GSA Financial policies
Every graduate student pays a club and government fee of 30 euro per year. With ever-increasing amount of graduates at Jacobs University, these money compose quite extensive budget to be used for the benefit of the graduate community. However, the GSA does not still have a clear and transparent policy on how money should be/are spent.
The desicion to come up with a discussion on such issue was based on the demand for clear and transparent policies regarding the budget and money allocation, which came from graduate students themselves, from YOU. Therefore, the GSA as your representative organization would like to hear more on what do you think the policy should be like!!!
If you have anything to suggest about this, express your criticism or concerns about current situation, offer any kind of solution or possible changes, etc., please do so through this forum.
All your messages will be closely monitored by the working group that is formed to compose a policy or a by-law on financial issue to be discussed and voted on by the graduate community on the next Assembly.
We really need your input into this, so the process of composing of such policies will become a truly transparent one!
The first meeting on 29th of March, 2007
The following questions were discussed at the first brain-storming meeting (29th of March, 2007) about the regulation of the GSA financial matters:
- Are financial regulations possible for such different structural elements as schools, programs, and clubs?
- Are there any possible "criteria" for the budget (% , quotas, etc.)?
It was decided that it is important to balance between clarity of the decision-making and flexibility of the policy. Such balance can be reached only through very thorough discussion on different aspects of the matter. That is why the next meeting will concentrate on the following aspects of the financial regulations, as they have been established by now:
- The clearly non-problematic financial decisions and conditions that all graduate students can benefit from and agreed upon;
- The clearly questionable financial decisions and conditions that caused confusion or controversy.
The consensus was reached on the following issues:
- The necessity to clarify and regulate the transparency of any financial decision by the GSA board (all decisions should be properly documented, explanation of the decision should be provided, any "giving away" of the money have to be registered through a form signed by both parties: giver and receiver).
- The budget should be presented to the community at each General Assembly (which will mean every semester).
- Around 1 or 2 months after the elections of the new board, the new Treasurer is to present the budget proposal.
- Around 2 or 3 months before stepping out of the office, the Treasurer is to present an overview of the spending and, if there is money left, it should be announce to the community.
It was discussed to include the following categories into the budget proposal:
- The budget should include big events that the GSA organizes itself (a party and an academic event, for example).
- The new category of GSA student job is also to be a part of the budget planning.
The following question is to be put to the voting by the community before being included into the financial regulations:
- Should the GSA finance private trips or parties that are beneficial to a restricted and small number of graduate students?
Additional points for the financial policy
As it was indicated at the board meeting from 12 April, 2007, the following points are of extreme importance to discuss, clarify and regulate in the financial policy:
1. the goverment fee, its conditions, the history of implementation and the payment options;
2. can a student choose if his/her fee would go to the GSA or to the Student Activities office?
Another important aspect of money allocation:
does the GSA sponsor the on-campus events if students have an entrance fee to pay as well?
some updates of the group work
It was decided to compose a matrix with the main criteria that can help to clarify the financial and social grounds for decisions.
It was also decided not to take the responsibility from the administrative offices and not to encourage the Board to finance clubs traveling or trips as university or club promotion.
It was also decided not to take the responsibility from the Dean's offices of schools and not to encourage an extensive funding for academic activities.
Clubs applications are welcome on the grounds of acquiring equipment or sponsoring an activity open for the whole graduate community.
Program applications can be filed to sponsor social internal events within the general restrictions and guidelines
Funding Guidelines (Reasons for granting money)
The overriding reason for a funding decision is that it should be done in the interest of the graduate community. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the board to discuss as best as possible with the graduate community their requests and thoughts for how their money is best allocated. Below are the general guidelines that previous board members have arrived to with based upon their experience while in office.
- Beneficial to graduate student community
- Open to all graduate students
- Open to some graduate students
- Social events sponsored by the board
- Academic events sponsored by the board
- Academic events planned by a group of graduate students
- Club Funding Request
- Funding of events (i.e. graduation, big parties) that are organized by JUB or undergrads that graduate students are likely to attend
- Events that though open to all, are most likely to draw specific only from specific groups
- Funding of graduate student traveling
- Funding of on-campus events
- Funding of off-campus events likely to draw graduate students (distance covered by semester ticket)
We ask that money not be spent for:
Funding of conference trips:
The reason for this is pragmatic; we cannot fairly judge which conference trips are most deserving of funding. Therefore, we would realistically need to fund all requests which would undermine our ability to meet graduate student needs as a whole.