Attention Club Presidents: Know ASB’s Money Rules Before You Spend

Lucy Collins, Copy Editor

ASB’s job as middleman for club funds is getting some club presidents upset after they didn’t get reimbursed for expenditures they already made. Here’s what you should know to not get trampled by the complex bureaucratic system.

First, you need approval BEFORE you purchase items with your club funds.

“You have to fill out a budget form as to what you’re doing with the money” said ASB Club Advisor Victoria Barcelo.

As Chris Mauerman, President of the International Justice Club, found out the hard way last year: “I was buying backpacks to go to victims of human trafficking, but unfortunately all 50 of those backpacks were unable to be reimbursed by ASB.” He was unable because he had failed to gain approval before purchasing his items only “several days before it was approved by ASB.”

Even though the items Mauerman got were approved later, he was still not reimbursed.

Though that step is seemingly non complex, it actually can pose an arduous process for some. To get approval for an item list, presidents must fill out a form listing the items and their prices, have their club advisor go to ASB and sign the form, and have a vote in their club and record it on the club minutes sheet.

Unfortunately because of the complicated process of getting the money out we were unable to contribute those funds towards the victims.

— Chris Mauerman

This can be as a challenge, especially in Mauerman’s case as his club wanted to purchase backpacks prior to their monthly meeting so members could begin filling and distributing them to victims.

The problem really arose in the reimbursement process, which Barcelo described as “a whole different ordeal.”

Once you have been approved, you can now purchase the items… with your own money. ASB does not give clubs their own money to spend, they reimburse clubs. This factor seems a bit odd as the money itself is raised by the clubs not ASB. Mauerman first had to spend his own money to raise money for his club at Multicultural fair which went to his account in ASB, then, to get the items for the service project his club was enacting, he spent more of his own money to then hopefully get reimbursed with the money he had raised, which he didn’t. Sound confusing yet?

This is a convoluted process in accessing money that is already the club’s money. Mauerman stated, “I think that there are ways that could make it easier for clubs to take money out of their accounts. ASB definitely has lots of things ASB spends money on and definitely some of that comes from the clubs because again as clubs die or become inactive a lot of the money is used by ASB” He added, “so they do have an incentive to keep the money.”

Though this process is confusing, as long as students are aware of all the steps it should be fine. It is important as Barcelo mentioned to make sure the money is going where the presidents say it is, and Ms. Valderamma added, “We have to follow guidelines set forth by FCMAT (Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team) and [sic] we get audited yearly to ensure we are following protocol.”

Overall, if you stick to the process and do your research you can make it through successfully, but for cases such as Mauerman one cannot help but feel the system was unjust.

“We worked really hard, we sold lots of items, we had a goal of filling 100 backpacks and hoped the money we made would be able to go toward that, but unfortunately because of the complicated process of getting the money out we were unable to contribute those funds towards the victims.”