November 14, 2015

Student Activities Tax

Each year, College Council is entrusted with the responsibility of distributing and auditing a portion of the Student Activities Tax. As part of their tuition, Williams students each contribute $121 per semester toward funding student events and activities on campus, totaling approximately $500,000.

College Council votes on funding recommendations made by the Finance Committee. The CC Treasurer leads the Finance Committee, which consists of eight members appointed by CC Campus, the CC Community and Diversity Representative, and three additional members from College Council.

During the spring, College Council votes on an allocation for the All-Campus Entertainment (ACE) concerts. This allocation comes from the SAT for the following academic year, and it is the first portion of the SAT to be given out. ACE is the first group to receive money from Council so that it can recruit optimal performance talent to Williams for the homecoming concert the following fall.

In the fall, the first groups that have access to the Student Activities Tax are the “Subgroups,” or the groups that have received College Council funding for at least two years and have had no major funding violations. Each group treasurer must attend a “Treasurer Training” session led by the CC Treasurer before they can be eligible for funding. In September, the eight appointed members of the Finance Committee meet with each subgroup treasurer to discuss the group’s general budget for the year.

Each group requesting funding writes its own budget based on its specific needs. There is no predetermined sum given to any group or set of groups; and budgets are evaluated by the specific costs and benefits of each line item. After the Subgroup meetings, the Finance Committee analyzes each budget line-by-line and makes a funding recommendation to CC for each Subgroup. CC has the final vote on each budget allocation.

College Council also provides funding to the ACE General Entertainment account, which is used to fund various parties and events throughout the year. The ACE GE budget is approved at the first CC meeting after the initial subgroup vote.

Once the initial Subgroup process is complete, Subgroups may choose to appeal specific portions of their budgets directly to College Council by contacting the CC Secretary. All other groups may begin requesting funds immediately after the first CC meeting by emailing a budget to the Treasurer.

After funds have been distributed to ACE and the Subgroups, the CC Treasurer presents a funding allocation proposal to Council for the remainder of the SAT. This money is divided between several funds:

The General Fund: Any CC-approved group may request money from the General Fund with the exception of Minority Coalition (MinCo) and Williams Activist Coalition (WAC) groups, which may only request from the Co-Sponsorship Fund. General funding may contribute to any general club expenses including athletic equipment, conference or tournament fees, transportation, lodging, etc. No personal items (i.e. food, CDs, individual t-shirts, etc) may be funded under the General Fund.

The Co-Sponsorship Fund: Any CC-approved group may request money from the Co-Sponsorship Fund, and these allocations are approved by the Finance Committee without the consultation of College Council. Co-Sponsorship funding is handed out for all-campus events, and it can be used to pay for personal items. All groups requesting Co-Sponsorship money are asked to consult other sources like the Dean’s Office, the MCC, etc as listed on the Supplemental Funding Form on the Student Life website.

The CC Projects Fund: Students are asked to submit their ideas for improving the campus through the CC Great Ideas Campaign. Student projects that benefit the Williams Community may be considered for funding.

The Benefit Fund: This fund can be used for charity events on campus. No money may be directly given to charity or any other external organization; all contributions must be suggested donations.

The Nationals Fund: This fund is reserved for teams that qualify for national tournaments during the year. Since funds are limited, most Nationals requests cannot be funded in full.