Budget Committee 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 reserves the right to not 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. The committee encourages opportunities that benefit and are open to as much of the Carleton community as possible.
  6. Funding requests shall not be accepted retroactively.
  7. The committee encourages students to submit requests ahead of time; any request submitted after the Tuesday 5 p.m. deadline cannot be funded.
  8. It is encouraged that funding be used in the most environmentally friendly way possible (i.e., compostable and reusable purchases).
  9. It is encouraged that organizations buy from small and locally owned businesses when possible.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. The committee is disinclined to fund summer events.
    1. Summer is defined as the time period beginning at the end of Spring Term finals and ending at the start of the academic year.
  13. The Committee reserves the right to deny funding to requests it deems unreasonable.

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 Provost, the Chaplain, the Career Center, SAO, the PEAR department, OIL, and ISL.
  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 ($292.5 per person for 2022-2023).
  2. The Committee is disinclined to fund more than 10 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 4 times the Student Activity Fee (i.e., $1,656 in the 2023-24 academic year) per off-campus event, rounded up. The Committee funds students attending the same off-campus event.

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 the Student Activity Fee (i.e. $390 for the 2022-23 school year) per student towards off-campus events within 420 miles of Carleton.

    b. Beyond 420 miles: the Committee is disinclined to fund more than 1.5 times the Student Activity Fee (i.e. $585 for the 2022-23 school year) per students towards off-campus events more than 420 miles away from Carleton.

5. Organizations must demonstrate the selection process used to determine which members attend the off-campus event.

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 reserves the right to not 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 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.
  3. The Committee requests that organizations demonstrate a reasonable selection process to determine who gets to attend a conference.

Section VI — Food

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

Section VII — Events and Programs

  1. Events 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. The Budget Committee encourages organizations to advertise events through campus announcements.
  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. Copies intended for off-campus distribution will not be funded.
  2. The use of on-campus printing service is strongly encouraged.
  3. Publications are strongly encouraged to gauge readership and accordingly print an appropriate number of copies in order to reduce waste.
  4. The Committee is disinclined to fund more than ½ the student activity fee ($195 for the 2022-23 school year) for the first edition of first-run publications.
  5. The Committee strongly encourages color printing for publications where the images used are original creations by the student(s).

Section IX — The Cultural Organization Fund

The Cultural Org Fund provides funding to student organizations that promote, create community for, and celebrate culture and underrepresented groups at Carleton. 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. The following organizations may apply for funding from the Cultural Organization Fund. African and Caribbean Students Association; Asian Students in America; Black Student Alliance; Black Student-Athletes of Carleton College; Carleton College American Sign Language Club; Carleton College Chinese Chess Club; Chinese Club, Coalition of Hmong Students; Coalition of Southeast Asians; Define American; Indigenous People’s Alliance, Japanese Circle; Jewish Students of Carleton; Kopitiam; Korean Students Association; Latin American Student Organization; Middle Eastern North African Student Association; Men of Color; Mosaic of South Asian Interests at Carleton; Muslim Students Association; Queer, Questioning and Trans People of Color; Taiwanese Cultural Society; Thai Students’ Association; Tim Viet; Ujamaa Collective; and Women of Color Plus, First Generation Students, Mixed, Pacific Islanders and Allies Association, Hawaii Club. 
  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:

  1. The Budget Committee shall spend no more than 80 times the student activity fee ($31,200, 2022-23) per year. However, to maintain the fund, it is recommended that the Budget Committee aim to spend less than 80 times the student activity fee per year.
  2. When planning for the next year, the CSA Budget Committee should refill this fund to at least 80 times the student activity fee ($31,200, 2022-23) during Spring Allocations as stipulated in the CSA Bylaws.
  3. At mid-term and the 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.

Section X — Equipment

  1. Equipment funded by the Budget Committee must be stored in an area that is accessible to all members of an organization.
  2. The Budget Committee is disinclined to fund personal property.

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 $6 per event.

Section XII — Other

  1. The Budget Committee is disinclined to allocate funding towards students receiving direct financial compensation.
  2. Budget Committee cannot fund political campaign contributions, lobbying efforts, alcohol, tobacco, unsolicited substances, and donations.
  3. 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.
  4. While the Budget Committee is disinclined to directly fund donations, chartered student organizations may seek donations for charitable endeavors without CSA funds.
  5. Honoraria for performers shall not be funded until the availability and willingness of the performer has been confirmed.
  6. 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.

Section XIII: Grandfathered Exemptions

Grandfathered Exceptions are exemptions toward specific CSA financial guidelines in order to accommodate events that have a long tradition in Carleton History — the event has been consistent for at least 5 years whenever applicable.

The following is list of the names of every group that is grandfathered in to receiving funds and the provisions of the financial guidelines or CSA bylaws that the group is exempt from:

  1. Late Night Trivia-(Exemption to personal property guidelines Section XII 5. applies to prizes)
  2. Rotblatt- (Exemption to personal property guideline Section XII 5. applies to T-shirts) 
  3. Farm Club- Farmstock (Exemption to food guidelines Section VI)
  4. International Festival Committee- International Festival (Exemption to food guideline Section VI)
  5. Most SAO/SAPB events – (Exemption to transportation guidelines Section IV 4.a. and 6. — movie bus, MoA Bus — as well as food guidelines Section VI — Bagel study break, Lagniappe, etc.)
  6. Academic Quiz Bowl Team funding – (Exemption to personal property guidelines Section XII 5. applies to NAQT and SnowCAT tournaments)
  7. Carleton Folkdancers (Exemption to Section IV 4.a. and 6.)

Budget Committee Procedure in the CSA Bylaws

  1. The Committee shall be responsible for creating recommendations for the allocation of funds above two times the CSA activity fee to the Senate and shall serve as the advisory committee to the Treasurer as is deemed appropriate. Funds under two times the CSA activity fee are deemed confirmed by the Budget Committee and do not need approval from the Senate.
  2. The Committee shall have weekly meetings throughout the academic year during all weeks Budget Request Forms have been submitted as described in Item H.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. The Budget Committee shall allocate from the funds as described in Article VII of these Bylaws, unless otherwise stated.
  8. 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 week 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.
  9. Budget Request Forms must be submitted to the Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Committee members at least two days prior to the Committee meeting.
  10. The Committee shall consider and deliberate on requests in sessions open to the CSA, except for Spring Allocations.
  11. 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.
  12. In addition to following the above criteria, the Committee shall encourage the organization to seek alternate sources of funding.
  13. Appeals of the Committee recommendation shall be made to the Senate during the meeting that the recommendation is being considered.
  14. 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.
  15. Instances of reported financial misconduct shall be resolved by the Treasurer in consultation with relevant organizations and the College.
  16. 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.