SGA funding for certified & recognized student groups starts with the Student Activities Fee. This fee is roughly $40 per semester for full-time students, and $20 per semester for part-time students. Once this fee is collected from all students at the University of Maryland, the administration and disbursement of the fee is ultimately governed by SGA's bylaws, which can be found in full below.
Distributing the Fee The Student Activities Fee (SAF) is then automatically allocated to fund various offices and governing bodies, such as the Undergraduate Student Legal Aid Office, SORC, SEE and SGA, based on preset percentages of the fee. These percentages can be found in the SGA bylaws, but are generally quite small, as this leaves over $1 million available to be allocated to student groups for programming. This is the point in the process where you, as members of student groups on campus, get involved. The remainder of the SAF is then split up into monthly pots to be allocated through the six allocation periods per school year, as well as the Group Help emergency funding program.
The Monthly Allocation Process Starting in September 2013, the SGA Funding Process transitioned from a once-per-semester budgeting process to a rolling three times per semester rolling process. The switch was to made in order to simplify the process for groups, allowing for more accurate planning and budgeting for their programs. Additionally, it minimizes the amount of funds that go unspent, thereby increasing the amount available to be allocated. For more detailed information about the monthly process, please refer to the Funding Guide under the 'Applying for Funds' tab in the above navigation pane.
A quick general timeline of how one month's allocation process runs:
One or more Budget Training Workshops are held by the VP of Finance in order to educate student groups about the Funding Process and its rules and regulations. Attendance is required for groups that would like to be considered for any type of SGA funding.
The month's funding application opens on Terplink, and is advertised to student groups. The Finance Committee holds office hours to answer any questions that student groups may have. The application must be completed in full & in accordance with the Finance Manual, and turned in to the finance committee prior to the deadline, in order to be considered.
Once the deadline has closed, all applications are fully reviewed, vetted, and voted on by the members of the Committee members. This process usually takes about 1-2 weeks after which, the initial results are announced to all student groups that applied for funding.
Groups that are unhappy with this initial result may request an appeal to the Committee. This appeal is generally meant to remedy any mistake that the Finance Committee has made in its ruling, and the student group is not allowed to introduce new information, such as new documentation.
The results of the appeals to the Committee are then announced individually to those groups individually. If at this point the group is still unsatisfied with the results, they have the opportunity to appeal to the SGA Legislature at the next general body meeting. More information is provided on a case by case basis.
The VP of Finance will present the committee's recommendations for funding in that month to the full SGA legislature. As the legislative bill is passed, the month's allocations become official, and the transfer process of funds into each group's account begins.
Disclaimer: the above information is intended to help you better understand the SGA Funding process, and is not intended to serve as a concrete resource or as a reason to fund or not fund a program. Funding applications are reviewed in accordance with the SGA Bylaws, the Finance Manual, the Discretionary Guidelines, and any applicable University of Maryland, or Maryland state policies and laws.
Both the SGA and Student Groups are responsible for the fair and equitable use of the Student Activities Fee. These expectations are laid out in in full in the SGA ByLaws: Article VII, Section 1:D, Section 2, and Section 4.