Category III and Category S groups are eligible to request money from UFB in addition to receiving baseline. These policies are how UFB decides what how to evaluate those funding requests. Please read through our policies before making any requests. If you have any questions or would like support throughout the UFB budgeting process, please reach out to your UFB representative or UFB@brown.edu.

For how to navigate the reimbursement process, please see the Guide to Financial Transactions from SAO.


Recent Policy Changes

October 3, 2019: Transportation Policy Updated. Previously, UFB funded groups to the precise level of the quote (verification of the expected price) for travel. However, one problem that frequently arose was that prices would increase slightly and groups would have to come back to UFB to request the difference. To address this, we have now created the following policy: “If UFB approves travel costs (Ubers, flights, etc.) and prices subsequently increase due to fluctuations or surge pricing, groups are required to email ufb@brown.edu with the updated prices before paying with the SAO credit card. UFB will guarantee funding up to 110% of the originally approved cost. However, if prices increase beyond 110% of the original cost, groups may request additional funding from UFB, but that funding is not guaranteed.”

September 22, 2019: Website Policy Created. UFB previously didn’t have a policy regarding whether or how we fund website costs. Our new policy is, “UFB will fund to the cost of the basic hosting plans for Squarespace and Wix, if having a website is important to the club’s mission. UFB will consider funding a more advanced plan if there is a justifiable, specific reason for needing it.”

May 7, 2019: New Instructor Policy. To clarify and be transparent about a previously unwritten policy, part of UFB’s policy for instructors is, “UFB will not fund more than one instructor per hour, unless there is a justifiable reason for two instructors being necessary.”

April 23, 2019: Young Alumni Policy Updated. UFB’s previous policy was, “UFB will not fund honoraria for Brown alumni who graduated from Brown within the last five years.” In the past, this policy has been interpreted differently year over year - sometimes UFB would consider transportation to be part of an honorarium and therefore not fund transportation, and other times UFB would fund transportation. We have therefore clarified the policy and created a cap on the amount that groups may request for transportation for young alumni. The new policy is: “UFB will not pay for honoraria (speaker fees) or lodging for Brown alumni who graduated within 5 years. However, UFB will consider requests for subsidizing young alumni transportation up to $100 per group, per year.”

January 31, 2019: Security Cost Policy Created. Our new policy is: “Any event that requires more funding than the typical security cost of a lecturer or speaker in Salomon must be covered by the group, and may not be requested from UFB, except for lump sum groups who may reallocate their money towards security costs.”

November 15, 2018: Vacation Policy Changed. Prior to this, our policy was “UFB will not fund events, conferences, or competitions during spring break or summer vacation. However, UFB will consider funding conferences or competitions during winter break.” Upon speaking with Joie Steele, the current head of SAO, we realized that this policy was unclear. SAO mandates that UFB doesn’t fund any student-organized events during any school breaks, but sometimes permits groups to attend events such as conferences and competitions that take place over spring or winter break. Joie asked to personally evaluate whether or not to allow groups to request money from UFB for budgets over those breaks. Our new policy, listed below, reflects these changes.


Current Policies

Last revised: May 7th, 2019

Baseline Funding
Every Category 2 and Category 3 student group is given $200 per semester to use at their own discretion. Baseline funding may not be transferred from one group to another.

Capital Investments and Improvements
UFB will fund capital investments and improvements if they are absolutely necessary. We will fund this on a case-by-case basis. Capital investments usually should be presented in Annual Budgeting, but requests may be considered during Supplemental Budgeting under time sensitive circumstances. Inventories are required for all capital investments /improvements requests, per our inventory policy.  Additionally, please review the Capital Improvements section on the Student Activities Organization website for more information.

Class Coordinating Board (CCB)
For the Fall 2019 semester, CCB is granted a lump-sum as a pilot. The policies guiding CCB’s spending of this lump sum and the amount of funding granted can be found here.

Commencement Week Events
UFB does not fund events that occur during Commencement Week. This is done for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it would be cost-prohibitive and the fact that the majority of the student body will not be present during this time.

Conferences
UFB will fund up to 5 Brown students to attend a conference. The purpose of the conference should be educational, in the sense that the students who attend will bring back information to the campus from which the student group or the Brown community will benefit. This rule may be disregarded when it is imperative or important that more members be present at the conference for the event to happen, or that the extra members bring an added benefit (events where members have voting capabilities, or tournaments with minimum member requirements). For team travel/tournaments, UFB will usually fund at least one team or competitive unit and will hear arguments for more, weighing the cost and value.

Co-Sponsored Events
UFB requires one budget for all events being sponsored by multiple groups. Both groups should be represented at the meeting where budget is presented.

Costumes
UFB typically will fund costumes for performance groups within their proposed production budget. Additionally, for dance based groups, the costume budget will be considered and weighed based on the likelihood that the costumes will be recycled, the cost participation programs put in place by the performing group to offset the cost, and the value added. Inventories are required for all requests for costumes, per our inventory policy.

Decorations
UFB does not fund decorations.

Finals Period Events
UFB will not fund events during finals period.

Food
UFB will fund food if it is integral to the event (i.e. a cultural event or a cooking demonstration). The Board will not fund food for an event if it used as an incentive. Additionally, UFB does not fund food for group meetings and/or general body meetings.

Fundraisers/For-Profit Events
UFB does not fund fundraisers and for-profit events. If you host an event and charge students to attend, you are required to notify us of your revenues and return any profits to UFB.

Giveaways
UFB does not fund giveaways.

Instructor Fees
UFB will fund reasonable fees for an instructor if the instructor’s presence is integral to the purpose and continued success of the group and benefit the Brown community as a whole. Evidence of negotiation must be presented with all requests for instructor fees. UFB will not fund more than one instructor per hour, unless there is a justifiable reason for two instructors being necessary.

Inventories
UFB requires all groups requesting capital improvements or costumes to submit complete inventories of their equipment with their budget requests. Inventories should include quantity, date of inventory, current age, current condition/quality, expected lifespan, and price at purchase (see template). Requests will not be considered without a proper inventory uploaded to the “Files” section of BearSync and e-mailed to UFB@brown.edu.

Line-Item Transfers
UFB will approve line-item transfers if the money is being transferred to something that UFB would normally fund. All inter-group transfers must also come before the UFB. The line-item transfer form can be found here.

Loans
UFB does not fund loans.

Media Services
Media services are funded in a lump sum during annual budgeting so all student groups are able to use them for free throughout the year. Therefore, there is no need to request media services from UFB. If media services requests payment from you, please reach out to us or SAO (Student Activities Office) for help! UFB will not reimburse student groups that fail to reserve media services before the 10-business day deadline, as determined by CIS.

Membership Dues
UFB will not fund membership dues unless absolutely necessary to exist and operate as an organization. UFB recommends in order to conserve the student activities fund, that specialized student groups implement a cost participation scheme to complement UFB funding.

Outside Vendors
In order to provide quality service and reduce costs, UFB will always seek out the cheapest vendor, which provides a comparable service. In addition, UFB is required by Student Activities Office policy to favor Brown First vendors, companies who have partnered with the University to provide services at a subsidized price. For a list of Brown First vendors, please contact your UFB Representative or visit the Student Activities Office website. We do not fund expedited shipping costs.

Printing: Student Publications
UFB requests that student publications provide a proposal, which utilizes the cheapest vendor available and includes at least three price points.

Publicity
UFB will allocate the standard publicity of $25 for events, but will potentially fund up to $50 for publicity if there is demonstrated need.

Purpose: A Student’s Group Mission Statement
Except where otherwise provided for in UFB’s policies, UFB will not fund an event or a request if it does not adhere to the student group’s mission.

Reading Period Events
UFB will not fund events during reading period.

Retroactive Funding
UFB does not fund costs that have already occurred. Please submit your budget in a timely manner.

Small Requests
Requests under $500 do not need to be presented at a UFB meeting. Instead, they may be emailed to their rep with UFB@brown.edu 'CCed in addition to their submission via BearSync, and the Board will consider and decide on the request via email.

Speakers
UFB will fund speakers for an event if it pertains to the student group’s mission. However, there are multiple costs that UFB needs to consider:

  • Honorarium Contract: Should detail the speaker’s agreement to come for a fixed sum and will include details of the travel/lodging accommodations

  • Facilities/Media Services Requests as Applicable

  • Travel Details: To include a comparison of flight options and travel options

  • Negotiation: UFB requires that evidence of negotiation be presented. In the case that the speaker requests a specific price for an honorarium, the starting rate for negotiation should be at least 40% less than the amount initially requested by the speaker. If the speaker does not request an honorarium, groups may not offer any level of funding. In addition, groups are encouraged to solicit, and provide evidence of, outside group fundraising. Finally, requests should include a feasibility analysis of the possibility of raising revenue by charging to hear the speaker. Groups are encouraged to contact their UFB Representatives with any concerns related to negotiation.

  • Young Alumni: UFB will not pay for honoraria (speaker fees) or lodging for Brown alumni who graduated within 5 years. However, UFB will consider requests for subsidizing young alumni transportation up to $100 per group, per year.

  • Security: Any event that requires more funding than the typical security cost of a lecturer or speaker in Salomon must be covered by the group, and may not be requested from UFB, except for lump sum groups who may reallocate their money towards security costs.

Student Salaries
UFB does not fund student salaries.

Three Meeting Policy
For honorarium and transportation requests, student groups must present their request at least three (3) meetings before the event.

Transportation (types)
For all student transportation needs, UFB requires evidence of cost/feasibility analysis. UFB will reimburse gas at a rate of $0.50 per mile. The following websites are at student groups’ disposal: Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, Kayak, StudentUniverse.

Travel (costs)
UFB will fund the cheapest travel under $540 per student (price is as of Nov. 2016), regardless of destination. The current price ceiling is based on the average cost of airline travel globally.

If UFB approves travel costs (Ubers, flights, etc.) and prices subsequently increase due to fluctuations or surge pricing, groups are required to email ufb@brown.edu with the updated prices before paying with the SAO credit card. UFB will guarantee funding up to 110% of the originally approved cost. However, if prices increase beyond 110% of the original cost, groups may request additional funding from UFB, but that funding is not guaranteed.

Vacations
UFB does not fund any club-hosted events over winter, spring, or summer breaks. However, UFB will consider funding conferences or competitions that only take place during winter or spring break if permission to do so is received from the head of the Student Activities Office prior to requesting funding from UFB. Approval by the head of SAO does not guarantee funding from UFB, but rather grants the ability to apply for funding.

Websites
UFB will fund to the cost of the basic hosting plans for Squarespace and Wix, if having a website is important to the club’s mission. UFB will consider funding a more advanced plan if there is a justifiable, specific reason for needing it.


Still have questions? Every Category III student group is assigned a UFB Representative. Find out who to reach out to here