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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

F-board creates new club finance system

Published: February 12, 2010
Section: News

The Student Union Treasurer and the Finance Board (F-Board) have created a new online structure to coordinate funding requests for university clubs and societies. The Student Union Management System (SUMS) is a new Web organization to simplify the “funding marathon” timeline.

Before the online system, club leaders had to submit a request for funds by filling out paperwork that then had to be approved by university budget analyst Steven Costa. This process took between three to five days, according to Student Union Treasurer Daniel Acheampong ’11.

“Over the past years, F-Board and the Office of the Treasury have spent hours on end organizing the reimbursement forms,” Akash Vadalia ’12, F-Board chair and assistant treasurer wrote in an e-mail to The Hoot.

Under the new system, all clubs’ requests for funds will be submitted online and the requests will then be immediately available for review by the F-Board and treasurer.

In addition, Club leaders and the board can now view all activity regarding funds virtually. Acheampong said he hopes the new system will facilitate better communication and efficiency in club funding transactions.

“We wanted to increase efficiency to make sure that we get things moving quickly, and also transparency,” he said. “We want club leaders to understand where the money is coming from and also where the money is going,” he said.

The Finance Board is responsible for distributing funds to the specific clubs, while the treasurer’s office is in charge of overseeing and managing that funding.

“This was a great investment and has become the new front of finances,” Vadalia wrote. “We have made some general changes in our funding scope, but have really tried to simplify the funding and reimbursements for clubs.”

Acheampong said he did not see any potential major problems with the new system but added, “With any new system, you always want to improve it.”

Vadalia added that the only potential problem he could foresee would be related to trouble with the Internet connection or other technical glitches.

When asked about what they evaluate to determine club funding, Vadalia wrote, “We look for honesty and reality when it comes to funding.”

He also wrote that the Finance Board has “been much more lenient than past years” in terms of allocating funds to clubs.

“When we get a request for a certain amount of money, we look at the club that is requesting it, the history of the club’s spending, the size of the club, the activeness, and occasionally the number of events they hold per semester,” Vadalia wrote.

But the Finance Board also considers the goals of the organization as well as the type of event they are planning, according to Acheampong.

“[We] want to see that the money is spent well,” Acheampong said. “Everything that we do is for the benefit of the Brandeis community.”

Four information sessions were held late last month to inform club leaders about the system and the new way to make online requests, according to the Treasurer Web site.