Student Activities Funding Commission - Guidelines

These funding guidelines articulate the extent, limitations, and processes by which student organizations may obtain and use commission funds. All student organizations which have business with the Commission are expected to understand and follow these guidelines. Should a conflict arise between these guidelines and the bylaws of the Commission, the bylaws shall supersede these guidelines.

Adopted by the Student Assembly on Thursday, April 24, 2008. Last amended on Monday, April 9, 2018.

1 Definitions

1.1 Terms

SAFC Appeals Board

A conditional allotment of funds by the Commission in response to a request for funding. In releasing an allocation, the Commission does not guarantee payment of any particular or reimbursement expense; rather, it promises to set aside funds which may be used towards certain expenses, subject to all applicable university and statutory regulations. 
The organization or organizations who are parties to the application.
An application consisting of several requests for funding submitted to the SAFC by one or more applicants.
Business day
A business day shall be any day the Office of the Dean of Students is open for regular business and regular undergraduate classes are in session.
A member of the SAFC.
Fiscal year
A university fiscal year which extends from July 1 to June 30 in the following calendar year.
New organization
An organization that either did not receive or did not spend any funds allocated by the SAFC during the previous two fiscal years.
Price quote
A price quote is a good faith estimate of the cost of goods or services for which the applicant is requesting funds. To be valid for the Commission the price quote must:
  1. be dated within the current academic semester;
  2. be written in English or be accompanied by a written translation to English; and
  3. include:
    1. unit costs or prices for each requested expense for which the quote issued as documentation, and
    2. cost of shipping and handling, if additional funding is requested for those costs.
Registered student organization
An organization which has a current and complete registration on file with the Campus Activities Office. 
Returning organization
An organization that received and spent funds allocated by the SAFC during the previous fiscal year.
The Student Assembly (the assembly) is the undergraduate student government of the university under which the Commission is chartered.
Student Activities Funding Commission (the Commission)
Student Activities Funding Commission Appeals Board, herein the Appeals Board, acts as the appellate body charged with facilitating and deciding SAFC funding appeals.
Campus Activities Office
The Campus Activities Office is an administrative unit of the university which grants registrations to student organizations, allowing them certain privileges on campus, including the right to apply for funds from the SAFC. The office also provides extensive information and advisory resources to officers of registered student organizations.

1.2 Version of Record

The version of the guidelines posted on the Student Activities Funding Commission OrgSync website is the version of record, and it shall supersede any other existing versions. The Campus Activities Office shall maintain and modify this version according to the procedures for amendment. Commissioners and other parties may not alter the effect or applicability of the bylaws or guidelines by misstatement or misinterpretation.


2 Applicants

This section establishes rules and procedures governing the interactions of applicant organizations and the Commission.


2.1 Eligibility

2.1.1 Basic Requirements

To be eligible to request funds or to spend allocated funds an applicant must:

  • register with and be approved by the Campus Activities Office by when the budgets are due in each semester
  • declare during the Campus Activities Office registration process that the group intends to apply for SAFC funding during that academic year; prior to the first deadline for funding requests in the fall semester, if funding is sought in the fall, prior to the first deadline for funding requests in the spring semester, if funding is sought in the spring;
  • have undergraduate members who comprise at least sixty percent of its total membership, excluding alumni members; and,
  • be in good standing with the Commission.

Officers of the applicant must also meet the following requirements:

  • president and treasurer must agree to abide by standards for ethical conduct; and, 
  • president, treasurer, and advisor must affirm their approval for each request either by digital signature as the Commission provides on the specific budget.
    • Registered president, treasurer, and advisor must be three distinct individuals
  • The signatures of the president, treasurer, and advisor must match the names listed on the group's profile page in Orgsync

The organization must meet all eligibility requirements as well as submit both requests and supporting materials before the deadlines set by the Commission in order for the Commission to accept and review such requests and materials. The commission may not accept submissions from organizations that have not met the eligibility requirements.

2.1.2 Additional Requirements

An organization which otherwise meets all basic requirements to receive funding will be deemed ineligible to receive funding if either of the following conditions are satisfied: 

  • The organization both shares an essentially identical purpose/mission with another SAFC-funded organization and also that organization’s membership substantially overlaps that of another SAFC-funded organization; or
  • The organization functions in conjunction with one or more SAFC-funded organizations in such a way that both organizations are reasonably perceived as existing for the purpose of increasing the total amount of SAFC-funding received.

Outside of the semesterly allocation decisions, the SAFC, by a majority vote of the Executive Board, will revoke an organization’s funding if it is deemed to be in violation of above requirements. The organization(s) in question may appeal this determination to the SAFC Appeals Board for review

2.1.3 Exception for Unforeseen Circumstances

All organizations that are, at the time of their application, assigned Tier 4, Tier 5, Tier 6, or New Group (Tier 7) must demonstrate that the Treasurer, President, or Advisor attend at least one of three help sessions at a pre-announced date. If the Treasurer or President is unable to attend any of the three help sessions, the President or Treasurer may designate another member of the organization to attend a help session on their behalf.

Organizations that do not meet the above requirement forfeit their right to demand a SAFC Appeals Board Hearing, but may be granted such a hearing at the discretion of the the Chair of the SAFC Appeals Board, for truly exceptional circumstances. The organization will still retain the right to a budget hearing.

2.1.4 Exception for Unforeseen Circumstances

In the event of unforeseen circumstances that would prevent the submission of the organization funding request or the affirmation of said funding request by the president, treasurer, and/or advisor, the student organization must:

  1. Notify both the SAFC Co-Chairs via email to their netid’s available on the Commission website to request a 24 hour extension from the original funding request deadline:
    • This request must include the evidence required below; and
    •  Must be submitted within 24 hours after the funding request deadline
  2. Complete the remainder of their application before the eventual extended deadline. Eligible unforeseen circumstances and associated evidence are the following:
    1. Negligence of advisor; Required evidence: screenshot of written communication with advisor three days prior to the funding request deadline in regards to funding request approval.
    2. Injury or illness of treasurer, president, or advisor; Required evidence: note from a physician or medical professional with date of injury and explanation of event.
    3. Death of treasurer, president, or advisor. Required evidence: at the discretion of the SAFC co-chairs.

The SAFC co-chairs will evaluate the evidence provided and whether or not the circumstance is unforeseen, and notify the organization as decision before funding request reviews commence.
Requests for extension will be evaluated based on:

  1. Demonstration of foresight regarding SAFC rules and deadlines;
  2. Severity of the unforeseen circumstance;
  3. Extent of ineligibility (i.e. completeness of application).

The submission of an extension request should not be construed as a granting of said request. The decision to accept or deny a request for an extension is not subject to appeal. Again, the commission may not accept funding request submissions from organizations that have not met the eligibility requirements.


2.2 Ethical Conduct

Officers of applicants must agree to the Statement on Ethical Conduct prepared by Campus Activities Office by digital or written signature as they provides.


2.3 Suspension and Revocation of Funds

2.3.1 Purpose

To prevent misuse of commission funds, the Executive Board of the Commission may act to temporarily suspend or permanently revoke allocated funds. The Board may revoke funds of an organization if it finds that the organization:

  • does not meet one or more eligibility requirements; or,
  • acted in violation of the Statement on Ethical Conduct.
2.3.2 Suspension of Funding

Either the Office of the Dean of Students or the Chair(s) of the Commission may temporarily suspend an organization’s funds at any time. Any action to temporarily suspend funding of an applicant organization shall last no more than ten business days. Such a decision takes effect only after the following are informed:

  1. the Office of the Dean of Students;
  2. the Chair(s); and,
  3. the president, treasurer, and advisor of the affected organization.
2.3.3 Revocation of Funding

To revoke funding of an organization, the Commission must follow this procedure:


  1. the Chair(s) of the Commission must contact the officers and advisor of the organization, explaining the Commission’s intent and reasoning for proposing revocation of funding; and,
  2. the Chair(s) of the Commission, or a designee, must arrange for a meeting between the Executive Committee and the organization so the organization may:
    1. hear the Commission’s intent and reasoning,
    2. examine any evidence associated with the proposed revocation of funding,
    3. present its case and additional evidence to the Commission, and
    4. negotiate a mutually acceptable remedy; and,
  3. the Executive Board, after deliberating in closed session, may vote to revoke funding.

The decision to revoke funding is subject to appeal by the Appeals Board. Any funds that are revoked remain unavailable to the organization until the appeal process is resolved. 

2.3.4 Limitations

The Executive Board may not revoke funding for more than one academic year and may reverse a decision to revoke funds at any time.


3 Request for Funds

3.1 Budget Request

3.1.1 Purpose

Organizations may obtain funds individually by submitting a funding request. The application is prerequisite to all other requests for funding the organization may submit. 

3.1.2 Basis on Which to Make Requests

The Commission will provide one opportunity for the submission of funding requests each semester.

3.1.3 Permitted Expenses

Organizations may request funds for the following kinds of expense in a budget application:

  1. administrative expenses;
  2. local events;
  3. travel events;
  4. durable goods; and,
  5. publications.
3.1.4 When Applications Are Due

The commission sets deadlines for online submission in its calendar.

3.1.5 When Funds Become Available

The commission sets a date in its calendar when funding decisions are released and funds become available. Once released, funds may be used towards expenses that occur between the first and last days of classes for the semester in which those funds are allocated. Funds remain available until revoked or reverted at the end of the semester in which they are granted.

3.1.6 Maximum Allocation Maximum Funding Determined by Tier Assignment

The commission assigns each organization to a maximum allocation tier, which determines the maximum cumulative amount of funding per semester the organization can receive. Annual Adjustment of Tiers

The commission will annually evaluate the number of tiers and total number of organizations to assign to each tier before assigning organizations to such tiers. The commission may increase or reduce the maximum allocation for the lowest tier throughout the fiscal year depending on the amount of funds available and the number of new organizations that request funding. Initial Tier Assignment

The commission assigns every new organization to the New Group tier in the first semester that it submits a regular funding request. The commission may assign a returning organization to the lowest tier in the second semester if they previously used any of their allocated funding. Requirements to Stay in Tier

The commission completes an annual evaluation of each organization at the end of each academic year to determine whether the organization may remain in the current tier or should be assigned to the next lowest tier in the next academic year. In order to remain in its current tier, the organization must in each semester that it receives funding:

  1. spend a proportion of its allocated funds relative to the total amount allocated that meets or exceeds the efficiency spending percentage (the spending requirement); and,
  2. remain in good standing with the Commission.

The efficiency spending percentage is set by the Commission by the first day of classes in the academic year in which groups are being evaluated.

If an organization does not submit any funding requests in an academic year, the Commission will assign it to the next lowest tier in the following academic year. If an organization is zero funded in one of the semesters, this will be disregarded if the organization qualifies in the other semester with its efficiency spending percentage. Advancement to a Higher Tier

As part of the annual evaluation, the Commission also provides an opportunity for organizations to request advancement to a higher tier for the next academic year. In order to advance to the next highest tier, an organization must:

  1. fulfill all requirements to remain in its current tier; and,
  2. recieve a non-zero funded budget in both semesters in the past academic year and
  3. in at least one semester, spend a proportion of its allocated funds relative to the maximum allocation allowed for its tier that meets or exceeds the tier spending percentage.

The tier spending percentage is set by the Commission by the first day of classes in the academic year in which groups are being evaluated. This is done objectively by the percentages and no format application process is required. New Groups are not automatically moved to Tier 6. Special Cancellation Request

The commission permits the submission of Special Cancellation Requests to allow organizations to remove select funds from the tier and efficiency spending calculation in light of circumstances that were unforeseen at the time of application. The Request must be submitted to the Commission within two (2) weeks of the organization becoming aware of the inability to fulfill the expense. The commission will determine whether or not the circumstances are unforeseen. These may include but are not limited to:

  1. speaker/performer cancellations after the budget was reviewed;
  2. weather conditions prohibiting travel;
  3. a reduction in price after the submission of the original price quote;
  4. injury or illness; or
  5. actual costs are lower than those allocated under negotiated rates. Additional Requirements for Performance Tiers

The commission may designate certain tiers as performance tiers. To remain in or advance into a performance tier, organizations must:

  1. fulfill all of the basic requirements to be eligible for that tier;
  2. submit an annual performance report using facilities provided by the Commission; and
  3. submit a Diversity & Inclusion Plan (DIP) and receive approval from the DIP Task Force in compliance with the guidelines set out for Performance tier groups in United Student Body. This requirement may be waived by the commission's executive board if the organization can provide sufficient evidence that the DIP task did not carry out its duties properly.

The Commission will consider information submitted in the annual performance report in determining whether an organization may remain or advance into the specified performance tier. If the Commission determines that the group is not eligible to remain in a performance tier then the group will be placed into the highest tier that is not a performance tier. Option to Receive Double Tier Amount in One Semester

An organization may elect to receive funding in only one semester. Such an organization may receive twice the maximum allocation permitted for its tier. Maximum Funding Limits under Categories of supported expenses will not double (see 8.1.4, 8.2.6, 8.3.6, and 8.5.2).

To exercise this option, the organization must submit a Fall/Spring Only Semester form to the commission before the first deadline for funding request submissions in the fall semester.


3.2 Special Project Request

3.2.1 Purpose

To allow organizations to request funds in certain new or special circumstances, the commission permits submission of special project requests.


3.2.2 Eligible Expenses

An applicant may request additional funding for any expenses in its funding request or for entirely new expenses under the following conditions:

  1. applicant has received an allocation for the current semester in response to its regular funding request;
  2. special project funding application is submitted both before the deadline for submission as stated in the SAFC calendar and before before any additional requested funding must be used;
  3. additional funds are needed because:
    1. the applicant has new circumstances which:
      1. support a higher allocation than the original circumstances of the allocation, and
      2. could not have been reasonably anticipated or mitigated by the organization before it submitted its original request

The applicant may request expenses solely in the following categories:

  1. local events,
  2. travel events, and
  3. publications.


3.2.3 Application Requirements

Organizations submit special project funding applications using a special project application form available online from the commission website. Forms must be signed by the registered president, treasurer, and advisor of the organization and must include:

  1. identification of the expenses for which additional funding is needed and how much more is needed for each; and,
  2. if the request arises from new circumstances, documentation of new circumstances necessitating the increased allocation, including a showing that the applicant could not have reasonably foreseen such circumstances at the last regular deadline. 


3.2.4 Procedure for Review and Allocation

The commission:

  1. reviews the application at the next date set in its calendar and renders a decision by the same process as for the single organization application, but without a hearing except by request of the Chair(s) of the commission;
  2. rejects the application or any parts of it that do not meet criteria for a special request funding application; and,
  3. considers the parts it accepts on the merits as if they were part of the regular funding request and allocates accordingly, applying any adjustment or maximum allocation restrictions that applied to the regular funding request.

4 Allocation

The commission allocates funds according to these guidelines and its bylaws. Allocations do not guarantee that specific reimbursements or payments will be issued. For this reason, organizations are advised to consult with the Commission before entering into any commitment with financial consequences.


5 Funding Hearings

5.1 Purpose of a Funding Hearing

A funding hearing process is provided to enable organization leaders to meet with commissioners to resolve certain mistakes identified in or arising out of the initial allocation process.


5.2 Eligibility to Request a Funding Hearing

An applicant may only request a hearing regarding a request which:

  1. is submitted in an application; and
  2. received less than the maximum allocation for which it is eligible, which is the lesser of:
    1. the amount requested; and
    2. the difference between the semester tier cap for that group and cumulative funds already allocated to that group in the current semester.

5.3 Procedures

The commission:

  1. will schedule hearings within one week of release of preliminary allocation determinations;
  2. does not allow amendment of the originally submitted request;
  3. accepts additional documentation and statements provided by the applicant which clarify or support the requests included in the original submission; and,
  4. keeps minutes which document the names of participants in the hearing, the questions asked of the applicant, and the responses received.

The applicant:

  1. provides no less than one and no more than three representatives of whom all must be either undergraduate student members or registered advisors; and,
  2. limits responses to the questions posed by the Commissioners.

6 Appeals

6.1 Purpose

The external appeal process assures actions of the Commission are fair and reasonable. An organization may utilize this process only where it can

  1. dispute:
    1. an allocation decision;
    2. a special cancellation request; or
    3. placement into/removal out of a performance tier;
    4. "Additional Requirements" of eligibility outlines in section 2.1.2;
  2. where it can demonstrate that the Commission:
    1. incorrectly interpreted or applied its guidelines or relevant policies; or
    2. wrongly excluded or construed relevant information or supporting documentation in the organization’s application.
    3. It has fulfilled the "Help Sessions" requirement as outlined in Section 2.1.3

An organization may not appeal an allocation decision if it had, but did not utilize, an opportunity for a hearing with the Commission. The burden shall rest on the appealing organization to demonstrate that the Commission erred. The Appeals Board determines the outcome of the appeal.


6.2 Format of Appeal

Appeals are submitted to the Student Assembly Vice President for Finance the Chair of the Appeals Board []. Appeals must include:

  1. name of the organization;
  2. the date and time of the organization’s appeal with the Commission regarding the allocation that is being appealed;
  3. whether the organization is appealing either the Commission’s:
    1. interpretation of its funding guidelines; or
    2. wrongful exclusion of relevant information or supporting documentation;
  4. rationale explaining how the group believed the Commission erred;
  5. a citation of the specific policies in these guidelines or other policies applicable to the Commission’s determination (for example: “SAFC Funding Guidelines Section 8.2.1”); and,
  6. the contact(s) who will represent the organization in the appeal, who must be the registered president, treasurer, or advisor of the organization. 

6.2.1 Composition of SAFC Appeals Board


  1. The SAFC Appeals Board (hereafter: the Board) shall be chaired by the Student Assembly Vice President for Finance, who serves as an impartial chairperson. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson shall cast the deciding vote. In the event that the Student Assembly Vice President for Finance is unavailable to chair a hearing, another voting member of the Student Assembly who is on the Appeals Board will be asked to fill the position
  2. The Board shall be composed of the standing membership of the Student Assembly Appropriations Committee. The SAFC Co-Chairs shall serve as non-voting, ex-officio members of the Appeals Board.
  3. Quorum for the SAFC Appeals Board shall be defined as the Chair and five additional members of the SAFC Appeals Board.

6.3 Receipt of Appeal and Initial Action

  1. The organization must submit completed appeals before the deadline provided by the Commission or, if the Commission does not specify an explicit deadline, within five business days after the Commission releases the decision the organization wishes to dispute.
  2. The Chair of the Appeals Board, after determining the appeal submission is timely and complete, transmits it to the Commission’s Executive Board.
  3. If the SAFC Executive Board agrees with the appeal request in its substance, the Chair of the Commission may notify the Chair of the Appeals Board, who may grant the request without conducting a hearing.
  4. The Chair of the Appeals Board, unless so notified regarding the appeal, contacts the members of the organization within five business days of receiving the review request to schedule a hearing with the Appeals Board.

6.4 Appeal Hearing

In presentation and discussion, the Appeals Board reviews only the actions disputed in the appeal, and neither the affected organization nor the Commission may present new information or documentation that was unavailable when the Commission made its initial decision. The affected organization may be represented by any undergraduate member and the president and treasurer must be in attendance. The SAFC shall be represented by the Commissioners who conducted the Funding Review and Funding Hearing of the affected organization. The affected organization and the SAFC representatives each:

  1. present their rationales; and,
  2. answer questions concerning its presentation.

6.5 Decision

The Appeals Board

  1. deliberates in closed session and, for each disputed action, determines whether Commission erred in its original decision; and,
  2. for each determination that the Commission erred in its original decision, adopts a rationale explaining its determination.

In determining whether guidelines were correctly interpreted the Appeals Board will consider whether the Commission’s application of its guidelines was reasonable. In determining whether the Commission erred in its determination of facts, the Appeals Board will decide based on a preponderance of evidence provided in the hearing.

For each appeal reviewed, the Chair of the Appeals Board:

  1. compiles a preliminary report of all determinations and rationales approved by the Appeals Board
  2. presents a report for the Assembly no less than one week following the decision of the Appeals Board; and,
  3. transmits the adopted report to the Chair(s) of the Commission, the Office of the Dean of Students, and the presidents, treasurers, and advisors of the affected organizations.

For each determination that the Commission erred, the Commission or its Executive Board must within ten business days:

  1. reconsider the disputed action and adopt actions that are consistent with the rationale of the Appeals Board;
  2. report its revised decision to the Chair of the Appeals Board, the Office of the Dean of Students, and the affected organizations.

6.6 Further Appeals

Organizations may appeal a revised decision of the Commission in the same manner as the original decision, but only on the basis of new determinations that were made since the original appeal was filed. Organizations may additionally dispute outcomes of appeals through the university Ombudsman.


7 Reversion of Funds

If an organization has unspent funds remaining in its account at the first business day after the last day of classes in the academic semester in which those funds were allocated, those funds will automatically revert to the Commission.


8 Categories of Supported Expenses

This section describes the kinds of expenses which the Commission may fund.
The following general principles apply to all expenses funded by the Commission:

  1. The commission funds only for expenses that relate to the purpose of the organization as specified in its registration with the Campus Activities Office.
  2. In requests for funding, organizations must always break down the amounts requested in each expense category and specify the permitted expense in the category to which the amounts relate.
  3. Depending on the type of request and the category, additional documentation or conditions may apply to funding requests.

8.1 Administrative Expenses

8.1.1 General Purpose

Administrative expenses support the basic operation and administration of the organization.

8.1.2 Permitted Expenses

The following expenses are allowed under this category:

  1. copying and printing services not related to advertising for specific local events;
  2. chalk;
  3. advertising for recruitment;
  4. repairs and maintenance of equipment;
  5. Willard Straight Hall mailbox rental fee and on-campus storage areas;
  6. web hosting;
  7. social media advertising; and
  8. stickers.
8.1.3 Prohibited Expenses

The following expenses are prohibited under the administrative expenses category:

  1. durable goods and items with a typical or expected useful life of more than one year.
  2. Group and individual membership fees.
8.1.4 Maximum Funding

Administrative expenses may not exceed $200 per semester.


8.2 Local Event

8.2.1 Purpose

This category includes expenses associated with putting on an event, program or practice.

8.2.2 Eligible Events

To be eligible for funding the event must:

  1. occur between the first and last day of classes:
  2. occur on a weekday when classes are in session or a weekend that is not part of a university holiday such as Fall Break or Spring Break; and,
  3. be one of the following:
    1. a practice session for athletic or performance organizations, or
    2. a public event open to the Cornell community to the extent permitted by spatial, temporal, or financial constraints;
  4. not have a primary or substantive purpose of:
    1. conversion/worship
    2. influencing legislation
    3. partisan political activity
    4. raising funds for profit
    5. raising funds for charity, unless the event has another equally substantive purpose related to the mission of the organization
    6. social activity; and, 
    7. comply with the Use of University Property Policy, if it occurs on campus.
8.2.3 Permitted Expenses

The following expenses are permitted under this category if they relate to an eligible event, are not among the prohibited expenses for the category, and are for:

  1. guest performers, including:
    1. honorarium, engagement or coaching fee,
    2. transport,
    3. lodging, and
    4. meals;
  2. venue rental;
  3. professional event production services;
  4. supplies and materials essential to the event;
  5. media rental and licensing fees; and,
  6. copies and chalk
  7. security fees
  8. professional video/sound recording or photography expenses.

If an event is allocated funding, the Commission will provide up to two complementary, vertical eighth-page advertisements or the online equivalent in value to publicize the event in the Cornell Daily Sun. Funding is not allocated for these ads in the organization’s funding request, but the organization may pay for the ads using the Cornell Daily Sun Advertisement Authorization Form.

8.2.4 Prohibited Expenses

The following expenses are prohibited under the local events category:

  1. durable goods and items with a typical or expected useful life of more than one year,
  2. Duplicates functionality or service already available on campus (ex. utensils, cameras)
  3. food other than meals for performers as provided in permitted expenses,
  4. travel expenses for members of the organization to a location within Tompkins County,
  5. honorarium or engagement fee if paid to:
    1. a speaker or performer with whom another organization has negotiated an engagement fee, documented by a Letter of Intent filed with the Commission, for which it is seeking funding from the Commission,
    2. a university student,
    3. a university employee,
    4. an alumnus who graduated within five years, or
    5. a parent, adopted parent, sibling, step-sibling, or child of a Cornell student. 
  6. Any items that are given away,
  7. Entry fees/member dues paid to another SAFC-funded organization.
8.2.5 Application Requirements

Applicant must submit:

  1. price quote documentation for each individual expense; and
  2. a completed Letter of Intent Form for each guest performer for which it requests funds in this category.

A Letter of Intent Form is a form available online from the SAFC, which must be completed by the speaker or performer and the group organizing the event. It is not binding upon either party, but it documents the good-faith intent of the parties to organize the event.

8.2.6 Maximum Funding

The following caps will apply to expenses under the local events category:

  1. Lodging for guest performers may not exceed $100 per night and $20 per person for any additional persons if the guest performer is a group of people.
  2. Meals for guest performers may not exceed $30 per person per day.
  3. Travel expenses for guest performers may not exceed the eligible amount under the Internal Revenue Service rate, listed under negotiated rates.
  4. Expenditures for electronics (i.e. cameras, speakers, etc) are capped at $500
  5. Copies and chalk for publicity may not exceed $20 per event.

8.3 Travel Event

8.3.1 Purpose

The commission funds expenses related to student participation in conferences and tournaments away from the university.

8.3.2 Eligible Events

To be eligible for funding the event must:

  1. be located outside the municipal limits of Tompkins County, New York;
  2. occur between the first day of classes and the last day of exams for the semester in which it occurs;
  3. be organized and hosted by another institution;
  4. not be a retreat in which group members partake in team building, training activities, and other such activities which do not further the purpose of the organization; and,
  5. not have a primary or substantive purpose of:
    1. conversion/worship
    2. influencing legislation
    3. partisan political activity
    4. raising funds for profit
    5. raising funds for charity, unless the event has another equally substantive purpose related to the mission of the organization
    6. social activity.
8.3.3 Permitted Expenses

The following expenses are permitted under this category if they relate to an eligible event, are not among the prohibited expenses for the category, and are:

  1. student travel expenses, including:
    1. transport, and
    2. lodging.
  2. entry fees; and,
  3. national/group dues;
  4. supplies and materials essential to participation in the event.
8.3.4 Prohibited Expenses

The following expenses are prohibited under the travel events category:

  1. durable goods and items with a typical or expected useful life of more than one year,
  2. meals, unless the meals cannot be separated from an otherwise eligible expense, or
  3. social activities, unless the activities cannot be separated from an otherwise eligible expense.
8.3.5 Application Requirements

Applicant must submit:

  1. travel event documentation for each individual event.

Travel event documentation must:

  1. originate from the event organizer in the form of a letter, fax, or website printout; and,
  2. specify:
    1. organizer of the event, including a phone, email, or web contact;
    2. date of the event;
    3. location of the event;
    4. description or subject of the event; and
    5. all expenses associated with the event. 
8.3.6 Maximum Funding

The following caps will apply to expenses under the travel events category:

  1. Student travel expenses for travel events may not exceed the eligible amount under the student travel rate, listed under negotiated rates.
  2. For destinations outside the contiguous United States that are not within 400 miles of Ithaca the Commission will allocate a maximum of $1,500 for travel expenses per event.

8.4 Durable Good

8.4.1 Purpose

The commission funds purchases of items with a useful life of more than a year that are necessary for an organization’s purpose.

8.4.2 Eligibility

To receive funding for expenses in this category, the organization must submit current information about each of the durable goods it has purchased with SAFC funds in the last three years with the current budget request.

8.4.3 Permitted Expenses

Expenses permitted under this category include:

  1. purchase or repair of a durable good which:
    1. has a typical and expected useful life of at least one year;
    2. will be held on campus for active use by the organization for its entire expected useful life;
    3. is necessary to carry out activities related to the organization’s purpose; and,
    4. is intended for use in activities that would be eligible local events, travel events, or publications.
8.4.4 Prohibited Expenses

The following expenses are prohibited under the durable goods category:

  1. is purchased for personalized issue or use;
  2. will not be stored in an on-campus facility managed by the organization or its advisor;
  3. duplicates functionality or service already available on campus;
  4. is used to produce publicity items;
  5. any items that are given away;
  6. speakers unless the purpose of your organization is a performance group;
  7. Apparels that are not uniforms;
  8. Uniforms unless the purpose of your organization is a performance or sports group;
  9. is an office good such as, but not limited to:
    1. Stickers
    2. pens,
    3. pencils,
    4. markers,
    5. paper,
    6. filing cabinets,
    7. hole punches,
    8. staplers,
    9. and paperweights; or,
  10. is among the following:
    1. media for physical copying or production of music or video,
    2. electronics (ex: laptops, iPads, cameras, chargers, computer parts)
    3. software, and video games/gaming system
    4. Televisions, radios,
    5. refrigerator, 
    6. adaptors (ex: dongles, HDMI) or
    7. flash drives and hard-drives.
8.4.5 Application Requirements

Applicant must submit:

  1. price quote documentation for each individual expense.
  2. on-campus (Cornell's Ithaca Campus) storage location for each individual good.
  3. A list of the last 3 semesters of durable goods

8.5 Publication

8.5.1 Purpose

The commission funds production of publications for general distribution to the campus community.

8.5.2 Maximum Allocation

The commission allocates a maximum of $2,500 per academic semester for production of a publication.

8.5.3 Eligible Publications

For expenses to be eligible under this category, they must support production of a publication that:

  1. circulates in the same academic semester funds are issued;
  2. is available to the entire Cornell community and distributed at locations on campus frequented by this community, including campus dining facilities, student centers, libraries;
  3. issue at least 75 copies; and,
  4. include the e-mail, phone, or mailing address for the president, treasurer, and advisor of the organization in each issue.
8.5.4 Permitted Expenses

Expenses are permitted under this category solely for production of eligible publications.

8.5.5 Application Requirements

For each publication, the applicant must provide:

  1. price quote documentation for each individual expense; and
  2. either:
    1. a copy of a recent issue of the publication; or,
    2. in the case of a new publication, a written outline detailing the format, content, and intended audience of the publication.

9 Performance Reporting

Organizations seeking to remain in or advance to performance tiers are required to submit an annual performance report. To facilitate such reporting, the Commission provides means for organizations to submit information about their activities over the previous academic year. The annual performance report will allow organizations to submit responses to the following questions:

  1. How does your organization contribute to Cornell’s campus environment and reputation?
  2. What is your organization’s membership?
  3. Approximately how many students attended any local events your organization held in the past two academic years?
  4. List and describe any awards and recognitions your organization has received in the past two academic years
  5. Describe any travel events and their significance for the organization
  6. Describe your marketing efforts as an organization. Please include information on funds spent on advertising, time spent handing out quarter cards or chalking, ads placed in the Daily Sun, or anything else that you feel is relevant
  7. Describe any steps your group has taken to reduce your organization’s environmental footprint.
  8. How do you ensure your meetings and events are accessible to all members of the Cornell Community?
  9. Describe how your organization currently reaches out to Cornell’s numerous diverse communities, and going forward, how it plans to continue and expand these initiatives. These communities may include but need not be limited to:
    1. Cornell’s 7 undergraduate colleges and schools
    2. Majors
    3. Relevant organizations or groups that support your mission/purpose
    4. Racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, disabled populations
    5. Faculty and staff
    6. Other undergraduate organizations or special interests

10 Calendar

By the last day of classes in any semester, the Commission adopts a calendar of events and deadlines consistent with these funding guidelines. The calendar is subject to change without notice and the online version supersedes any other version. Applicants are expected to review the calendar before making any fiduciary commitments.


Appendix A. Negotiated Rates

The following rates are determined by the Office of the Dean of Students by negotiation and consultation with other units and external vendors that serve applicant organizations. The rates are subject to change by the Office of the Dean of Students without notice.

Some rates are available only to university organizations (organizations that register with a “university” rather than “independent” status). For university-only rates, organizations will have to obtain a quote directly from the vendor.

Expense Type Current Rate Vendor Applies To Updated
Advertising $64.00 per 1/8 page vertical advertisement Cornell Daily Sun University organizations Monday, 16 April 2012
Speaker/performer transportation $0.54 per person per mile US Internal Revenue Service All organizations Monday, 16 January 2016
Student travel rate $0.071 per person per mile SAFC and US Internal Revenue Service All organizations Tuesday, 1 January 2013
Student lodging rate $25 per person per night SAFC All organizations Thursday, 1 August 2013