Frequently Asked Questions
To receive funding, clubs must submit requests in a formal marathon period. At least one week before requests are due in a marathon, A-Board will hold mandatory drop-in sessions to help club leaders submit requests. Soon after requests are due, A-Board will release decisions on the requests.
Unfortunately, no. Each marathon has a duration in which a club can use its funding given to them from that specific marathon. Once the marathon expires, so does the clubs funding. The club must then request for more money in the next marathon if needed. Consult the annual calendar for deadlines.
No. It is against the Allocation Board’s policy to retroactively request funding for an event that already happened. If needed, club fundraising or gift funding may be used to pay for past events.
Request for the period in which you will spend the money. Be sure to explain in SUMS that you will be spending the money in the earlier period. Your funding will expire when the funding period closes - be sure to get all your paperwork in beforehand.
The SUMS program allows clubs to create Requested Allocations (RAs) in a Marathon. Specific requests are created as RA Items inside of an RA. Similar requests should be grouped into a single RA. For example, a club requesting 10 notebooks and 50 pencils should create one RA of type “Materials.” Two RA Items of category “Office Supplies” should be created inside of the RA, one for notebooks with a quantity of 10 and one for pencils with a quantity of 50.
After creating an RA, new items must be added to it. Each item must have a description, a cost, and a quantity. Detailed itemization is crucial. For example, if a team is attending a tournament and staying over three nights at a hotel, instead of a single item of $800 for trip, break down the costs. Create an item for a $200 registration cost, and an item with quantity 6 (3 nights with 2 rooms) $100 hotel rooms. Explain each item in the RA description.
Contractor - For speaker honorariums, band costs, performer travel costs, etc.
Conference and Events - For custodians, spaces booked through CES, CES equipment rentals, etc.
Materials/Supplies – If you have an office for your club and you need to replenish supplies.
General - All other expenses (Equipment for individual items $500 or more)
SUMS is the official Student Union financial software and integrates with the larger university financial systems. We are in the process of replacing that system to fit the current needs of the Student Union but that will take some time. In the meanwhile, Google Forms give us the flexibility to gather the information that we need.
There are three versions of the forms, so be sure to use the appropriate one. (Most requests will use the Programming Form.)
For events, one-time contractors, travel, and most other costs, use the Programming Form.
For contractors who do work more than once, use the Recurring Contractor Form.
For supplies that are not connected to events, use the Supply Form.
A-Board will always leave a comment on SUMS when a request is fully or partially denied. We will also happily defend a decision at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more detailed explanations, see the A-Board funding scope.
We categorize denied requests as follows:
Policy: Something specific that violate policies
Equitability: Too expensive, not necessary to spend this much money
Wrong RA Type: Item was classified in the wrong type
Cost: A single part is too expensive, find a better alternative
Scope: All else (event is unclear, not well planned, etc.)
This is a difficult question to answer for a number of reasons. Although we strive for total transparency in our decisions, there are some subjective choices made by the board. In an attempt to stretch our budget as far as we can, we see hundreds of requests at a time and weigh each one against the others.
Each marathon is vastly different from the next in terms of our budget and the number and cost of requests received. While we will always answer for and defend our decisions, we cannot give good estimates before formal decisions are made.
We try to be fair and consistent in our decisions. For more detailed explanations, see the A-Board funding scope.
Some of our guidelines are below:
Is the request an equitable use of union money?
Does the request violate any of A-Board’s policies?
Is the request to beneficial to Brandeis as a whole?
No! In extenuating circumstances, A-Board can vote to reallocate funding, but in general reallocation is not allowed. Email email@example.com for details.