Budgets and Funding

The Student Bar Association (SBA) promotes activities, programming, and events that appeal to a broad segment of the student population, enhance the academic or social aspects of the law school, and increase its prestige. Student organizations receive an annual appropriation from the Student Bar Association (SBA). Supplemental funding is available during the course of the year, but only in limited amounts and only for chartered organizations. Please review the following rules for budget requests and study the complete code. 

Here you will find information about chartering a student organization, the SBA's monetary code, funding, and other helpful resources.

BYLAWS FOR CHARTERING STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

ARTICLE I. AUTHORITY AND PURPOSE

SECTION 1. AUTHORITY The Student Bar Association has the authority under the Student Government Association Constitution and the Student Bar Association Constitution to provide a charter to student organizations comprised primarily of law school students. The process by which student organizations are chartered is also subject to the chartering bylaws of the SGA.

SECTION 2. PURPOSE The purpose of chartering student organizations is to provide student groups with certain benefits under the SGA and SBA Constitutions while providing the appropriate governmental authority oversight powers to ensure student organizations act properly.

SECTION 3. CHARTERING PRINCIPLES The nature of government is a choice between competing priorities. As such, although no student organization must meet all of the following criteria, the Student Bar Association will favor creating and funding student organizations that

A. Work to promote a stronger law school community

B. Work to enhance the academic environment within the law school

C. Do not share an overlapping mission with already existing student organizations

D. Work with other student organizations, faculty, staff, alumni, and others to share the cost of programming and broaden the appeal and reach of programming

E. Have a plan for self-generating funding

F. Are related to the practice of law

G. Have programs that are open to the entire law school and not just a select few members

H. Have a plan and have demonstrated initiative in pursuing their mission

ARTICLE II. TYPES OF ORGANIZATIONAL CHARTERS

In accordance with the chartering bylaws of the Student Government Association, Student Organizations may be designed as having temporary or perpetual charters.

ARTICLE III. TEMPORARY CHARTERED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

SECTION 1. POWERS GRANTED BY THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION in accordance with the chartering bylaws of the Student Government Association, Temporary Chartered Student Organizations shall

A. Be given a self-generated account by the SGA Business Manager.

B. Have the ability to reserve university space, in compliance with university guidelines.

C. Have the right to request that the Divisional Council that issued the temporary charter upgrade that charter to perpetual status, so long as this request is made within the period of time mandated by the Divisional Council.

SECTION 2. STUDENT BAR ASSOCIATION POWERS AND PROCEDURES

A. Before the Student Bar Association may vote to give a Student Organization a temporary charter, a representative of the student organization must appear before the Student Bar Association and

1. Give a presentation as to the purpose and goals of the organization, both short term and long term.

2. Provide a list of all the organizations’ members and how the organization defines membership. All student organizations must have a minimum of ten members.

3. Provide a copy of the proposed charter for the student organization. The charter shall include a statement of the organization’s mission and an Amendments Article by which the student organization is empowered to introduce legislation to the SBA to amend their charter.

4. Answer any questions from the members of the Student Bar Association.

B. A temporary charter may be granted by the Student Bar Association by a majority vote of the members present at a regular Student Bar Association meeting.

C. The temporary charter may last as long as two full semesters from the date of issuance. At that time, the student organization must re-apply for a temporary charter, request a permanent charter, or cease to exist.

D. The purpose of a temporary charter is to give a student organization time to become fully operational, attract members, and create programming, while providing the Student Bar Association a period to review the existence of the student organization.

E. Temporary Chartered Student Organizations may only receive supplemental funding from the Student Bar Association. Supplemental funding may only be allocated for specific events.

ARTICLE IV. PERPETUALLY CHARTED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

SECTION 1. POWERS GRANTED BY THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION Organizations designated as perpetually chartered shall

A. Be given self-generated and allocated accounts by the SGA Business Manager.

B. Have the ability to reserve university space, in compliance with university guidelines.

C. Have the right to request either a budget or supplemental funding from the Student Bar Association, and to request supplemental funding by the Student Government Association.

D. A student organization charter may be revoked only after a hearing has been held on that issue by the Student Bar Association.

SECTION 2. STUDENT BAR ASSOCIATION POWERS AND PROCEDURES

A. Before the Student Bar Association may vote to give a student organization a perpetual charter, a representative of the student organization must appear before the Student Bar Association and

1. Give a presentation as to the short-term and long-term purpose and goals of the organization.

2. Provide a list of all the organizations’ members and how the organization defines membership. All student organizations must have a minimum of ten members.

3. Provide a copy of the charter for the student organization.

4. Outline and explain all the activities of the student organization in the past and a rationale behind the request for a perpetual charter.

5. Answer any questions from the members of the Student Bar Association.

B. A perpetual charter may be granted by the Student Bar Association by a majority vote of the members present at a Student Bar Association meeting.

C. The perpetual charter may not be revoked by the Student Bar Association without a vote by Student Bar Association. However, a student organization may be considered defunct if it fails to elect officers, request a budget, or provide programming. There is a presumption that defunct organizations will receive no funding in the upcoming budgetary cycle.

D. The purpose of a perpetual charter is to give Student Organizations access to university facilities and other benefits on an ongoing basis.

E. A perpetual charter may be revoked by the Student Bar Association by a majority vote of the members present at a regular Student Bar Association meeting.

F. The Student Bar Association, by majority vote, may classify a Perpetually Chartered Organization as "funded" or "unfunded." An organization designated as "funded" shall be presumed to be entitled to some level of funding in the SBA budgetary process. An organization designated as "unfunded" shall not be entitled to SBA funds in the SBA budgetary process. The classification as funded or unfunded shall be placed in the student organizational charter and recorded by the SBA secretary.

G. A student organization may request a perpetual charter no sooner than one calendar year after receiving their original temporary charter.

ARTICLE V. DELIBERATION

A. Voting and Deliberation generally. The Student Bar Association shall deliberate and vote upon proposed charters transparently pursuant to the right of all members of the Emory University School of Law student body to attend all meetings of the Student Bar Association.

B. Article V Executive Session. Upon motion and a second, any member of the Student Bar Association may send the assembly into executive session pursuant to the procedures required in this article

C. Limited Purpose. Article V Executive Session shall only be for the limited purpose of debate upon the proposed charter and in the limited circumstance where the proposed charter raises sensitive concerns that a member of the Student Bar Association is uncomfortable first sharing in the presence of her peers and colleagues and shall not be for the purpose of voting upon enactment of the proposed charter.

D. Reserving a right to speak. All members desiring an opportunity to speak in executive session shall indicate their desire to the Presiding Officer immediately after the motion is seconded.

E. Duration. An Article V Executive Session shall continue for a reasonable time determined by the Presiding Officer in consultation with the moving member or until a majority of voting members of the Student Bar Association have adopted a properly moved and seconded motion to conclude executive session, provided that each member identified pursuant to paragraph D of this article has been afforded at least one opportunity to speak.

F. Frequency. The Student Bar Association shall not re-enter Article V Executive Session unless an additional charter has been proposed or deliberations have continued into an additional session of the Student Bar Association.

G. Minutes. The Secretary shall record the minutes with the names redacted during Article V Executive Session upon request by any member of the Student Bar Association and shall provide a redacted summary of the Article V Executive Session to the proponents of the proposed charter.

H. Restrictions. No motions to amend, add, or strike language from the main motion shall be voted upon while the Student Bar Association is in Article V Executive Session.

ARTICLE VI. MISCELLANEOUS REGULATIONS

A. In accordance with Student Government Association regulations, student organizations must, each year, in a timely fashion, fill out and return forms to the Student Government Association regarding budget requests and the election of new officers.

B. In accordance with Student Government Association regulations, the student organization president or treasurer must attend the bi-annual Treasurer’s meeting.

C. The SBA president or the president’s designee is responsible for communicating with the SGA treasurer and being the point of contact for student organizations that wish to become chartered.

D. The list of student organizations, their chartering documents, records of past appropriations, and the designation of the organization as "funded" or "unfunded" shall be kept by the SBA president, secretary, and treasurer and made accessible to all students.

E. Absent explicit language in the charter and clear intent to the contrary, all student organizations chartered by the SBA shall be open and encouraged to include non-law students in events and programming. It shall be presumed that the student organization does not possess the requisite intent to exclude unless the student organization submits a statement of reasons for the exclusion along with the charter.

F. The SBA president must forward the following documents to the SGA attorney general, in compliance with SGA regulations:

1. Any legislation or other documentation required by the Student Bar Association in granting the charter.

2. The student organization’s charter and bylaws, which shall conform to all rules of the SGA and university and shall include explicitly a statement of the purpose of the organization and a written copy of the university anti-discrimination clause but which may be amended as seen fit by the organization.

3. A list of the names and divisions of at least ten Emory students currently part of the organization’s membership, which shall be the minimum membership that any organization must maintain to receive or retain a charter. Each name listed must include a valid Emory Identification Number. The attorney general may only waive this requirement in the event that it is necessary for the functioning of a particular student group that its members remain anonymous.

4. The name and contact information of the organization’s president, treasurer, and other relevant officers, which shall be updated continuously.

5. The name and contact information of the organization’s faculty advisor. This shall be a firm requirement for all Perpetually Chartered Student Organizations but may be waived by the attorney general in regards to temporary charters.

Student Organization Monetary Code

PREAMBLE

The Student Bar Association will give funding priority to organizations that promote activities/programming/events that tend to appeal to a broad segment of the population, enhance the academic or social aspects of the law school, and increase its prestige.

ARTICLE I. GUIDELINES FOR EXAMINING STUDENT ORGANIZATIONAL BUDGETS

To receive funding through the budgeting process, all student organizations shall

A. Submit a budget in accordance with the timeline set out by the SGA treasurer.

B. Be a permanently chartered organization.

C. Give as much detail as possible in the request. That information includes

  1. Programs sponsored in the past fiscal year, each program’s cost, and an evaluation of the success of the program.
  2. Programs planned to be sponsored in the upcoming year, the cost of those programs, and plans regarding obtaining additional sources of funding.
  3. A description of activities that the student organization engaged in over the past year that were not funded by SBA.
  4. A demonstration that the funds were used effectively and efficiently.
  5. The number of active members of the organization, the number that generally attend events, and how the organization defines active members.
  6. All budget requests must be in accordance with all niversity policies and guidelines.

ARTICLE II. CRITERIA FOR FUNDING A STUDENT ORGANIZATION

The funding of one student organization necessarily reduces funds available to all other student organizations. The determination is not whether an organization is a worthy organization, but rather whether providing that particular organization funding is the best use of student activity fees in comparison with all other possible recipients. The following criteria shall be examined when determining whether to fund a student organization:

A. Does the organization contribute to the academic life of the law school?

B. Does the organization contribute to the social life of the law school?

C. Are the programs/events/activities related to the law?

D. Are the programs/events/activities related to improving the lives or welfare of law students?

E. Does the organization collaborate with others in sponsoring events?

F. Are events/programs/activities open to all students? Are they open only to a segment of the student body?

G. Does the organization collect dues from its members?

H. Are dues paid to a national/regional organization?

I. Are the organization’s programs cost effective?

J. Do the organization’s activities overlap with another organization?

K. Does the organization self-generate funds?

L. Do the organization’s activities enhance the reputation of the law school?

ARTICLE III. SPRING BUDGET HEARING

A. At the end of the term of each Student Bar Association, the treasurer shall send notice to all chartered student organizations requiring them to attend a budget hearing.

B. Prior to the budget hearing, and in compliance with the Student Government Association’s regulations, each student organization shall submit a budget request. That request shall be as detailed as possible. Each student organization shall provide information regarding any financial accounts from which that organization draws funds.

C. At the Student Bar Association Budget Hearing, each student organization shall be prepared to respond to the issues outlined in the Student Organization Monetary Code.

D. Once all student organizations have had the opportunity to make their presentation, the SBA shall determine in executive session how to allocate funds amongst the various organizations.

E. As soon as the budgets are approved by the Student Bar Association and the Student Government Association, the amount allocated to each student organization and all student organizations collectively shall be made public.

ARTICLE IV. AMENDMENTS

This Code may be amended by either a two-thirds vote of the members present at a regularly meeting or a majority vote of the voting membership of the Student Bar Association.

ARTICLE V. SBA BUDGET REQUEST GUIDELINES

The following text shall be provided to all student organizations prior to the spring budget request hearing.

Emory Law Student Activity Fund Grant Process Guidelines

PURPOSE

The purpose of the Student Activity Fund Grant Process is twofold:

  1. It will streamline the supplemental funding process for student oriented events and prevent the usual problem of multiple student groups being directed back and forth between potential funding sources with no logical process. It will establish one pool of money so that group leaders will know where to seek funding.
  2. It will allow the SBA and the law school to stretch their dollars further by encouraging groups to plan their events ahead of time, thus ensuring well-planned and executed events that maximize student engagement and attendance.

OVERVIEW

Each applicant must submit a grant application before the applicable deadline to be reviewed by the Committee. Grant requests may be granted in part, granted in full, rejected, or deferred.

ELIGIBILITY FOR GRANT

In order to apply, an applicant must do the following:

  1. Be a chartered law school organization (at least a temporary charter) or practice society, or have obtained prior approval from the SBA to submit a grant request;
  2. Turn in all required materials by the deadline (each event requires a separate application);
  3. Seek at minimum $500 for the proposed event; and
  4. Comply with any and all other rules or requests of the committee and Emory Law.

GRANT PROCESS

The grant process is as follows:

  • The committee shall convene twice annually, once in the fall and once in the spring (before the budget allocation meeting).
  • The dates and times of the two meetings and the grant hearing shall be chosen by the SBA treasurer at times convenient to all voting members of the committee.
  • In addition, the committee may call for an additional special meeting by agreement of at least 3 of the voting members.
  • Grant applications must be submitted by the deadline (normally at least three days before the convening of the committee session).
  • Grant applicants may present their proposal in person to the committee at a grant hearing, but are not required to do so.
  • Presentations may take no more than 5 minutes, although the committee may ask follow-up questions outside of presentations.
  • The committee will consider all grant proposals together for each session before voting on any of the proposals individually.
  • Decisions will be announced to the grant applicants within 5 business days of the grant hearing.

DECISION MAKING PROCESS

Grant decisions shall be made based on the following considerations (in no particular order):

  • How many students will attend the proposed event
  • How the proposed event fits with the overall mission and objectives of the law school
  • How the organization’s funds are currently distributed towards events
  • What other alternative sources of funding your organization has received or applied for, and the status
  • What distinguishes this event from others occurring during the same school year
  • Whether your organization is collaborating or attempting to collaborate with other organizations
  • How your organization is planning on maximizing the use of the requested funds
  • How prestigious your event is
  • The quality of the proposal/presentation

*Travel related requests will ordinarily be limited to registration fees

COMMITTEE GUIDELINES

Grant decisions shall be made by a group of student leaders. The committee shall be composed of 5 voting members and one ex-officio member:

  • The treasurer of the SBA
  • The president of the SBA or another SBA officer appointed by the president
  • Three presidents of chartered student organizations
  • The Assistant Dean of Student Affairs shall serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member

COMMITTEE VOTING

  • Each member of the committee will get one vote.
  • Approval of a grant, in full or in part, requires a supermajority of the votes of the committee (4 out of 5 committee members must be in favor). A grant proposal that does not receive approval, in full or in part, is denied, unless the committee specifically moves, via a supermajority vote, to defer the proposal. 

ELECTIONS FOR COMMITTEE

  • The 3 voting positions shall be filled by election whose voting members must be current presidents or treasurers of chartered student organizations, or practice societies.
  • Candidates will nominate themselves at the Student Leadership Retreat.
  • Voting will take place at the SLR; each organization or society gets one vote.
  • The elections will be run by rank-choice voting, and each president will vote for their top three candidates in ranked order.
    • Rank-choice voting allows for an "instant runoff" in the event no candidate gets a majority vote.
    • Instead of asking voters to vote a second time for their favorite candidate remaining, we look at the choices that the voters left on their ballot.
    • If the voter's first choice remains, then his vote counts for his first choice. If the voter's first choice is not in the runoff, then his vote counts for his second choice and so on.

How to Prepare for the Spring Budget Meeting

Preparing your budget:

  • Make sure you submit your budget in accordance with the timeline set out by the SGA treasurer.
  • Make sure you are a perpetually chartered organization.
  • Give as much detail as possible in the request. Keeping detailed records throughout the year will help to impress SBA and make your presentation easier.
  • What did you sponsor last year? How much did it cost? Was it successful?
  • What would you like to sponsor this year? How much do you estimate it will cost? What are your plans to obtain other sources of funding?
  • Describe activities that your organization engages in that are not funded by SBA. The better picture we get of what we do, the better context for your funding request.
  • Demonstrate that your funds were used effectively and efficiently. 
  • Make sure you submit all information regarding other financial accounts from which your organization draws funds.

Please be prepared to answer the following questions with specificity:

  • Detail the activities/events/programs that you hosted or organized. What was the turnout? How did it go?
  • How many active members do you have? How many people generally show up at events/programs?
  • Did you collaborate with other organizations to co-sponsor events? What events have you co-sponsored, and with whom did you co-sponsor it?
  • Which of your events/programming/activities are open to all students? Which events/programs/activities are open to members only?
  • Do you collect dues from your members? How much?
  • Do you pay dues to a national/regional organization? How much? Who pays?

The most important question you must be prepared to answer:

Every year, SBA receives budget requests far in excess of our budgeting. To increase one organization's budget, another must be decreased. Please explain why your organization should receive funds.

University Funding Sources for Law School Events

SBA won’t give you $3,000 for that amazing event you thought up that you’re sure everyone will want to go to?! Don’t fret—there is plenty of money out there for you! One word of wisdom though: PLAN AHEAD! Do not jeopardize the success of your event by failing to do so.

1. Office of the Provost: Community & Diversity Funding

  • Application can be found at http://provost.emory.edu/community/funding.html »
  • Amount Limits: not more than $2,000, and not less than $200.
  • Timeline: proposals should be submitted at least 4–6 weeks in advance of need, but early application is highly encouraged.

2. Graduate Student Council

3. Graduate Student Government Association

This organization is in the process of revamping their website and thus does not have an application yet posted for funding.

4. Student Government Association

  • Application can be found here: https://blogs.emory.edu/emorysga/funding »
  • Amount Limits: not specified.
  • Timeline: all “bills” (requests) for supplemental funding must be submitted to the executive vice president at least 35 days before the date of the event.

5. Emory University: Office of Student Leadership & Service

  • Occasionally the Office of Student Leadership & Service co-sponsors an activity with a student organization. To apply, contact OSLS’s Assistant Director, Matt Garrett, matt.garrett@emory.edu. Their website is http://osls.emory.edu/co_sponsorship.php »
  • Amount Limits: not specified.
  • Timeline: not specified.

Planning an Event and Need Some Non-Funding Help?

Besides providing possible funding assistance, the Office of Student Leadership & Service also provides assistance in the way of event planning: http://osls.emory.edu/event_planning.php »

*Some of these sources will require that your event be open to students from the greater university community and/or Atlanta community in order to provide funding. Some will also require that your organization be perpetually chartered.