What is SBAC?
The Student Budget Advisory Committee, known as SBAC, is an independent branch of Student Government. Throughout the year, SBAC is charged with allocating operating budgets for all chartered student organizations and overseeing the way these funds are spent. To this end, the Committee hears and votes on funding requests weekly, in addition to operating budget requests in the Spring semester.
SBAC is chaired by the Student Government Treasurer and is comprised of a voting body of representatives who are appointed through an application process each year. This process is overseen by the outgoing and incoming Student Government Treasurers.
Importantly, Representatives on the Committee are not required to attend General Assembly meetings of the Wake Forest Student Government. Because of this, the Student Government Treasurer serves as the link between the General Assembly and SBAC.
Each year, the University provides $600,000 to be apportioned amongst all chartered student organizations. These funds are designed to cover both the annual budgets and operating expenses of these groups, and SBAC is charged with allocating them accordingly.
Initial budget allocations happen during the Spring semester for the following academic year. Additionally, SBAC meets on a weekly basis to hear and vote on capital, contingency, and reallocation funding requests.
Groups should note that unspent funds in an operating budget do not roll over for use in the following year, but are absorbed into the SBAC reserve fund. These funds are then used to support capital and contingency funding in future years.
What is SOFO?
The Student Organization Finance Office (SOFO) oversees all fund usage by chartered student organizations. This office is independent of SBAC and should be contacted with questions regarding Declining Balance (DB) Cards, invoice payments, and preapproved reimbursements. For more information, please visit their website.
As a general rule, SBAC is responsible for the allocation and approval of funds, while SOFO oversees the spending of these funds once approved. If you have a question about getting funding, talk to SBAC (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you would like to spend money you already have, reach out to SOFO (email@example.com).
What is SAF?
The Student Activity Fee Fund (SAF) is a voting committee comprised of students and administrators created to enhance campus-wide social, recreational, and community-building activities. Although Student Government holds one seat on the committee, SAF acts independently of SBAC and is charged with allocating the Student Activity Fee that all Wake Forest undergraduates pay for campus-wide events. Importantly, SBAC focuses on organization specific activities, while SAF allocates to organizations wishing to host a campus-wide event. As such, organizations may utilize a combination of SBAC and SAF funds. For more information on this distinction or to apply for SAF funding, visit their website.
What is the Treasurer’s Portal?
The Treasurer’s Portal is your organization’s one-stop shop for all funding information. All Presidents and Treasurers are required to be members in order to apply for funding, but any organization leaders are welcome to join. Throughout the year, communications regarding important dates, updated funding guidelines, and training requirements will be posted through the Treasurer’s Portal. Forms to apply for all types of funding are also found there. For more information, visit the Portal here.
Structure of SBAC
The Student Government Treasurer serves as the Chair of the Student Budget Advisory Committee. In this capacity, they are responsible for overseeing all meetings, managing votes on funding, and serving as a link between SBAC and the General Assembly.
Each year, the Chair selects two already appointed Representatives of SBAC to serve as Co-Chairs for the academic year. These Co-Chairs are responsible for aiding the Chair in their duties and may serve as the Chair sees fit.
Each year, representatives are appointed through an application process overseen by the outgoing and incoming Student Government Treasurers. Representatives are responsible for hearing and voting on funding requests each week, in addition to serving as the primary point of contact for their assigned organizations.
Capital, Contingency, and Reallocation
Capital, contingency, and reallocation funding requests are heard and voted on by the Student Budget Advisory Committee (SBAC), chaired by the Student Government Treasurer. All requests must be in accordance with SBAC funding guidelines which can be found on the Treasurer’s Portal, and all funding decisions made by the Committee are final.
An organization is eligible to apply for Contingency Funding for events that were not funded during the annual budget process. Newly chartered student organizations may apply for Contingency Funding. Other examples are events, speakers, club sports regional and national competitions, etc. that were not able to be planned in advance of the annual budget cycle.
An organization is eligible to apply for Capital Funding for one-time expenditures that are not operational in nature. They are intended for the improvement of student organizations. These items must stay with the organization and school. Examples are sports equipment, team uniforms, electronic equipment, banners, etc.
Request for Reallocation of Existing Funds
An organization is eligible to request a Reallocation of Existing Funds whenever they wish to use previously allocated funds within their operating budget to cover an expense different from what was originally intended. Importantly, this request does not entail additional funding from SBAC, and all expenses are still subject to SBAC funding guidelines.
Reallocations under $1,000 do not require an organization to present before SBAC, but the Committee reserves the right to request a presentation at any time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get in touch with SBAC?
Each week the Student Government Treasurer holds office hours in Benson 304 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM on Monday and Wednesday. These are open to all students and are a great way to discuss any funding questions you may have. Additionally, you can always send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have or to make an appointment with the Treasurer!
Who is my SBAC Representative?
Each year, SBAC assigns Representatives to organizations at the end of September and will reach out to your organization’s leadership via email. For a complete list of SBAC representatives and their organizations, check the Treasurer’s Portal.
Who should I go to first with questions about my organization’s budget or funding requests?
Your SBAC Representative! Each year, all chartered student organizations are assigned an SBAC Representative that can help answer any funding or budgeting questions they may have. They serve as your primary point of contact and are your best resource for getting more information.
Where can I find my organization’s budget?
Each organization’s budget can be found on their organization’s page on The Link. Keep in mind that groups are required to apply for each year’s budget in the previous spring semester, so it is possible that your organization might not have an operating budget for this year if you didn’t apply. If you have any questions regarding your budget, feel free to reach out to your SBAC Representative!
Where can I apply for Capital, Contingency, and Reallocation funds?
All funding requests to SBAC must be submitted through the Treasurer’s Portal. Once submitted, your organization can sign up for a time to present to SBAC! Unless you are submitting a reallocation request for under $1,000, all organizations applying for funding must present before SBAC before the request can be considered.
Can my organization purchase food with SBAC funds?
Yes! SBAC allows up to $250 per year per organization to be spent on food, with special allowances being considered for religious organizations.
Can I be reimbursed for something I personally paid for?
No, the only expense that SBAC will reimburse organization members for is mileage that has been preapproved by the Committee. Organizations should always request a DB Card at least three days in advance of an expense to ensure items can be paid for with SBAC funding.
What is an Agency Fund and how can I use it?
An organization’s Agency Fund is comparable to an on campus bank account that organizations can carry between years. The Agency Fund may be used for purchases that SBAC will not fund, though all items purchased with an Agency Fund are still subject to SBAC guidelines. To set up an Agency Fund and see how your organization can use it, contact SOFO.
I want to host an event open to the entire campus, which group should I go to for funding?
The Student Activity Fee Fund (SAF) is the best group to handle funding for campus wide events. Groups wishing to apply for event funding should first find appropriate data and reserve an event space. The next step is developing an event plan and budget. When you’re ready, submit a Student Event/Initiative Funding Request Form, found on the SAF Portal on the Link.