Student Clubs and Organizations FAQ's

Here's some of the most commonly asked questions about student organization processes. If you can't find the answer to your question, contact your SEAL or send us an email!

Getting Involved

How do I become involved in Student Involvement and Leadership? Who do I contact? Where do I look to apply? 

There are plenty of ways to be involved with our department, listed below are a few:
  • To join a student organization as a member, sign in to Presence and click on Organizations. On the page for each individual organization, there is an option to join it as a member. Presence is the most up-to-date place to find out what events are coming up, but you can also find events on our SMC website's events page or follow SIL on Instagram!
  • To become a Student Engagement & Activity Leader (SEAL), please use the GAELEAD Application when the office is hiring. SEAL recruitment usually occurs in spring semester for the following academic year. 
  • To become a part of the Associated Students Senate, follow the Election Code and run for a position in the senate when elections are being held. Elections are held at the beginning of fall semester and end of spring semester.
  • To start a student organization, start here. If you are or plan to be an executive team member of an existing club, start here.

 

General Questions for Club Executives

 

Why should my organization be registered?

 

Registered student organizations through Associated Students have certain rights unavailable to groups not associated with Saint Mary's College of California. Registered orgs can reserve event spaces on campus as well as any event setup needs (tables, chairs, catering, etc.) and AV equipment and assistance through IT Services. They also can advertise on campus, access financial resources, be allocated funds from Associated Students, apply for Programming Fund for events, and gain professional advising from Student Involvement and Leadership staff and the Student Engagement and Activity Leaders (SEALs) who you can find here.

 

As an executive team member of a club, how do I go about creating an event? 

From the admin portal, click the “+ Create” button in the top left corner and choose “Event” to access the request form. Be sure to include as many details as possible and list any Facilities (tables, chairs, etc.) or IT (projector, microphones, speakers, etc.) needs you might have. Your SEAL will reserve spaces and coordinate with any departments for your event logistics. You will receive a confirmation when your event has been approved. Contact your SEAL at sil@stmarys-ca.edu if you have any questions!

 

Who do I contact if I want to update my club's executive for the new school year? What if there is a change in the middle of the school year? Who do I email? 

Contact your SEAL at sil@stmarys-ca.edu to have executive members updated at any time during the academic year.

 

How do I start a club?

 

To start a new student organization, start with this link. You will need a constitution, mission statement, and at least two undergraduate student executive members (a president and treasurer). A faculty or staff advisor is not required but highly recommended. Please contact sil@stmarys-ca.edu for more information and registration deadlines.

 

What are my resources as an executive team member of an existing club?

 

All student organization executive members have access to resources through SIL and AS. Check the Student Organizations page for current resources on events. The Associated Students page contains information on finances. Each student org is also assigned a Student Engagement & Activity Leader (SEAL), who you can find here, that serves as a peer advisor on all things related to running your organization.

 

Who do I talk to if there is conflict amongst my club executive team? 

The staff or faculty advisor serves as a guide for your organization, including interpersonal conflicts.

 

 

What are the guidelines I give to new exec team members when I leave my position? 

 

Make sure to have new exec team members meet with your SEAL as well as have a final meeting with the new leaders to pass off any documentation on specific roles as well as any other information regarding the organization. If you would like help with transitions in your exec team, reach out to your SEAL.

 

Finances

 

Can I spend money before it is allocated?

 

Allocated budgets are meant to be spent in the academic year they are intended for. Additionally, Associated Students only refunds spending for events that have been posted and approved on Presence. Allocations are only given to registered student organizations that fill out an Allocation Request Form in spring semester. The Associated Students Senate passes the budget for the following academic year at the end of April, and the Vice President for Finance will notify your org of the status of your allocation request.

 

What is the difference between allocated and fundraised accounts?

 

Every registered student organization can fundraise and add that money to an SMC account. However, only organizations that have been given an allocated budget through Associated Students have an allocated funds account. Fundraised balances roll over between academic years and can be continually added to or used by the student org. Allocations are limited to the academic year they are intended for and do not roll over.

 

What forms do I have to fill out if I want to request money for an event? 

 

The Programming Fund can be used for events hosted by your registered student organization. To request funding for an event, fill out the Programming Fund Request on SPOT. From the main page, click on “Forms” and then start a new submission for the Programming Fund Request. Please ensure there is already an event submission on SPOT and turn in your programming fund request by Friday at 4:30PM to be considered by the Finance Committee the following Wednesday. Contact the Vice President for Finance for any questions regarding the Programming Fund.

 

How do I raise money for my organization?

 

There are multiple ways to fundraise. Most commonly, student organizations will host fundraisers on campus, charge an admission fee for an event, or host a fundraiser through a local business. Talk to your SEAL or a SIL staff member for more information related to what your organization hopes to achieve.

 

How do I know how much money I have left?

 

Any exec team member of a registered student org can ask the AS Vice President for Finance or their SEAL for the current balances of their org accounts.

 

Can my organization fundraise for and donate money to non-profits?

 

All student org funds are not eligible for donations to other nonprofits. However, a student org can organize a fundraiser specifically for donations to a nonprofit organization and directly donate what they collect.

 

Can I use a college credit card?

For large purchases or ordering online, student organizations can submit a Purchase Request Form on SPOT. A SIL staff member will use a college credit card and take the money out of the organization's account.

 

Can I use Venmo during fundraisers?

Currently, the Business Office cannot process funds raised through Venmo or other mobile payment apps. 

 

Event Planning

 

    How do I reserve a room?

     

    For general meetings or events, submit an event request on Presence and SIL will reserve a room for you. See the event request question above.

     

    How do I request tables?

     

    Tables and chairs can be requested through the Event Request form on Presence. See the event request question above.

     

    Where do I get a cash box?

     

    Cash boxes can be checked out from the SIL office for use in fundraisers and other events.

     

    How do I advertise my event?

     

    There are several ways for student organizations to advertise. Posters that meet the posting policy requirements can be used in approved locations across campus. Fliers can also be given to Residential Experience for distribution in the residence halls or added to departmental bulletin boards with approval from each department. Social media is also an effective marketing strategy. An organization can also use digital signage on campus by contacting College Communications. For more information about advertising and marketing, contact SIL or your SEAL.

     

    Can I show a movie?

     

    Movies are usually protected by copyright and rights to show the film will need to be obtained before it is shown at an event or other org meeting. Contact SIL for more information on movie rights.

     

    How do I get help with tech needs?

    Any technology or AV needs for an event can be added to the Event Request on Presence. Additionally, your org can contact your SEAL for more information about specific technology help. See the event request question above.

     

    What events do we need waivers for?

     

    Any student organization event with a possibility of injury or other harm to a student will need to have waivers of liability signed by participants before the start of the event. SIL will provide these waivers if your event requires them. A waiver can be added to your event’s check in process on the Checkpoint app. Additionally, paper waivers can be provided.