General Guidelines All funds allocated to an organization must be spent in accordance with the organization’s charter, procedures established by the Office of the Student Treasurer, the guidelines of the Student Financial Charter, the rules and policies of Oberlin College, and all applicable laws.
If a Student Controller, Student Treasurer, or other member of the OST believes that a request for payment, requisition for purchase, or any other spending form represents an inappropriate use of student funds, per the aforementioned guidelines, they may stop that form from being processed. In any questionable cases, the decision of the Student Treasurer is final. If the Student Treasurer determines that an organization treasurer has misused SFC-allocated funds, the Student Treasurer reserves the right to charge the treasurer’s term bill in order to recover the funds.
Any unused money in an organization or hall council’s account, unless earned through income or fundraising, automatically will roll back into the Student Activity Fund at the end of the fiscal year, and will be available for allocation by the SFC in the following year.
Permitted Transactions Funds from the Student Activity Fund may be used for the following pursuits and organizational purposes:
The costs of student events, activities, and programming. This includes, but is not limited to the costs associated with: sports games and tournaments; on-campus conferences, speaker series, or lectures; religious events and observances; protests and activism; banquets and cultural events; concerts; movie screenings; plays, recitals, and performances.
Outreach to the student body, such as publicity and advertising for interest meetings, activities, and events.
Paying the honorariums and other professional costs of speakers or performers.
Costs associated with the maintenance of an office, such as basic supplies, media, and phone bills.
Equipment necessary for organizational functions; upgrades to existing equipment; storage space and security; and transportation of equipment. The SFC will not fund equipment unless the organization can demonstrate that they have a secure location in which to store it (such as an office: residence hall rooms or off-campus houses are insufficient). All equipment requests must be accompanied by a current inventory of all equipment possessed by the organization.
Compensation to students, organizations, or professionals for services rendered.
Costs for any other purchase or activity that enhances the quality of student life at Oberlin, with the approval of the SFC.
Prohibited Transactions Certain items or types of spending are either entirely or partially prohibited for monies from the Student Activity Fund
Completely prohibited: firearms, explosives, weapons, illicit substances or items. No exceptions--the SFC will not allocate funds for these, and organizations may not purchase them, regardless of the source of funding. Any attempt to violate this policy may result in the responsible students being referred to the College judicial system.
T-shirts, clothing, and accessories such as hats, buttons, patches or bracelets. Exceptions may be made for uniforms or for items that have Oberlin College branding.
Gifts or prizes. The SFC will not allocate funds towards these unless the items have Oberlin College branding. SFC reserves the right to deny funding request for gifts. Organizations may purchase gifts with their income.
Transfers to other student organizations, projects, College offices, or departments. Organizations may only transfer SFC-allocated funds to organizations with an existing account, and only with the approval of the OST.
Donations to outside organizations. The SFC will not allocate funds towards these, but groups may make donations to outside organizations with their own income.
Alcohol. The SFC will only allocate funds for the purchase of alcohol to religious organizations for which alcohol constitutes a core aspect of a religious event. No other organizations may request or purchase alcohol.
SFC is a 7 member student board working to equitably allocate the Student Activity Fund to all Oberlin student organizations and individual student projects. OST is the sister organization handling form processing, confirming allocations, and requests for payment/purchasing cards. SFC and OST members meet multiple times a week to review budgets, vote on allocations, and vote and discuss policy, lead working groups with student organizations, and hold office hours to serve as a counselor for students seeking guidance about funding and student government.