USG VP of Finance Introduction & Updates (6/23/20)
Subject: USG VP of Finance Introduction & Updates
TLDR: Information regarding contacting me (VP of Finance), 2019-2020 reimbursements and 2020-2021 expenditures, Student Activities Fair, new Treasurer contacts and Club Re-Registration.
Attention all lovers of remote islands and the open seas alike,
This is your captain speaking. My name is Cooper Reif, and I have the pleasure of serving as your VP of Finance for the next academic year. Just a word about me, I am a junior mechanical engineering major with minors in entrepreneurial studies and business management.
Before we set sail, it's important that we cover some key safety details. First, to exit this mailing list (if you are no longer a CWRU student, no longer an org leader, or simply don’t want to get my emails) please deboard calmly or email me privately. You can do this by ensuring that you are no longer listed as the officer of a student organization in CampusGroups. As long as you are listed as an officer, you will continue to receive my emails. If you know somebody who should be joining us on this voyage, please have them enlist as an officer of a student organization or you can email me and I will ensure all future communication is distributed appropriately.
Now, on to the good stuff. Hopefully, all of your summers are going as swimmingly (pun intended) as they can be given the circumstances. I wanted to send out an email addressing a few things as briefly as I can.
First, you should know how to CONTACT the crew for this upcoming voyage. In theory, you could use my Case ID (cxr306), or the stock email firstname.lastname@example.org (boring), or you could use the alias email@example.com which has now become a tradition of the position. Joining us on this journey will be your dedicated crew and treasurers for the upcoming year: Preeti Naik, Liam Matthews, and Ethan Deemer. Once we reach international waters, they’ll be handing out tropical smoothies and free cash handouts to anyone with a valid receipt. Please reach out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.
Second, I want to briefly address REIMBURSEMENTS FROM THIS PREVIOUS YEAR as well as expenditures for the coming year. As you may know, USG has been directly involved with the SAF COVID-19 Emergency Fund, which has recently been a top priority due to its urgency. Now, as those requests wind down, the Treasurers and I are working diligently to complete the remaining reimbursements. We plan to be fully up to date by the beginning of the fall semester. Please contact the Treasurers and I and copy Suzanne Leach with any requests you may have in this regard.
As far as this upcoming year is concerned, all groups must continue to use either PCard or CDEP purchase methods in order to use USG funds. All groups will be eligible for (and required to obtain) CDEP cards for the coming year. More information on receiving these cards will come closer to the start of the semester. In short, cash reimbursements will only be offered in the uncommon case that a credit card cannot be used or in the rare circumstance that your group doesn’t meet the specifications for a CDEP card.
Third, a brief note on the STUDENT ACTIVITIES FAIR. Please be on the lookout for a follow up email specifically pertaining to this. It should be noted that, unlike years past, the SAF will take place virtually due to social distancing regulations. That being said, the SAF is currently slated to take place during Discover Week with all groups able to participate.
Fourth, I’d like to address CLUB RE-RECOGNITION. In the coming couple of weeks I will be sending out instructions on how to complete that form and guarantee recognition for the coming year.
Lastly, I'm sure that I'll be sending you many, many emails throughout our time together. To stop you from constantly having to sift through your Gmail for a two month old email, all EMAILS I SENT WILL BE ARCHIVED. These can be found under the "Student Orgs" tab at usg.case.edu.
That is all from me for now! I look forward to working with you throughout the course of the next year, and hope to see many of you around campus, albeit six feet apart. Please feel free to stop me on the sidewalk to introduce yourself. I'd love to get to know more about you all.
Now, please ensure that you fully understand the safety protocol and have the itinerary for tonight's welcome party on deck nine. It's time to set sail!
Have a safe and relaxing summer,
Important Student Activities Fair Information (7/28/20)
Subject: Important Student Activities Fair Information
For those that don’t know me, my name is Cooper Reif and I have the honor of serving as USG’s VP of Finance for the upcoming school year. This role gives me the opportunity to run this fall’s Student Activities Fair (SAF). So, for all of you wondering why some random person is reaching out to your club, that’s the reason, and I’m happy to say that you’re invited to join us for the upcoming fair on Sunday, August 23rd, 11:30-2 EDT.
It goes without saying that this semester is going to be quite different from what any of us expected. This goes for the SAF as well. As much as I would love to be greeting you all in person with a cup full of coffee by Tink, some plans just have to change. Luckily, CampusGroups has recently created a “virtual fair” module that was built with our precise predicament in mind. Each club will be able to set up their own custom booth and add things such as photos, videos, and outside links in order to make the space their own. In addition to this, clubs can have officers stationed at their virtual booth to interact with incoming students via a live chat feature. Furthermore, orgs also have the option to host a live and recorded Zoom call at some point during the fair.
I could go on and on about the unique features that this virtual SAF brings, but at the risk of being too wordy, I think that it’s best if you all watch this video. The video will walk you through the entire process of setting up a booth, as well as an inside scoop as to what the fair looks like from the user end. It should be emphasized that the more information you add to your booth, the more that the fair will reward you and feature your booth higher up on the list. Also, please be sure to assign your club to a specific “zone” as this helps to lay out all clubs in the fair appropriately. Finally, it should be noted that photos uploaded to a booth do not currently have an option to add a description or caption, which makes them less accessible to low-vision users. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that text information from uploaded photos/graphics be included in the booth description or documents so that these users can take in all of the information offered.
All in all, I’m very excited to present this SAF to you all. While it’s certainly not what we all had in mind, it brings some unique features that simply wouldn’t be possible with the traditional format. If for whatever reason you’re unable to access the fair and set up your booth, please send an email to me (email@example.com) and firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.
One final thing. As you’ve seen above, this fair provides the opportunity for interested students to interact directly with your organization officers. Now is a great time to make sure that the officers you have listed on CampusGroups are up to date and reflect the appropriate positions. This can be done in the “Officers” module which exists on the dashboard of your student org page. As always, if you ever need to access any of this information again, all of my emails are archived at usg.case.edu.
[Action Needed] CDEP Application & SAF Reminder (8/18/20)
Subject: [Action Needed] CDEP Application & SAF Reminder
As I sit in my unfinished apartment desperately looking for furniture, I am reminded that the beginning of the semester is quickly approaching. I’m happy to say that despite what will certainly be a semester far different than expected, we will still be able to provide CDEP cards to our clubs.
The deadline for applying for a CDEP is Friday, October 9th and is mandatory for all student orgs under USG. The link to the CDEP application can be found here. All CDEP cards will be shipped to the SA&L office for pickup. If you are living on or near campus, please go there once you have received the confirmation email that your card is ready. If by chance you are off campus, USG will be shipping your CDEP card to you free of charge. When you receive the email stating that your card has reached campus, you will be provided further instruction on how to get the card shipped. Please only get the card shipped if you do not have easy access to the university.
Also, many of you have asked me whether or not club allocations will stay the same given the recent housing decision made by the university. I’m pleased to say that USG has no intentions of reducing any clubs’ allocations for this semester as long as the Student Activities Fee stays the way it is, and I’ve heard no movements to change it.
Finally, I want to remind you all about the Student Activities Fair this Sunday 11:30-2! Hopefully, you all have activated your booths, but if not, no worries at all. Please have your booth ready and activated by Friday the 21st at 11:59 p.m. A comprehensive guide to setting up your booth and what to do during and after the fair can be found here. I’m really looking forward to the event and can’t wait to see all of our great student orgs in one place.
Have a fantastic end to the summer,
[Action Needed] President-Treasurer Workshop and USG Allocation Updates (9/7/20)
Subject: [Action Needed] President-Treasurer Workshop and USG Allocation Updates
I hope that you are all starting to get (somewhat) settled into the semester. As student org activities begin to ramp up, it’s important that all clubs are well versed in the finance process. To help you all along with this, USG will be hosting a President-Treasurer Workshop on Zoom to go over the ins and outs of the reimbursement and money allocation process. This presentation will be about 30-45 minutes. As a USG recognized organization, it is your responsibility to receive this information either live or recorded. A failure to do may result in a loss of funding for the semester.
As far as the event date and time goes, a form to vote on a time can be found here. Please select all times that work with your schedule. This form must be completed by Wednesday the 9th at 4 p.m. EDT so that everyone can have ample time to plan for the event. Please only vote once per club. If for any reason the chosen time doesn’t work for anyone on your executive board, let me know and I can provide you a recording of the presentation after the fact (one nice thing about everything being online).
Also, as many of you may be aware of by now, CWRU has chosen to no longer charge the Student Activities Fee to undergraduates living outside of the Northeast Ohio area. This decision certainly helps those living abroad regarding paying unnecessary fees, but unfortunately, this will also affect your Fall 2020 allocation. Upon consideration, the most fair thing to do is to cut every club’s Fall 2020 allocation by the same percentage. That amount will be finalized when more data becomes available, but expect that number to be around 50%.
That being said, this is a reminder that your leftover Spring 2020 allocation still does rollover and will not be cut in any way. Please fill out this form to tell USG how much money you’d like to rollover to the Fall 2020 semester. Please have this form filled out no later than Friday 11th at 11:59 p.m. This value will be added to your updated Fall 2020 allocation on CampusGroups hopefully this weekend. In addition to that, please also remember that rolling funding will be taking place this year as usual. More information regarding that will be released in the near future. This semester has certainly had its twists and turns and I appreciate you all immensely for sticking with me.
I look forward to seeing many of you this weekend!
President-Treasurer Workshop Date Announcement (9/9/20)
Subject: President-Treasurer Workshop Date Announcement
Hello everyone, it’s me again.
As a result of the survey that I sent out on Monday, it appears that over 70% of us are around on Sunday the 13th at 8:00 p.m. EDT for the President-Treasurer Workshop. One member of your club’s executive board is required to attend this meeting. Preferably this individual is the club’s Treasurer, but any executive member works great. If by chance none of your executive board is available at the above time, please email me at email@example.com and we can work out separate arrangements.
Zoom information can be found below and I look forward to seeing many of you this Sunday.
P.S. Please fill out the Spring 2020 Rollover form if you haven’t already done so. See my last email for details regarding that.
Cooper Reif is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: President-Treasurer Workshop
Time: Sep 13, 2020 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 920 9303 9162
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USG Finance Office Hours & President/Treasurer Workshop Slides (9/14/20)
Subject: USG Finance Office Hours & President/Treasurer Workshop Slides
Thank you so much to everyone who was able to attend the USG President/Treasurer Workshop last night. In that presentation, I announced the start of USG Finance Office Hours. Those times along with corresponding Zoom links can be found below:
These are also posted on the USG website (usg.case.edu) under the “Student Orgs” tab in the “Important Links” section. Please use office hours as a resource to ask questions regarding reimbursements or just general USG-related topics as a whole.
In addition to that, a few of you asked that I send out the slides from the presentation. As per your request, they can be found here.
Have a great week,
USG Rolling Funding (10/4/20)
Subject: USG Rolling Funding
Happy weekend everyone,
I hope that you all are doing well. I email you today regarding the USG Rolling Funding period which is to open at 3 pm EDT on Wednesday, October 7th. This semester, USG is providing $5,000 for all rolling funding needs.
Rolling Funding requests can be submitted in a similar way that Mass Funding requests are submitted. On your club’s CampusGroups page, navigate to the “Budget” module and in the upper left corner, choose “USG Fall 2020 Rolling Funding” from the dropdown menu. Once you’ve done this, you can now select the “Create Budget Request” button in the upper right corner. Fill out all applicable fields then submit. You should now see your request in the budget module. As far as what and how much to request, USG Rolling Funding guidelines can be found here. If you need any assistance at all with this, please visit USG Finance office hours. The times and links for those can be found here.
Finally, it should be noted that USG Rolling Funding is on a first come, first served basis. Please note the above start time of 3 pm EDT on Wednesday, October 7th. USG will only be able to honor requests made at this exact time and later.
Have a great day,
USG Mass Funding (11/9/20)
Subject: USG Mass Funding
Hello Student Org Leaders,
I hope that you all are doing swell. The time to apply for next semester’s Mass Funding is finally upon us. The deadline to apply for Spring 2021 Mass Funding will be Wednesday, December 2nd at 11:59 PM. No late submissions will be accepted, so please, please, please be on time. The review of the budget will take place on Saturday, December 5th.
The budget period is now open on CampusGroups. The budget can be found in the ‘Budget” module under “USG Spring 2021 Mass Funding”. Lucky for us, Student Affairs has created a Mass Funding Submission Guide that walks through the process of submitting a budget in CampusGroups. Please use this document as a resource. Following these guidelines correctly is your best chance to maximize the amount of funding that you’ll receive.
A few important things to keep in mind:
As always, the Treasurers and myself continue to hold office hours every week. If you need any assistance with submitting your budget, please do not hesitate to visit office hours at the times listed below:
Cooper Reif: Mondays 2-3 pm
Ethan Deemer: Wednesdays 5-7 pm
Preeti Naik: Thursdays 9-11 am
Liam Matthews: Fridays 9-11 am
The Treasurers are also available to answer questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
It's been a pleasure working with you all so far, especially given the unique circumstances that we’ve found ourselves in. It amazes me to see the fantastic events and student interaction taking place even in a mostly virtual world. I applaud you all for your great efforts in keeping the CWRU spirit alive in a global pandemic. As always, if you ever have a question or concern, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
One Week Until USG Mass Funding (11/25/20)
Subject: One Week Until USG Mass Funding
Happy (almost) Thanksgiving! This is a quick notice to announce that we are one week away from the deadline for USG Spring 2021 Mass Funding on December 2nd at 11:59 pm. If you have not already submitted your budget in CampusGroups, please do so before that deadline hits. As always, the USG Treasurers and I are available to answer any questions throughout the process. You can email us at email@example.com or attend the office hours listed at usg.case.edu.
Also, as an aside, I have been getting a lot of questions from various student organizations regarding apparel. Unfortunately, USG is unable to reallocate any funds towards club apparel. That being said, you can in fact use your automatic allocation of $100 towards these types of purchases. The bulk cost of apparel must be funded using your clubs’ group funds, if you have any, or it must be financed by the recipients of the apparel themselves. If you have any questions about this, please reach out to the Treasurers using the email above.
I hope that you all have a healthy and happy Thanksgiving, and with it a relaxing break from classes until the grind before finals begins.
Mass Fudning Results (12/9/20)
Subject: Mass Funding Results
Happy finals week everyone!
Thank you all again for submitting your Mass Funding budgets to us. It’s nice to see that, even with the COVID-19 pandemic, the CWRU spirit is alive and well. Obviously, the pandemic has impacted many facets of our lives, CWRU’s finances included. That being said, we’ve done our best to give as much to the clubs as possible. This semester, 150 USG student organizations requested $243,089.87 in funding, and we were able to allocate $118,522.76.
The attached document shows the Mass Funding process for your club, from round one to round two. Round one involved fitting budgets to the Mass Funding guidelines provided in my earlier email. From there, round two included a 25% cut on registration, a 40% cut on capital purchases and supplies ($1500 cap), a 50% cut on entertainment, lowering of food requests by $2/person ($2/person minimum), a full cut on lodging and transportation, and a cut on the lowest priority event if a club requested 4 or more events. These cuts were designed to equally impact clubs of various types, while applying some of the travel restrictions that we are hearing will likely be in place next semester.
Your final line item breakdown can be found on your club’s Campus Groups page in the Budget section. If you believe any part of the Mass Funding process to be inaccurate, please fill out this Google Form, and we will evaluate your request using a panel of USG Finance Committee members that were not present at Mass Funding. This form is due by midnight of December 16th, a week from today.
As always, please reach out to the Treasurers with any questions.
[USG] Notice on Purchasing Gift Cards (12/12/20)
Subject: [USG] Notice on Purchasing Gift Cards
Dear Student Org Leaders,
Happy Saturday! While the Treasurers were filing reimbursements for student org purchases, they came accross a number of requests for gift cards. As heavily stressed in the President-Treasurer Workshop at the beginning of the semester, USG is unable to finance the purchase of any gift cards for student organizations. The only exception is using SMARTCART, a service that can be utilized by reaching out to Suzanne Leach (firstname.lastname@example.org) from the SA&L office. Furthermore, any prizes, gift cards or otherwise, are also strictly prohibited, as laid out in USG's Funding Guidelines. If you realize that your club accidentally made any of these purchases throughout the semester, it's certainly not the end of the world by any means. Please contact the Treasurers (email@example.com) and we will work to alleviate the issue. Just a heads up that these rules are not new, and will also apply to next semester. Good luck to those that are yet to finish finals!
Spring 2021 CDEP Cards & Start of Budget Period (1/27/21)
Subject: Spring 2021 CDEP Cards & Start of Budget Period
I hope that you all have had a fun and relaxing winter break, and that those of you who elected to take J-term courses are getting the most out of the new class offerings. As the start of the semester draws ever closer, I wanted to announce that the payment request period for the spring 2021 semester is officially open on Campus Groups. You may now purchase things for your club and request reimbursement. Also, this is a reminder that any reallocation that you’d like to make throughout the semester must be documented using this form: http://cglink.me/2cS/s13105. This semester, any such reallocations must also have to be approved by a USG Treasurer. Please allow the Treasurers two weeks of lead time to review your request, and wait for the form to be approved before purchasing anything. If you are a new Treasurer this semester, please reach out to the USG Treasurers at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get training material and ask any questions that you may have about the role.
On the topic of purchasing, CDEP cards must be either issued for the first time, or given a limit increase to reflect your clubs’ new allocation. A message regarding the process for this is copied below:
Hello again, CDEP approvers!
The CDEP card application for the spring semester is now open: http://cglink.me/s11271. If a new card is needed it can be requested to come to CWRU or for the expedited fee it can be mailed to the student's address (Domestic US) (this is only being done due to COVID restrictions this semester)
The deadline for student org leaders to apply for a new card is Friday, February 19.
ALREADY HAVE A CARD
Students who received a card in the fall do NOT need to apply for a new card. Instead, they can request a spending limit increase here: http://cglink.me/s14672
Submitters can check their submission statuses (draft, pending, approved, etc) by logging into CampusGroups and clicking on "My Surveys/Forms" or by visiting community.case.edu/student_forms.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me (Cooper Reif email@example.com) or Todd Rasmussen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Wishing you all the best this semester!
USG Rolling Funding, Club Re-recognition, and More (2/6/21
Subject: USG Rolling Funding, Club Re-recognition, and More
Hello student org officers,
I hope that your first week of the Spring 2021 semester has been a success. As the semester picks up steam, I would like to make you all aware of a few things:
Club re-registration is now active. Completing the club re-registration form is mandatory to keep your club USG recognized. The form can be found by going to your club’s Campus Groups home page and clicking the banner on the top of the page regarding re-registration. The form is easy to complete and should only take around 5-10 minutes in its entirety. This form must be completed by February 22nd to ensure retention of USG recognition status.
Rolling Funding is opening soon. The budget for Spring 2021 Rolling Funding can be found on Campus Groups under the “Budget” module and selecting “Spring 2021 Rolling Funding” from the drop down menu in the upper left hand corner of the screen. From there, submit a budget for your rolling funding request as you would for Mass Funding. Be sure to reference the attached Rolling Funding guidelines. Rolling Funding is on a first come first serve basis, and USG will open applications on Thursday, February 11th at 5 pm EST. Any applications submitted before this time will be moved to the end of the list.
Also, this is a reminder that the Spring 2021 semester is back to normal for submitting payment requests on Campus Groups. Please submit payment requests under the correct line item associated with the purchase, instead of all under “automatic allocation” like last semester.
In addition to this, just a heads up that USG does not allow any purchase of prizes or apparel (anything with a logo) outside of your $100 of automatic allocation. PPE is provided for free by the Sparta center, and thus won’t be reimbursed.
Finally, just a notice that if you plan on supplementing food purchases with gift cards, then these gift cards must be purchased through Suzanne Leach using SMARTCART. Please reach out to her with any questions or requests to use the service.
Wishing you all the best. It’s been a pleasure working with you all this past semester, and I’m excited for what the future has in store.
Oops. It’s funny how quick your brain is to remember things right after you hit send. I’d like to add one more thing to the email I just sent. Due to the virtual nature of zoom office hours, the Treasurers and I have decided to make office hours “by appointment” this semester. If you’d like to meet face to face with a Treasurer, then please send an email to email@example.com using the subject tagline “[USG Finance Office Hours]”. A Treasurer will meet with you within 24 of you sending the email or your order is free. Hopefully I didn’t forget anything else…
Enjoy your weekend!