About the Undergraduate Finance Board
What is UFB?
The Undergraduate Finance Board (UFB) is a 12-person, elected board of Brown University undergraduates responsible for allocating the Student Activities Fund to student groups and initiatives on campus. Every undergraduate student pays $286.00 of their tuition into this fund, which amounts to approximately $2,000,000 in total, almost all of which is allocated every year.
Where does the money go?
UFB meets in April to allocate the majority of funds to student groups during Annual Budgeting. Any additional funding is allocated during the academic year via Supplemental Budget requests. The money is allocated to 50 Category II, 150 Category III, and 50 service groups, in addition to programming for identity centers, such as the the Brown Center for Students of Color (BCSC), LGBTQ Center, and Sarah Doyle Women’s Center (SWDC).
What else does UFB do?
UFB also helps students create their budgets, works with the Undergraduate Council of Students (student council) to arrange contracts on behalf of the student body, collaborates with the Brown administration to update the Student Activities Fee, provides funding for large-scale investment projects designed by student groups, and assists student groups with their budgeting concerns and fundraising goals.
How can I learn more about UFB's operations?
You can explore this website further or you can also download and view both the "UFB Constitution" and the "UFB Code of Operations" below. If you still have questions about anything related to UFB, please fill out the form here or reach out to Lisa or Julian directly!
History of the Board
Before the existence of the Undergraduate Finance Board, the Student Activities Fund was allocated by both the Student Union and the Undergraduate Council of Students. These two bodies budgeted independently, requiring student groups to apply to not one but two bodies in order to fund raise. There arose, in the complex budgeting process, numerous problems with this system. According to the Report of the Budget Process Review Committee, the past structure "impede[d] communication, compromise[d] consistency, create[d] confusion, and splinter[ed] accountability."
Lack of communication led to inconsistent budgeting decisions. The two bodies were forced to look at a tiny part of the whole picture, leading to groundless allocations. Groups had to go back and forth between the Student Union and UCS because each was more concerned about the other's accountability than its own; sometimes, groups would be accidentally funded twice or not at all. According to the original proposal for the creation of UFB, "The right hand [knew] not the actions of the left."
The Undergraduate Finance Board was created on November 26, 1984, as a joint agreement between the Undergraduate Council of Students and the Student Union. It was intended to be " A Central Budget Group," according to the original proposal, and has continued to retain that original purpose. All members of the Undergraduate Finance Board are undergraduate students at Brown University, ensuring that the students' money is in student hands.