Forms and Guidelines

Forms and Guidelines

Budget Request Guidelines

Please read carefully before submitting your Budget Request.

Before the completion of the third week of every quarter (customarily the second Tuesday of each quarter), the HDGSC meets. The HDGSC, which comprises a president, vice president, and appointed representatives from every department and committee in the division, meets to allocate to its departments the funds received from a percentage of the graduate student activity fee. The funds are allocated to the individual departments in the Humanities Division on a quarterly basis by the approval of the HDGSC.

The Friday prior to each meeting, budget requests are to be emailed to the President no later than 5pm. Budget requests not submitted by the deadline set (5pm on that Friday) are subject to potential reduction or forfeiture of funding for that quarter (§8.2). If a department or committee is not represented at the Tuesday quarterly meeting four days later, that department or committee will not receive funding for that quarter (§8.11). Representatives and departmental secretaries are notified in advance and by email of the deadlines and meeting time.

The Monday before the quarterly meeting, the Budget Review Committee meets to review all budget requests and to form recommendations to the HDGSC for the meeting the next evening. The Budget Review Committee comprises the president, vice president, and any representative who wishes to volunteer 1 hour of his or her time to review the requests and discuss possible problems or policies.

Procedures for receiving money and accountability are outlined in the Constitution (§9). NB, it is the representative’s responsibility to manage his or her graduate student account responsibly and in accordance with approved procedures as outlined in the Constitution, regardless of the level of support from departmental secretaries and staff. Some will be more involved than others. However, it remains the representative’s responsibility to keep an accurate account of spending activity and balance and to submit all paperwork in accordance with the procedures set out in the constitution and in a timely manner.

Briefly, you must:

  • submit budget requests on time
  • attend the quarterly meetings AND the final meeting of the academic year
  • submit all quarter-end email reports by the deadline announced via email
  • make sure that all reimbursement forms (Direct Payment Vouchers/DPVs) are filled out by the quarterly deadlines
  • know that any expense exceeding the amount allocated must be covered by your department
  • know that any amount remaining at the end of any quarter goes back to the general fund
  • spend the money only on the events for which allocation was approved

Policies/rules to keep in mind when requesting funds

Please read these carefully; should you request funds for expenses the Council does not cover, your request will be denied and you will not be able to submit a new request.

HDGSC will not fund honoraria, travel, books, videos or any event (such as a University approved workshop) that should be funded by another entity.

HDGSC will contribute up to, but no more than, $200 to graduate student conferences per quarter.

HDGSC will contribute up to, but no more than, $700 for off-campus events per quarter. (Events held on the UChicago campus and in any public spaces or businesses and in any private residence within Hyde Park are considered on-campus. Hyde Park is bounded by 47th St, Cottage Grove, 61st St, and Lake Michigan. Representatives are urged to consider, however, the appropriateness of any given space and the accessibility to all possible attendees.)

For any event taking place in the week prior to the quarterly meeting, i.e., prior to the second Tuesday of the quarter, the HDGSC pre-approves $100 – which must be reported and included in the budget request. If, however, the event has been planned far in advance to occur in that first week of the quarter and the cost exceeds the $100, the representative may request the Council’s approval for said event in the quarter prior to that.

Allocation limit. The HDGSC will not allocate in any given quarter to any one department or committee an amount that exceeds 1/12 of the total budget approved for allocation for that quarter. Any budget request that exceeds that amount will be returned by the Budget Review Committee to the representative who submitted it. It will be that rep’s responsibility to turn in a revised request promptly. The President will notify all representatives of the request limit.

Allocation limit for individual events. Representatives will not be reimbursed for more than the amount allocated for any individual event, regardless of any remainder of the total allocation. (Leftover funds cannot be applied to later events, etc.)

Attendance at all meetings is mandatory, except for the Budget Review Committee meetings, which is on a volunteer basis.

Failure to adhere to any deadline set by the president, vice president, and Budget Review Committee or failure to attend a meeting will result in loss of funding for a quarter.

Reasonable requests

What is a reasonable request? Every quarter, the Humanities Division is allocated a percentage of the student activity fee to distribute to 20+ departments and committees. So each quarter, we ask representatives to submit reasonable requests to put on weekly events like teas and sherry hours or big quarterly events like Halloween parties and winter balls. No more than 1/12 of the total budget approved will be allocated to any one group in any one quarter. Please be realistic and reasonable in your requests.

We also ask our representatives to keep in mind and pursue alternative funding, especially for larger, more expensive events and in light of our increasing numbers and somewhat static funds. Becoming a registered student organization (RSO) will help you sponsor events the cost of which we simply cannot shoulder. Getting departmental help with larger events is encouraged where possible.

Reimbursement, DPVs and quarter-end spending reports

Reimbursement: since your graduate student accounts cannot be used to pay for expenses in advance, expenses must be met out of pocket and then reimbursements processed. You are responsible for the timely submission of the original receipts to your departmental administrator, unless other arrangements have been made (e.g. the use of a GEMS card). If you do not have original receipts, the Comptroller’s Office will not reimburse you. All reimbursement requests for quarter-end events must be submitted before the end of the quarter. You are responsible for confirming that all of your requests have been received by that day; if they have not, your department will be ineligible for funding the next quarter. The Dean’s Office will notify the Council of the quarterly and annual deadlines for submitting requests for reimbursement.

Quarter-end spending reports: Your quarter-end spending reports are due the last day of each quarter via email; they will be submitted using a template that you will receive via email from the President near the end of each quarter. In it you will report: total amount allocated, all expenses (Amt, Vendor, DPV #, Person Reimbursed, Date approved by K. Skurauskis). This information is crucial to researching accounting errors that inevitably occur. It is advisable that you keep copies of all DPVs and receipts.

Divisional Event Request Template

Budget Request Template

Sample Budget Requests

Quarter-End Report Template