Student group involvement is an important part of the college experience. In order for student groups to function smoothly and responsibly, members need to be aware of and comply with information related to University polices and procedures. The Student Group Resource Guide will help groups work with ASUM more efficiently so all groups have more time and energy to devote to group interests and activities.
ASUM recognized student groups represent a wide variety of academic, pre-professional, spiritual, political, musical, support, service, sport and special interest topics. Currently there are more than 160 ASUM recognized clubs and organizations, of which approximately three-fourths receive direct funding from ASUM. To see a complete list of the student groups recognized for the 2011-12 academic year, and for additional information, visit the ASUM website: http://life.umt.edu/asum/student_groups/.
Contact Phoebe Hunter, ASUM Office Manager, at email@example.com for assistance with your group’s business activities and transactions. She can also take deposits for group accounts and email account financial statements. Each student group will be assigned an ASUM Senator as liaison to serve as a resource for the group.
All student groups, whether previously recognized by ASUM or not, must apply for recognition each academic year. See the ASUM Student Group Recognition Application for information on membership criteria and deadlines.
Some of the benefits of becoming an ASUM recognized student group include:
Recognized student groups that don't already have an account with ASUM may be assigned one at any time. We call these MST accounts because they begin with the letters MST and are followed by three numbers. MST accounts provide the means for your group to request money from your group’s ASUM account to purchase items and services on campus (see item #4 below for more information).
The ASUM Office Manager is available to help groups conduct their business and understand their financial statements but it is up to the groups themselves to monitor and keep track of all their own deposits and payment activities and the balance of their account. ASUM assumes no financial responsibility for groups that incur debt.
All monies collected for a group must be deposited into their ASUM account prior to dispersal.
A group cannot make arrangements to spend money it doesn’t already have in its account. If a group is anticipating funding for an event from other sources, the ASUM Office Manager must be informed in advance. If such arrangements are not made, and funds are lacking, the Office Manager reserves the right to withhold approval for an event/purchase/payment/travel arrangement to go forward. (Note from your friendly neighborhood Office Manager: I might not always be able or available to assist you with a last-minute crisis due to lack of planning. Plan ahead and keep me informed. When in doubt, seek me out!)
Once there are sufficient funds in an account there are four ways members may access their group’s funds:
Petty Cash refunds– When an authorized group member (a group member who is listed on the recognition form and authorized to handle the group's funds) covers expenses on behalf of a group up to $75.00, s/he may bring an itemized receipt (i.e. credit card receipts that show a total, but do not show details, do not qualify - pay special attention when dealing with pizza delivery companies) to the ASUM Office Manager in UC 105 to be reimbursed with cash from your student group MST account. If the receipt is more than 30 days old, reimbursement will be made by submitting a check request (see next item). Petty Cash reimbursements are not available for travel or contract expenses (see subsequent sections).
Check Payment Requests- The Office Manager will submit check payment requests for members needing to be reimbursed for more than $75.00; or a member who has receipts more than 30 days old; or for groups that have invoices from businesses. The University issues and mails checks on Thursdays only. To meet this deadline, invoices must be provided to the Office Manager in person, by fax or as email attachments by noon the preceding Wednesday, otherwise the payment won't be mailed for more than a week. Reimbursement checks must be cashed within 180 days of issue.
Procard Purchases - The Office Manager also has a University-issued credit card for making online purchases/payments or for paying business invoices. Use of the credit card is also the best way to pay for travel expenses (see travel).
On-campus Payments - Groups can use their MST Banner account index codes to pay for products and services on campus, such as at Campus Quick Copy, the UC Bookstore, Facilities Services, Event Planning and Catering. These departments charge the MST account directly.
Here are examples of situations when student groups might make payments to individuals. An example of the corresponding required paperwork is also included:
Independent Contractors are individuals who are not students or employees of The University that have some form of expertise and provide their services for a limited period of time, such as a DJ or graphic design artist. Three things need to be submitted to the ASUM Office Manager in order for payment to be made to an Independent Contractor: 1) An email from an authorized member of your group requesting payment and describing the service performed; 2) The Independent Contractor must submit a W-9 form; 3) The Independent Contractor must also submit a Contracted Services Agreement(see ASUM Office Manager). Sports teams that hire coaches must contact the ASUM Office Manager.
Students who are to be paid for providing a service must be hired by The University and are paid through ASUM’s student payroll. Contact the ASUM Office Manager about the required paperwork.
Faculty or staff also must be paid as employees of The University. Contact the ASUM Office Manager about the required paperwork.
Three things need to be submitted to the ASUM Office Manager for guest speakers and contest judges:
Group funds cannot be used for the purchase of alcohol. Groups must adhere to UM Drug and Alcohol Policies and the Student Conduct Codewhen sponsoring activities and events. Violation of these policies may result in loss of group recognition or more severe sanctions imposed by either or both ASUM and The University of Montana. See the Alcohol Policy below for more information.
Groups are not allowed to have outside checking or savings accounts without the express written approval of The University’s Vice President for Administration and Finance. This policy ensures year to year financial accountability, responsibility and transparency. It is in place to protect individual student group members, ASUM and groups themselves.
There are two financial statements detailing a group’s ASUM financial activity that can be emailed. To request emails with a group’s financial statements contact the ASUM Office Manager. The first statement details a group’s financial transactions and the second statement details a group’s budget and current balance.
Groups raise funds in a variety of ways: selling tickets to events; selling products such as baked goods or T-shirts; soliciting donations from campus departments and administrative offices; dues; contributions from national or local affiliates; and soliciting donations from businesses. Any monies raised by groups themselves are considered their own to spend as they want, as long as they are in compliance with UM and ASUM Fiscal Policy and procedures. A group’s own funds carry over from one fiscal year to the next whereas ASUM allocated funds do not (see item 1. under ASUM Allocations below). Groups wanting donations to be tax-deductible must establish a UM Foundation account. The Foundation charges a 5% commission for this service. If interested, contact the ASUM Office Manager.
There are four possible sources of funding through ASUM:
Annual Spring Budgeting- Currently recognized groups may apply for funding during the Annual Budgeting Allocation that takes place early each spring semester. This allocation process is for funds which are made available for the following fiscal year, which runs July 1 through June 30. Allocations are assigned in specific expense categories, such as supplies or rent, (usually as requested by the group). Any ASUM allocated funds which remain unspent by the end of The University’s fiscal year are reclaimed by ASUM. Groups need to pay close attention to the expense categories they spend from so they don't end up with a negative balance at the end of the fiscal year when ASUM removes unspent allocated funds. The ASUM Business Manager contacts all student groups at the beginning of each spring semester about the process for applying for an ASUM allocation.
Special Allocationscan be applied for by recognized groups anytime during the semester, but any funds that are awarded must be spent as awarded during that semester. Recommendations regarding Special Allocations are made by the ASUM Senate Budget and Finance Committee and are then voted on by the ASUM Senate which meets most Wednesday evenings at 6 p.m. To submit a Special Allocation request, or if you have questions, please contact the ASUM Business Manager, Luke Sims, at firstname.lastname@example.org call 243-2704. When a Special Allocation is awarded, the funds are not transferred to the group’s account. Instead, the expense is paid from an ASUM administrative account.
Travel Allocationrequests may be submitted by recognized groups and are due mid- September for fall semester and early in February for spring semester. Recommendations regarding Travel Allocations are made by the ASUM Senate Budget and Finance Committee and are then voted on by the ASUM Senate. To submit a Travel Allocation request, or if you have questions, please contact the ASUM Business Manager, at email@example.com call 243-2704. When a Travel Allocation is awarded, the funds are not transferred to the group’s account. Instead, the expense is paid from an ASUM administrative account.
STIP Requestsare for capital improvements with long term value. STIP Requests are for equipment with a value of at least $250 which will be of use to a recognized group for a minimum of two years. To submit a STIP Request, or if you have questions, please contact the ASUM Business Manager at 243-2704, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. When a STIP Request is approved, the funds are not transferred to the group’s account. Instead, the expense is paid from an ASUM administrative account.
When an individual member, or several members, of a group want to make travel arrangements by making use of their group’s own funds or ASUM Travel Allocation funds, several steps need to be taken.
Whether a per diem advance is needed (allow at least 2 weeks)
The PT must visit the ASUM Office Manager in UC 105 to provide the necessary information, assist in filling out, and sign the Request and Authorization to Travel (RAT) form. The RAT form is a worksheet for known travel expenses and secures authorization to travel on behalf of The University. If not completed and signed by the PT in advance of the trip, The University is under no obligation to process reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses or provide insurance coverage.Travelers are responsible for making all their own arrangements but the Office Manager is able to pay for a variety of expenses with a UM-issued credit card, as well as arrange for reimbursements or per diem advances for meals. Group members need to make arrangements in advance (i.e. reserve flights, make a reservation for lodging, have previously researched websites, etc.) then provide the Office Manager the reservation information so payment can be made with the credit card. Flights, motel or hotel reservations, conference registrations, etc. can all be paid for, or reserved in advance, by the ASUM Office Manager. The University prefers that plane tickets and lodging be paid by University credit card. Once these payments have been made, however, it is incumbent upon the traveler(s) to confirm payments and reservations with the airline and motel or hotel. Groups are required to seek lodging that does not exceed the federal per diemrate when traveling in or out of state. If the lodging rate is higher than the government rate, then the PT must complete a Request for Reimbursement of Actual Lodging Costs form (see the ASUM Office Manager).
If a traveler is driving a personal car and wants to be reimbursed for gas, s/he may either be paid by the ASUM mileage reimbursement rate of .15 per mile, or turn in receipts for gas actually purchased. The ASUM rate tends to be a little higher (currently), but the traveler might not want that extra cost charged to their group.
Student groups may rent vehicles from Motorpool. To make these arrangements, first call 243-2024 and reserve the vehicle(s) you want. Next, fill out the Vehicle Rental Request Form (VRRF). If renting a van or driving a vehicle for 8 or more passengers, trained drivers are required. To find out when van training sessions are offered in Missoula go to www.rmtd.mt.gov. Once the VRRF is filled out, bring it to the ASUM Office Manager to fill out the billing information, verify funding, sign and fax it to the Motorpool office.
Registration fees for conferences, etc. may be paid in advance by check or credit card by the ASUM Office Manager on behalf of group members. If the payment is to be paid by check, the Office Manager will need a statement or invoice, and possibly a W-9 filled out by the organization to be paid. (This is only necessary the first time an organization is paid and from then on their information is in the University system). Be sure to allow at least two weeks for the check request to be submitted, the check processed, issued and mailed.
Most travelers don't bother getting reimbursed for food, especially when it’s a large group of members on a trip. If a traveler has approval for their food to be paid from a group’s own funds in their ASUM account, there are three ways to do so. First, is to be reimbursed for actual expenses based on receipts that are turned in as long as the state mandated per diem rate is not exceeded. Second, is to be reimbursed at a per diem rate. This rate is usually more than what is normally paid out-of-pocket, so most travelers don't have their group cover this expense. Third, is to get a per diem advance by having a check mailed to cover meals during the trip. Groups may only use their own funds for food (ASUM-allocated funds or Travel Allocation funds cannot be used). Requests for a per diem advance should be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to travel.
Out-of-pocket incidentals, such as taxis, tolls and shuttles, may also be reimbursed but only as long as original itemized receipts are provided and an adequate estimate was included in the RAT form (see #3). Reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses, including prepayment of major expenses that have not been charged to the Office Manager’s credit card, cannot be made until the trip is completed.
If three or more members are traveling together, a Group Travel Form needs to be filled out and submitted along with receipts at the end of a trip. Group members only need to provide their name and student ID number, it is not necessary to fill out any of the other information on the form except the name of the primary traveler and the destination.
The State of Montana contracts with two rental car companies, Enterprise and Hertz, for reduced rates for those travelling on University business, including student groups who have signed the RAT. Contact the ASUM Office Manager for information. Student group funds cannot be used to pay for supplemental insurance. Individuals may do so at their own expense.
Once a trip is concluded, the primary traveler is responsible for submitting all original itemized receipts (e.g. the hotel/motel statement issued upon checkout) to the Office Manager as travel reports are due within 10 days of the conclusion of a trip.Once all receipts are submitted to the Office Manager, the Travel Expense Report (TER) will be filled out for the primary traveler to sign. Both travel forms will then be submitted to Business Services and a reimbursement check issued. This all takes time, so please be patient. “Travelers, who do not file for reimbursement of travel costs within 60 days after incurring the expense, waive their right to reimbursement.” (Travel Guidelines/Procedures – UM Business Services)
The University of Montana considers students and others who participate in activities sponsored by student groups to be adults who understand the nature and risk of such activities and accept personal responsibility for their conduct without need for supervision. The University assumes no responsibility for a participant's bodily injury or personal property damage during student group activities. Students are advised to have appropriate medical insurance, skill training and protective equipment, where applicable, and must have a valid driver's license and automobile insurance before driving any vehicle in connection with University activities.
It is expected that all members and participants of student group activities will abide by the Drug and Alcohol Guidelines of The University of Montana and the Student Conduct Code. For certain activities and events groups are advised to create a “Risk Management Plans for Special Events or Student Projects.” If you have questions, or would like more information about risk management or insurance coverage, please contact Kathy Benson of the Environmental Health and Risk Management Department at email@example.com or call 243-2700.
Sports Groups must contact Kate Oyler of Campus Recreation (243-2806) for information on mandatory acknowledgement of risk and volunteer form and completing the Medical Authorization/Emergency Medical Release.University Alcohol Policy. ASUM-allocated funds, or a student group’s own funds, cannot be used for the purchase of alcohol. Groups with Foundation accounts (see the Fundraising section of this guide for information about Foundation accounts) can use those funds for the purchase of alcohol through University Catering. With advance permission, including that of the faculty advisor (in writing), student groups can provide for alcohol to be served during group-sponsored events, but only if the alcohol is served by University Catering, a licensed vendor (such as a bar), or a server trained by an authorized alcohol service program (e.g. TIPS training or the Montana Department of Revenue). Student group funds (but not ASUM allocations) can be used to pay licensed vendors or authorized servers if approved at least seven days prior to the event. To recap: ASUM-recognized groups can use their own funds to hire licensed vendors or authorized servers (attendees of the event may then use their own money to purchase a drink), but cannot purchase alcohol unless the funds come from a pre-established UM Foundation account. Contact Phoebe Hunter, ASUM Office Manager, at least two weeks in advance to make the necessary arrangements for each event that involves the availability of alcohol.
There are a number of restrictions that apply to the provision of alcohol during student group events, so it is important to bear all of the following in mind:
In summary, there are five initial steps to be taken when planning an event involving the service of alcohol:
The role of the advisor is to provide advice and counsel and serve as a mentor and role model. It is not appropriate for advisors to steer the group in a direction that serves the purpose or beliefs of the advisor. ASUM-recognized student groups are intended to be student defined and student driven. Advisors are to assist student groups in ways that are relevant to the purpose of the group. It is inappropriate for advisors to address personal or academic matters that are irrelevant to the activities or business of the group in a club setting.
Advisors may be replaced at any time if student members are dissatisfied with their participation or lack thereof. In the event of either an advisor being replaced or resigning from the position, notice must be given promptly to Phoebe Hunter, ASUM Office Manager.
As a faculty or classified staff advisor, enjoy the opportunity to enhance students’ educational experience by sharing your expertise and enthusiasm.
The University of Montana is committed to identifying, preventing, and eliminating physical and/or programmatic barriers that interfere with participants’ access and benefit from University programs, facilities and resources. ASUM strives for equal and full participation in all facilities, services, programs and events and encourages student groups to offer barrier free access to all their events and activities by taking proactive measures to provide disability related modifications, such as Assertive Listening Devices, ramps, captioning/subtitling, etc. For more information, contact the ASUM Office Manager at 243-2120 or visit www.umt.edu/home/accessibility.
Planning to meet in the UC? Here is a list of assistive equipment and accommodations available upon request:
Student Group Finances, Travel, Student Group Recognition and Forming a new Student Group- Phoebe Hunter, ASUM Office Manager, 243-2120, firstname.lastname@example.org
Event Planning - 243-4113, email@example.com
Catering - 243-4899, firstname.lastname@example.org
University Rental Vehicles- Motorpool, 243-2024, email@example.com
Facilities Services Workorder Desk - 243-6091, firstname.lastname@example.org
Permission to chalk sidewalks- Barb Denman, 243-4662, email@example.com
Permission to use The Oval - President's Office, 243-2311, firstname.lastname@example.org