and the relevant employee of the College must sign all contracts.

Budget Committee Procedure in the CSA Bylaws

A. The Committee shall be responsible for creating recommendations for the allocation of funds above 1,000 to the Senate and shall serve as the advisory committee to the Treasurer as is deemed appropriate. Funds under 1,000 are deemed confirmed by the Budget Committee and do not need approval from the Senate.
B. The Committee shall have weekly meetings throughout the academic year during all weeks Budget Request Forms have been submitted as described in Item H.
C. The Senate shall not consider any appropriation of CSA funds that have not been voted on by the Budget Committee. Budget Committee recommendations must be posted publicly at least two days before the Senate shall vote on them.
D. The Committee shall be chaired by the Vice President, who shall not vote except when their vote would change the outcome. If the Vice President is absent, the Treasurer shall chair the Committee, who shall not vote in this case except when their vote would change the outcome.
E. The Senate shall appoint two Senators and thirteen students-at-large. Students-at-large shall not vote during the first term they serve unless a quorum is not present. Students-at-large may keep their seat until they go off-campus, are no longer enrolled, or graduate. Former Committee members wishing to reapply shall be given priority when considering applications.
F. Decision making power will be vested in the Committee with a quorum. A quorum will be defined as the presence of a majority of the voting members, where the first term students at-large will become voting members to meet this requirement.
G. The Budget Committee shall allocate from the funds as described in Article VII of these Bylaws, unless otherwise stated.
H. The Chair will ensure that Budget Request Forms are available to the CSA and serve as a contact for questions about the Form or the budgeting process. Budget requests for events should be submitted well in advance of the event taking place. Thus, the request must be submitted nine days before the Wednesday before the event. Requests not submitted on time can be heard by the discretion of the Budget Committee Chair.

  1. Alternatively, if the event takes place within the first two weeks of the term, the request must be in by the Tuesday of the first week.
  2. Events that take place before the first meeting of the term must have received funding in a previous term.

I. Budget Request Forms must be submitted to the Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary and to Committee members at least two days prior to the Committee meeting.
J. The Committee shall consider and deliberate on requests in sessions open to the CSA, except for Spring Allocations.
K. The Committee shall consider all of the following criteria when evaluating a budget request:

  1. The most efficient use of funds within CSA Chartered Organizations and the Carleton community, paying particular attention to previously and simultaneously scheduled events, as well as the current amount of available funds.
  2. The number of people in the community that will be served by the organization and by the request.
  3. The number of students in the organization, looking at past and present data.
  4. The past performance of the organization, including the success of their previous events, management of funding, consistency in organization, and amount of interest the group generates.
  5. The future stability of the organization.
  6. The organization’s priorities.

L. In addition to following the above criteria, the Committee shall encourage the organization to seek alternate sources of funding.
M. Appeals of the Committee recommendation shall be made to the Senate during the meeting that the recommendation is being considered.
N.The Senate must do one of the following with a Committee recommendation:

  1. Approve the recommendation by a majority vote, except where noted in the Financial Guidelines.
  2. Amend the recommendation by a two-thirds (⅔) vote, except where noted in the Financial Guidelines.
  3. Refer the rejected recommendation back to the Committee with no formal recommendation.

O. Instances of reported financial misconduct shall be resolved by the Treasurer in consultation with relevant organizations and the College.
P. The Budget Committee may table a request to the next week with a three-fourths (¾) vote of those present. Should this motion make it impossible for the party requesting funding to re-apply to the Committee, it will be considered a zero dollar recommendation.