Last Wednesday, College Council (CC) passed a bylaw change giving it the right to restrict external sources of income and revenue for all official student organizations. CC passed this bylaw not with the intent of preventing student groups from receiving monetary compensation for goods or services, but rather as a tool to help codify preexisting standards and ensure that the entire group benefits from external sources of revenue. The bylaw creates mandatory caps on how much compensation student groups can receive from College-affiliated entities and ensures that student groups create contracts when providing services to non-affiliated parties.
Part of CC’s motivation for this bylaw change was that they provide many of the materials that student groups use, as well as the funding for these groups. “The purpose of this bylaw is primarily to address an aspect of student organization finances that had, as of yet, gone unaddressed in our bylaws,” said Kate Flanagan ’14, CC vice president of academic affairs. “As College Council regularly provides the financing for the materials and equipment that student organizations use to then charge other individuals and entities for goods and services, it seemed like College Council ought to also outline a regulatory policy for external sources of revenue and income that are earned by student organizations.” With the new bylaw, any external revenue that student groups receive must now be deposited into that group’s official CC account, and the money must be declared to the CC treasurer. Important to note is that any funds that remain in these CC accounts at the end of the fiscal year are transferred to the rollover fund.
“An exception to the bylaw’s restrictions is made for student organizations who are providing goods that are not directly in line with their organizational charter for the express purpose of additional fundraising for group activities or charitable work,” Flanagan said. These types of fundraising efforts are restricted by other bylaws within the CC constitution.
The bylaw change comes after CC was made aware of the fact that student groups and college organizations were charging for their services, and in certain cases the payment was going to individual group members instead of the organization as a whole. “College Council passed this bylaw last week to bring some clarity and fairness to these practices and make sure they are in line with college policy,” CC Co-President Max Heninger ’14
said. “It’s awesome that student groups are getting compensated for their hard work. However, there should be a few ground rules. When a group performs a service, the payment should go to the group, not just one or two individuals.” The new bylaw stipulates that no individual student can receive monetary compensation for services rendered on behalf of their group.
“If a student organization receives College Council funding, that money is intended to benefit the organization as a whole and not an individual,” Flanagan said. The change will cap the compensation student groups can receive from College-affiliated entities. Student organizations can now charge a flat rate up to $50 per hour for services provided to individuals and groups affiliated with the College. Each event can bring in $250 per contractual exchange. CC will not, however, set a limit on the amount a group charges for goods provided.
Further, the bylaw states that student groups who perform a service for someone unaffiliated with the College must now work with the Office of Student Life to create a contract.
Important to note is the stipulation in the new bylaw that “any event at which an official student organization is providing services and/or goods for monetary compensation must remain free and open to the student body.”
“This bylaw will ensure that student groups get compensated in a way that’s clear, fair and in accordance with college policy,” Heninger said.