This manual is designed to help student organization Treasurers understand how to obtain, manage, and spend monies from the Student Activity Fund. As a Treasurer, you will work extensively with the University and State of South Carolina financial system. This manual will help you navigate that system. The Treasurer’s Manual contains simple direction for all facets of student organization finance, including, but not limited to: submitting a budget, preparing for travel, reimbursing expenses, and paying a vendor.

In addition to obtaining and spending your organization’s funds, you have the responsibility to keep all financial records up to date. You are also responsible for informing your President and membership of the organization’s financial status and any policies and procedures that affect the use of your funds.

Please be aware that this is not an all-inclusive manual. It includes information about the procedures and transactions that are most frequently used by organizations. If you have any questions or need help regarding any aspect of your approved budget, please visit the Student Organization Finance Office located in the West Wing of the Russell House University Union, Suite 115.

Student Activity Fee Workshops

Student Activity Fee workshops are held each semester for undergraduate and graduate student organizations to receive complete instructions regarding the university financial system, duties of a treasurer, budget request submissions, and requests for student activity funds for the fiscal year:

Each organization has to attend an official, Student Activity Fee workshop with the university to be granted approval to submit a budget request for financial consideration.

In Fall 2018 (mid-September), there will be more Student Activity Fee workshops available to student organizations. Please check this area of the website for updates during the academic year.


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What are Student Activity Funds?


Student Activity Funds are appropriated from tuition and fees paid each semester. This funding supports student activities, programs, and support services. The amount of funding available is determined by the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs.

The Student Senate Finance Committee is responsible for the appropriation of the Student Activity Funds to Undergraduate Student Organizations. The Graduate Student Association is responsible for the appropriation of the Student Activity Funds to Graduate Student Organizations. The funds allocated to an organization are intended to help support the financial aspects of the organization’s objectives, but they are not intended to fully fund all organization programs.

The Student Senate Finance Committee and the Graduate Student Association direct the allocation process for these funds, for Undergraduate and Graduate Organizations, respectively, through the Student Senate Finance Codes.

Note* – Pharmacy, Law and Sport Clubs as Student Organizations have a specific, internal process within their respective areas.

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Essentials for Success as a Treasurer

Attend a Treasurer Workshop

Treasurer workshops are conducted each fall and spring. All student organizations requesting funding from the Student Activity Fund are required to send their Treasurer or President to attend these sessions.

ObtainAuthorization Obtain Authorization

Do not, under any circumstances, purchase food, supplies or obligate the University in any way without prior authorization from the Senate Finance Committee and the Department of Student Life. An organization officer who has attended the Treasurer’s Workshop will be the main officer to sign off on any request before it is submitted. All financial paperwork will need an Advisor’s signature as well.

FollowProceduresFollow Procedures

Use the proper forms for all financial paperwork. Type all information on forms and print a copy per instructions in this manual. Financial forms are located here.

KeepRecordsKeep Records

Always keep a copy of your organization’s records and all forms submitted for approval.

PlanAhead Plan Ahead

All transactions involving the expenditure of funds require advance planning. The minimum time needed for processing expenditure transactions is four (4) weeks.

MonitorYourAccount Monitor Your Account

Check your account monthly by comparing your organization’s records to your copies of expenditure documents to determine your budget balance. If you have an open University account, check the Student Organization System (SOS) for your organization revenue balance sheet. Bring any discrepancies to the Student Organization Finance Advisor at (803) 777-6688.

UnderstandBudgetComposition Understand Budget Composition

If you were approved funds from the Student Activity Fund, all monies must be governed by Student Government in accordance to the Senate Finance Codes. If you have self-generated funds (from dues, donations, or events), your organization can spend funds at will while still complying with University policies and procedures.

ComplyWithYourBudget Comply With Your Budget

Organizations may only spend Student Activity Funds for the purposes detailed in their approved budget.

MakeTimelyPayments Make Timely Payments

Sign and forward all invoices, billings, and receipts to the Department of Student Life located in Russell House, Suite 115 as purchases are received. All receipts and reimbursement paperwork needs to be turned in to the Department of Student Life within fifteen (15) days after an event.

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Eligibility For Funding


Any student organization that has been registered as an official University student organization for at least one semester, has attended a Treasurer’s Workshop, and has an active Advisor, who is approved by the Leadership and Service Center, is eligible to apply for Student Activity Funds.

Programmatic activities of student organizations receiving funding must be used to:
1. Promote a diverse array or programs and events
2. Facilitate intellectual engagement
3. Encourage collaboration between students and student groups, and/or foster campus community.

Participation in events must be free and open to all members of the University community.

Student organizations must not be denied funding nor given preferential treatment in funding based upon the viewpoint of the organization requesting funds, as outline by University policy and federal, state, or local law.


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Appropriation Categories

Monies are appropriated to registered student organizations under three categories: Programming, Conferences, and Competitions.

  • Programming budgets include monies for any events or other social, recreational, or educational programs. Any programs paid for completely or in part by the Student Activity Funds must be free and open to all University community members. On-campus retreats are classified as programs. Off-campus retreats set within a 12-mile radius of campus will be classified as programs if the respective Finance Committee is given good cause for the off-campus location of the retreat.
  • Conference and Competition budgets may be allocated for any costs associated with conferences or competitions. Travel costs and other expenditures for conferences or competitions will be the last item(s) considered in the budget request process. Requests for conference or competition allocations must include current conference/competition registration forms and information (website/brochure information). Off-campus retreats set outside a 12-mile radius of the campus will be classified as a conference.

Please refer to the active set of Guidelines created by the Finance Committee for this fiscal year.

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Preparing the Budget Request in SOS

Once you have planned your budget and feel comfortable with the program components, login to the Student Organization System (SOS) website ( to enter your budget. If you need to request your organization’s login credentials, please visit the Leadership and Service Center to find the Leadership Coach for Student Organizations. You must be an officer on Garnet Gate to obtain this information.

Once you complete and submit your budget request in SOS, there are specific steps for your organization:

Undergraduate Student Organization Process:

  • If the request is $499 or under, the Treasurer does not need to meet with the Student Senate Finance Committee. The request will be reviewed and the updates on funding will be posted to SOS within 7-business days.
  • If the request is $500 or more OR a travel request, the Treasurer will need to sign up for a time slot to meet with the Student Senate Finance Committee to review the request and engage in a budget dialogue meeting. This meeting is 10 minutes long.

Graduate Student Organization Process:

  • If the request is $999 or under, the Treasurer does not need to meet with the Graduate Student Association (GSA) Finance Committee. The request will be reviewed and the updates on funding will be posted to SOS within 7-business days.
  • If the request is $1,000 or more OR a travel request, the Treasurer will need to contact the GSA Treasurer and sign up for a budget dialogue meeting time with the GSA Finance Committee. This meeting is 10 minutes long.

Pharmacy, Law and Sports Clubs – Student Organizations Information

  • The Pharmacy, Law and Sports Club Student Organizations work internally with their respective Governing Boards for the allocation of Student Activity Funds. Please contact the respective Governing Board for more information on budget requests and processes.


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Student Organization Project Accounts

Merchants Fair at Russel House

Student Organizations have the ability to open organization project accounts with the University through the Department of Student Life to hold their self-generated funds/revenue throughout the course of the fiscal year (July 1, 2018 – June 31, 2019). The Department of Student Life will help organizations manage their monies and use their funds through proper University policies and procedures.

If you want to apply for a project account with the university, fill out the form here:

It can take up to ninety (90) days to open an account with the University, but if you need to deposit monies for your organization in the meantime, please contact the Student Organization Finance Adviser.

*NOTE* If your organization has a project account with the university, the organization will be required to carry forward their account revenue each fiscal year. Revenue does not carry forward automatically. Step-by-step process will be announced each spring semester via email through Garnet Gate.


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Tax Exempt Status

The University of South Carolina is not tax exempt from sales or use tax except as allowed in SECTION 12‑36‑2120 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.
Student organizations are not considered entities of the University; therefore, student organizations cannot claim tax exempt status.


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