Financial Management Board approves club budgets
J.P. Gschwind | Tuesday, April 21, 2015
One of the most powerful and influential bodies in student government, the Financial Management Board is starting its new term under the leadership of 2015-2016 Student Union treasurer and chairwoman Janie Goodson.
New Financial Management Board member and Junior Class Council treasurer Mason Zurovchak said the board has a wide range of responsibilities that many students are unaware of, even though the board’s activities have a large impact on campus life.
Under the Student Union Constitution, members of the Financial Management Board Student are the Student Union treasurer, the Student Union Policy Branch controller, the Student Union Board controller, the Hall Presidents’ Council treasurer, the Club Coordination Council controller, the Judicial Council president, the Student Business board manager, every Class Council treasurer, the Off-Campus Council president and two members of Student Senate.
Zurovchak said many board members are pursuing studies related to their roles on the board, including majors in finance, accounting and economics. However, he said this not a requirement for membership on the board.
Zurovchak said the primary job of the Financial Management Board is to review and approve the budgets of every club, which they do in the winter and in the spring. The board can approve the full amount requested, allocate less than that amount or, in rare cases, deny funding altogether.
In addition to scrutinizing the annual club budgets, the Financial Management Board reviews large individual expenditures.
“Anytime any club on campus wants to spend more than $5,000, whether it’s their money or anyone else’s, we look over the proposal and what the event is to make sure they’re spending the money responsibly,” Zurovchak said. “We don’t want anyone to waste too much money on an event that doesn’t have any value.”
Zurovchak cited the Notre Dame Dance-A-Thon, put on by the Sophomore Class Council on April 10, as an example of a large, expensive event that requires the approval of the Financial Management Board.
While these audits comprise the board’s most well-known functions, Zurovchak said the board also has the critical job of managing proceeds from “The Shirt.” Money made from sales of The Shirt goes to a healthcare fund for students who cannot cover their own medical expenses. After the administration filters through and narrows down the pool of claims, the Financial Management Board must approve requests from students who seek help from this fund and examine them based on two criteria: the rarity of the condition, essentially whether or not it would normally be covered by University health care or other common insurance plans, and the financial status of the student and family.
In order to preserve the integrity of the process and the confidentiality of students, Zurovchak said full anonymity is maintained, and the boards does not have access to any unnecessarily revealing information.