Because many faculty advisers are busy or away from campus, club leaders may now request budget balance updates from Director of Student Activities Anthony Manno as well as from their advisers.
At the request of Diane Philipp, vice president for student affairs and dean of women, Business Office Director Amy Massey ensured Manno is on the list of approved advisers for all on-campus organizations to ease and quicken communication between the business office and student club leaders.
That means in addition to faculty advisers, Manno may now request a budget update for any on-campus club from the business offices. Student club members and leaders — even the president and treasurer — don’t have permission.
Since clubs have “in-and-out” accounts instead of general ledger accounts, business office employees are the only people that have access to their accounts, Massey said.
Matt Vanisacker, president of the Interfraternity Council, said not being able to see the budget has slowed down and altered IFC’s activities. In years past, Vanisacker said the account balance information the council received, at times, were incorrect.
In one instance, IFC made plans to partner with the Student Activities Board for an event and promised to contribute funds based on the amount of money in its account, Vanisacker said. He said he later learned the account held less than what the IFC’s adviser was told. As a result, the council couldn’t contribute its full share.
“It’s frustrating because it’s hard to do my job well, when I don’t know how much money we have,” IFC Treasurer senior Kelly Cotes said.
Massey said she cannot provide that information to students because student leadership positions change so frequently. She only receives an updated list of advisers.
“Having one point of contact for me, that would be the most ideal, but the advisers can involve whoever they would like to be involved,” Massey said.
Massey suggested advisers carbon copy student leaders to email requests for the amount of money in club accounts so that students can see the information just as quickly as advisers.
Vanisacker also said the process of receiving funds is challenging. There is no simple way to sponsor funds up front, he said. The business office generally reimburses students for club costs, after showing a receipt. The process makes it difficult for students to make large purchases like when IFC was planning a barbecue last year when they don’t have several hundred dollars to spare, Vanisacker said. IFC’s new adviser John Quint, assistant director of career services, often foots the bill until the reimbursements are ready.
Massey said she doesn’t know of another way to reimburse students up front.
“We have checks available once a week; we process requisitions as quickly as possible,” Massey said. “But that’s the other piece of going through the advisers: The advisers will know how a requisition should be filled out, what receipts need to be there, what signatures will be there.”
But some said they would like student leaders to have more control of club accounts.
“It’s kind of sad that the treasurer of the organization — who’s in charge of putting together a budget for the semester — doesn’t even have access to figure out what we need to spend things on,” Vanisacker said.