Student Bar Association

Constitution

ARTICLE X

Budget and Student Groups

  1. Budget Committee
    1. The SBA Treasurer chairs the eight-member budget committee, which consists of the class presidents or their designees, and the 2D vice-president or in their absence the 3D vice president or further in their absence an additional representative from a day division class board. The SBA Treasurer only votes in case of a tie, and has discretion to yield his or her vote to the SBA President in cases of conflict of interest. The SBA President serves as an ex-officio member. The SBA Comptroller serves as an ex-officio, non-voting member, and may serve as chairperson of the committee in the absence of the SBA Treasurer. Each fall the committee proposes an annual budget for the SBA and campus groups, in addition to a supplemental budget each spring. The committee analyzes budget proposals submitted by organizations and class governments, and prepares written recommendations and spreadsheets for the SBA Executive Council. The committee also develops policy statements regarding funding guidelines, procedures, and preferences.
  2. Budget Process: Fall Semester
    1. The SBA Executive Council shall have the power to allocate student activities funds received from the Dean. The SBA shall allocate funds for its own operation, for class governments, for students groups, and for other events and activities it deems appropriate. In the fall the SBA shall allocate funds for the entire academic year.
    2. Prior to the first day of classes of the fall semester, the SBA Treasurer shall meet with the Dean and other administrators to determine the student allocation of activities fees for the coming academic year. The SBA Treasurer shall transmit in writing this figure, along with any surplus from the previous academic year, to the SBA Executive Board and SBA Budget Committee. The SBA Treasurer shall also meet with the Dean of Student Affairs to determine the respective responsibility of the administration and the SBA to fund academic and/or off-campus events.
    3. The Budget Committee shall propose Budget Rules that create guidelines, limits, and rules for allocating funds for classes and organizations. The SBA Executive Council shall adopt such Budget Rules prior to the commencement of the budget process. The Budget Rules contain information on: policy statements and preferences, sample budgets, information on treasurer's workshops, deadlines, meetings times and places, reimbursement request procedures and deadlines, distinctions between non-discretionary and discretionary funds, funding restrictions (travel, long-distance phone calls, subscriptions, dues, registration fees), elected reversions, spending prior to group allocation, new groups, probation, supplemental spring allocations (see below), required group information (officers, constitution, and activities), the SBA Treasurer's reporting requirements, information on contacting Budget Committee members, and the budget appeals process. In the event that the Budget Committee must meet prior to the first meeting of the fall, the executive board may approve said rules.
    4. The SBA Treasurer shall prepare budget packets and forward them to all student groups, in addition to posting all such materials on the SBA bulletin boards, and forwarding copies to all SBA Executive Board and Budget Committee members, and the Dean of Student Affairs.
    5. The SBA Treasurer shall hold at least two treasurer's workshops (one during the day, and one during the evening) to provide information and answer questions from student groups regarding the budget process. The treasurer's workshops may be conducted in conjunction with other mandatory training and are a requirement for student groups to participate in the allocation of SBA controlled funds through the budget process.
    6. The budget deadline for submission of group budgets shall be set no sooner than the conclusion of the fall elections for first year class officers. The budget materials shall prominently note that late or incomplete budgets are not guaranteed funding. The Budget Rules shall require that multiple copies of budgets be submitted, so that each committee member has a copy. After the budget deadline, the SBA Treasurer shall distribute one complete budget submissions packet to each Budget Committee member.
    7. The SBA Treasurer shall post a hearing schedule on the SBA Office door, requiring groups to sign up for designated periods for Budget Committee hearings. The budget materials shall prominently note that a group representative may attend a Budget Committee hearing to present their budget and answer committee questions. The committee shall have the authority to deny funding to groups who fail to send a representative to the budget hearing. The SBA Treasurer shall also post the funds available for allocation and the individual requests of each student group on a single spreadsheet to be presented to the SBA Executive Council.
    8. Quorum for the Budget Committee shall consist of the SBA Treasurer and five (5) voting members. The SBA Treasurer shall make every effort, through the use of alternates designated by the class presidents, to insure that six (6) voting members are present at each hearing. Immediately upon the conclusion of the hearing, the Budget Committee shall retire into executive session to debate and vote on the SBA, class, and group allocations. The Budget Committee shall conduct a thorough line-by-line analysis of each budget request.
    9. The SBA Treasurer shall transmit the Budget Committee's recommendation, which shall be reached by a simple majority vote of the committee, to the SBA Secretary.
    10. Groups may contest their proposed allocation according to the guidelines set forth in the Budget Rules by the budget appeals process.
    11. The SBA Treasurer shall present the proposed budget in detail, and answer questions from SBA members and other students before debate begins.
    12. The SBA Executive Council shall approve the proposed budget as a whole by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote. If the body decides to separately consider individual line items, the body may approve individual items under one thousand dollars ($1,000) en bloc (as a whole) by a simple majority vote, with all other items exceeding $1,000 requiring separate two-thirds (2/3) majority votes for approval. In all cases the body shall vote in open session by roll call vote.
    13. Upon adoption of the budget, the SBA Treasurer shall prepare an approved copy of the budget, and submit it to the SBA Secretary for distribution to all members and the student body pursuant to his/her duties of office.
    14. In all budget materials, the SBA Treasurer shall prominently note that allocated but unspent funds (excluding fundrasing) revert back to the SBA, and that the SBA shall redistribute those funds in the spring supplemental budget process. The reimbursement deadline for fall group spending shall be determined by the SBA Treasurer, however, no later than the last day of examinations of the fall semester.
  3. Spring Supplemental Budget Process
    1. Prior to the beginning of spring semester classes, the SBA Treasurer shall ascertain the amount of allocated but unspent funds from the fall semester. The SBA Treasurer shall calculate the percentage of allocated funds that each group spent. The SBA Treasurer shall then revert any unspent funds back to the SBA. The SBA Treasurer shall transmit in writing this information to the SBA Executive Board and SBA Budget Committee.
    2. The SBA Treasurer shall prepare the spring supplemental budget packets and forward them to all student groups, in addition to posting all such materials on the SBA bulletin boards, and forwarding copies to all SBA Executive Board and Budget Committee members, and the Dean of Student Affairs.
    3. The SBA Treasurer shall thereafter conduct the spring supplemental budget process in the same manner as the fall semester budget process, without reference to the election of first year officers. In all budget materials, the SBA Treasurer shall prominently note that the supplemental budget process does not effect the fall student group allocation, but simply provides additional funds for spring semester activities.
    4. In all budget materials, the SBA Treasurer shall prominently note that allocated but unspent funds (excluding fundraising) revert back to the SBA, and that the SBA shall redistribute those funds in next year's fall semester budget process. The reimbursement deadline for spring group spending shall be determined by the SBA Treasurer, however, no later than the last day of examinations of the spring semester.
  4. Conflict of Interest
    1. An SBA Budget Committee member or voting SBA Executive Council member shall disclose any potential conflict of interest to his or her respective body. The member shall not vote on a budget request where an actual conflict of interest exists. Actual conflicts include, but are not limited to, cases where the member is also an officer in the organization requesting funds. The foregoing rule does not apply to funding requests for the SBA Executive Council, SBA Executive Board, or class governments, nor does the foregoing rule apply when voting on the budget as a whole. A disqualified member shall not be counted to meet quorum.
  5. Student Groups
    1. The SBA Treasurer shall require that organizations provide to the SBA a current list of officers, and shall only reimburse groups when presented with a valid reimbursement request from an officer of record. Each student group shall have at least two officers (president and treasurer).
    2. The SBA Treasurer shall require that organizations provide to the SBA a current copy of their constitution, by-laws, rules, or other chartering document or statement of purpose.
    3. New Student Organizations
      1. Organizations seeking recognition must designate a representative to present the organization to the entire SBA body at a general SBA meeting.  The organization must do the following:
        1. Contact the SBA Secretary to put the organization on the agenda for a general SBA meeting;
        2. Obtain a petition signed by 100 members of the student body.  The petition should contain:
          1. The name of the proposed organization;
          2. A brief purpose statement of the proposed organization; and
          3. The printed name, class year, and signature of the 100 members of the student body.
        3. Devise a Constitution for the organization.
      2. At the general SBA meeting, the representative of the organization must:
        1. Provide the SBA Executive Council the petition signed by 100 members of the student body; the SBA Parliamentarian shall verify the signatures on said petition; and
        2. Present to the entire SBA body the purpose of the proposed organization.
      3. The entire SBA body shall approve the creation of the proposed organization by a simple majority vote after the representative has presented.
      4. If the entire SBA body fails to approve the proposed organization:
        1. The proposed organization will not be created; and
        2. The proposed organization reserves the right to request SBA approval at a subsequent general SBA meeting.  The proposed may do so by contacting the SBA Secretary and requesting the organization be put on the agenda for a subsequent general SBA meeting.  The proposed organization need not obtain another petition signed by 100 members of the student body, unless the SBA Parliamentarian has deemed the initial petition invalid.
      5. If the entire SBA body approves of the proposed organization:
        1. The newly-chartered organization shall remain on probation as a limited student group (LSG) until it meets the requirements for a general student group set forth in the Budget Packet.  If the organization meets said requirements, it will becoming a GSG the following semester.
      6. A representative of the new student group shall meet with a representative from the Office of Student Affairs within two (2) weeks of SBA approval. If this is not possible because SBA approval came within two (2) weeks of the end of the fall or spring semester, a representative of the new student group must meet with a representative of the Office of Student Affairs within two weeks of the beginning of the next semester.
      7. Probation
        1. New student groups: Probation means that the student organization is not eligible for more that the designated operating funds for student groups or such amount as the SBA Executive Council approves for said group.
        2. Student Organizations placed on probation by the SBA Executive Council pursuant to the Budget Policies and Procedures: Probation means that the student organization is only eligible for such an amount as the SBA Executive Council approves for said group.
      8. All student organizations shall conduct executive board elections prior to April 1 of every year. This amendment shall take effect January 1, 2014.
    4. Request for Reimbursement
      1. The SBA Treasurer shall provide to all groups a standardized "Request for Reimbursement" form, which shall require, at minimum, the attachment of an original receipt and certification by a current group officer that the request is valid and pursuant to a line-item allocation by the SBA. The SBA Treasurer shall further provide a "Reimbursement Schedule" at the beginning of each semester to all students groups and members of the SBA Executive Board and SBA Budget Committee. The SBA Treasurer shall not provide any funds to groups in advance of receiving a valid receipt or invoice, and shall encourage student groups to fundraise, and avoid out-of-pocket payments by individual group members.
    5. Refusal to Fund Non-Approved Activities; Reallocation; Rescission
      1. The SBA Treasurer has the ultimate obligation to approve SBA reimbursements to student groups and individuals. The SBA Treasurer shall only fund activities approved by the appropriate SBA budget authority. The SBA Executive Council, by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote, may reallocate student group funds, provided proper notice is given to all SBA Executive Council members (pursuant to the SBA Secretary's duties). An SBA Executive Council member may propose, in writing, to rescind a student group's funds. The SBA Treasurer and the SBA Budget Committee shall investigate and issue a report on said student group, which the SBA Secretary shall distribute in advance of the SBA Executive Council meeting. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote is required to rescind a student group allocation, taken by roll call vote in open session.
    6. SBA Executive Board, SBA Executive Council, Class Governments
      1. The SBA Treasurer shall create separate encumbered accounts for the SBA Executive Board, SBA Executive Council, class governments, and the ABA-LSD Representative. The SBA Treasurer shall report, in writing, the balance of each of these accounts at each regular SBA Executive Council meeting. Class governments may carry-over their fundraising proceeds into the next academic year.
    7. SBA Treasurer's Reports
      1. At the beginning of each semester, the SBA Treasurer shall prepare, in writing, a comprehensive report listing all receipts and expenditures, and all other account activity, for the Student Bar Association for the past semester. The SBA Treasurer shall calculate the percentage of allocated funds that each group spent. The SBA Treasurer shall forward his or her report to the SBA Secretary, who shall distribute the materials to the SBA Executive Council and the student body, pursuant to the SBA Secretary's duties. The outgoing SBA Treasurer shall additionally prepare a year-end report in May, for distribution by the SBA Secretary, to the Dean of Student Affairs, the incoming SBA Executive Council, and the student body.
    8. Public Information
      1. All records of the SBA Treasurer (including, but not limited to, budget submissions and requests for reimbursement) shall be open to inspection, upon request, by any member of the student body, or by the Faculty Advisor. The SBA Treasurer shall redact sensitive and confidential information from the records, including credit card and bank account information, as well as non-reimbursed personal items on group receipts.
    9. Open and Non-Discriminatory Student Activities
      1. The membership and the privileges of all SBA-recognized organizations shall be open to all students of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law equally, without regard to race, national origin, age, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, religion, academic standing, grade point average, or class rank. Any group violating the aforementioned shall not be recognized by the SBA and as such will not be eligible for the privileges of student organizations including but not limited to student funds.

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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Copyright © 2014, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved