Annual Grants and Special Fees - under construction for 2016
Petitions and Declaration of Intent website opening February 24th, 2016
Visit ASSU Voter Guide and fill out the declaration of intent for your organization (and begin petitioning, if applicable). This includes groups that have filled out the earlier Declaration of Intent and are already confirmed for the ballot - we use legacy code that requires that the information be taken from the petitions website. The website is live and can be found here.
What Are Annual Grants and Special Fees?
Voluntary Student Organizations (VSOs) wishing to obtain funding from the student body can obtain funding from the student government in one of several ways:
- Quick Grants: drawn from the undergraduate population. These are for when you need money quickly, and are approved by the Undergraduate Senate (UGS) Appropriations Committee.
- Standard Grants: drawn from the undergraduate population. These are the standard method by which VSOs may acquire funding from the undergraduate population during the fiscal year. They are approved by the UGS
- General Fees: drawn from the graduate population. This funding is approved by the Graduate Student Council (GSC), and has a soft cap of $6,000.
- Annual Grants: drawn from the undergraduate population. These are for large expenses that can be predicted accurately.
- Special Fees: for VSOs which request >$6,000 from the graduate population or VSOs who request large amounts of money from the entire Association. Special fees are voted on by the relevant student populations.
Are Annual Grants Right for Me?
Annual Grants were created in the Fall of 2014 as part of Funding Reform. They are intended to be more flexible than the previous Special Fee system for VSOs that wish to draw money from the undergraduate population.
- Annual Grants are intended for expenses that can be predicted accurately
- Groups receiving an annual grant are only allowed to decline servieces to students who have received a refund on their student activities fee for your organization (you may request a list of these students from the Financial Branch)
- There is no restriction on groups that keeps them from applying for both an Annual Grant and smaller Standard and Quick Grants
- This is up to Undergraduate Senate discretion, do not expect to actually receive both an Annual Grant and smaller Standard and Quick Grants
- Annual Grants cannot be spent in ways that violate University policies. All expenditures and uses must abide by all local, state, and national laws and ordinances
- Annual grants are not private - all undergraduates have the right to see your budget and expenditures
Are Special Fees Right for Me: Restrictions on Special Fee Usage
- Special fees budgets cannot be modified once approved (except with legislative approval)
- Special Fees groups are only allowed to decline services to students who have requested special fees refunds
- Special fees cannot be spent in ways that violate University policies. All expenditures and uses must abide by all local, state, and national laws and ordinances
- Special Fees funds are 100% open book-everyone knows how you spend your money
Can My Group Get an Annual Grant or Special Fees? (Restrictions on Spending and Eligibility)
- Only VSOs can get special fees (Most student groups are VSOs)
- Groups may not receive both special fees and general fees in the same year
- Groups should not expect to be able to receive both an Annual Grant and a Standard/Quick Grant in the same year
- There are several important elections requirements that must be met in order to receive an Annual Grant or Special Fee (These are detailed below)
You may want to stop reading. The rest of this page needs some updates.
So How Do I Get Special Fees? (Simple 3-Step Process!)
- Select a sponsor to manage all elections logistics-budgets, disclosures, petitioning, politicking
- There are three ways to get on the ballot (detailed below)-complete one of them.
- ≥15% of the relevant student body must vote on your special fee. You must receive ≥50% of all votes cast to receive special fees.
So How Do I Get on the Ballot?
- Prepare a budget detailing your group's current finances. This information will be attached to petitions and placed on the ballot. You should collect:
- The original budget for the current school year (If applicable)
- The current budget for the current school year
- Your mygroups2 account statement detailing all of your group's transactions this year
- An estimate of expenses for the remainder of the year
- Prepare your desired special fees budget-this will be attached to petitions and placed on the ballot. This is what people will be voting on.
- Use mygroups2
- Talk to the ASSU Funding Manager/Financial Manager if you need assistance
- It is often wise for undergraduate groups to seek guidance from the US Appropriations Committee (In most cases if they like you, your job is easier)
- Appropriations Committee Office Hours will take place on January 30 from 7-9, February 1 from 7-9, and February 3 from 6-8. SSE Funding Coordinator Office Hours will take place every Thursday from 10:00am-12:00pm up until dead week.
- Prepare a special fees disclosure packet. The packet should include:
- Your group's current assets
- Your group's current reserves
- All authorized and unauthorized non-ASSU bank accounts
- ASSU bank accounts
- All sources of funding other than special or general fees, including but not limited to: alumni donations, corporate donations, grants, funding from other University units, and endowment payments.
- You now have a choice. There are three ways to get on the ballot.
- Petition 15% of the relevant student population
- Petition 10% of the relevant student population and obtain a 3/5 vote in favor of your budget from the relevant Assocation legislative bodies.
- You do not have to petition at all if you meet all of the following requirements:
- Your group received ≥50% approval the last time it was on the ballot for special fees (If your group never appeared on the ballot or received <50%, you must petition.)
- You must obtain a 3/5 vote in favor of your budget from the relevant Association legislative bodies
- Your proposed budget must be smaller than your current budget +7.1% (The total amount of your request must be less than 1.071 times the amount of your budget the last time your group appeared on the ballot (You are allowed a 5% increase, plus 2.1% for inflation))
- Obtain desired approval (if any) from legislative bodies (see above for reasons why you might want to do this), submit all budget information (From items 1 and 2 to the Elections Commission, ASSU Financial Manager, and appropriate legislative bodies)
- Submit the information to the Elections Commission online at elections.stanford.edu.
- Fill out your group's declaration of intent online and upload your group's relevant financial documents
- Obtain necessary petition signatures (0%, 10%, or 15% of the student body) by March 1, 2013. See the petition guide.
- If you would like to use a paper petition, use the auto-generated petition form with attachments at elections.stanford.edu
- See the petitioning guide for petitioning guidelines
- If your petitioning was successful, you're on the ballot! Campaign and promote your group.
- Submit the preliminary statement you would like to appear in the elections handbook by April 1, 2013 at 5:00. Statements can be modified up until April 10 at 5:00. After this point, no changes will be permitted. Statements may not exceed 400 words.
- If you would like to oppose any special fee, you can declare yourself a sponsor against that special fee by notifying the elections commission by 5:00 on March 1st or up to 72 hours after the commission releases the special fee's information, whichever comes later. Sponsors may submit a statement of no more than 400 words expressing opposition to a special fee. The first such statement submitted will appear on the ballot. Statements may be submitted up through April 1, 2013 at 5:00.