Purchases &
Event Planning

PLEASE READ EVERYTHING.

This page contains all the necessary club-related planning information that is imperative to you and your club’s success. Please read it carefully to make your club goals easy and quick. Failure to read these instructions may lead to delays and interruptions that will not work to your benefit. If there is anything you don't understand, please don’t hesitate to email support@bcstudentgov.org so your concerns can be routed to the appropriate Student Government Office.

This page was last updated on ​1/28/2022. Updates or changes to the page will be mentioned below.


For an event to take place, or a purchase to be made, (up to) 4 different things need to happen from 4 different offices. Though the club is limited in what it can do directly, it is the obligation of the club leaders to make sure that the needs of each of the 4 offices are fulfilled, and that the necessary information is sent to each one. Do not assume that information has passed from one office to another.

It is the obligation of ALL club leaders to make sure that EACH step is completed, to send the necessary information to each office, and to follow up in a timely manner to make sure your request did not slip through the cracks. If multiple people from your club's E-Board are CC'd on an email, don't assume it is someone else's responsibility to answer, or that someone else will answer. Many club events fail because everyone assumes someone else will answer. If you know the answer, a Club Connector can email about funding, a Treasurer about club registration, and a Vice President about Purchases, etc.

The Four Steps to a Successful Event/Purchase

Intro:
If you are a registered club you can skip step 1.
If you are not making any purchases you can skip steps 2 and 4.
If you are not hosting an event you can skip step 3.

  1. You must be a registered club. If you are already a registered club, you do not need to do anything. Only registered clubs can host club events and make purchases. For information on how to register see the boxes below "How do I open and register a club?" and "How to Re-register a club?"
    If you are unsure whether or not your club is registered, check Bulldog Connection and search for your club. If it's there, Great! you're registered; if not, follow the steps below to register as a new club, or re-register an existing club.

  2. You must have enough money in your account. If you are not making any purchases you can skip this step. If you already have enough money to cover any purchases, you don't need to do anything here. If you are unsure whether or not you have enough money, email CD@brooklyn.cuny.edu mention your club name and ask what the balance of your account is.
    If you need more money see the box below "How do I apply for funding?"

  3. You must fill out an Event Request Form (ERF) and it must be approved. If you are making a purchase not related to an event you can skip this step. If you are making a purchase for an event, you will not be able to make that purchase without an ERF being approved first, and the ERF is not going to be approved unless you have enough money in your account. Make sure to plan far enough in advance so your event goes smoothly. Watch out for emails and comments on your ERF, this is the way the people approving your event will contact you if anything else is needed.
    If you are not sure what an ERF is or how to fill one out see the box below "What is an Event Request Form (ERF) and how do I fill one out?"

  4. Purchases can ONLY be made BY Central Depository, or with PRIOR APPROVAL from Central Depository. Do not buy things then ask how to be reimbursed. Do not sign any contracts. Keep in mind that some purchases can take MONTHS to process, plan accordingly.
    For instructions on how to make purchases see the box below "How do I make purchases?"

How do I apply for funding?

There are 2 main ways for clubs to get funding:

  1. A budget allocation at the beginning of the year; and

  2. A grant from Student Government.

Because many clubs plan events that cost more than they were allocated at the beginning of the academic year, a USG grant may be necessary for a large number of expenditures. You can request one by filling out THIS form. The application includes a lot of information about the process, and the person filling it out is obligated to read the whole thing to ensure the form is filled out correctly. Incomplete or incorrect applications can result in your request not even being considered.

Once your request is received, you should get an email from the Treasurer. Check your inbox and check your spam. This is not an automated email so don't expect it instantly. This email will be sent to every email included on the form, and will either request more information, or confirm that your request will be added to the agenda of the Club Funding Council (CFC) who will vote to either approve, reject, or amend your request. After the CFC meeting, The Treasurer will notify you as to what their decision was. Their decision is final, but you can submit another request for the same purchase if your previous request was denied or amended, or if you underestimated the cost and need more money. Make sure to include additional information. The same request will have the same result (more information on the CFC can be found HERE). If your request was denied or amended you will be given an explanation why. Requests over $1,000.00 go to the Executive Cabinet for final approval. Keep that in mind as it will add extra time to your request.


Tips:
The most important questions the CFC looks at when evaluating Grant Request are:

  1. Describe the event and how it aligns with your organization's mission statement. The CFC wants to see that your event is in line with the mission statement on your club constitution.

  2. Explain why this event requires Student Activity Fee funding, what free or lower-cost alternatives are available, and how those alternatives differ in quality. The CFC wants to see that you evaluated other options and you chose this as the best option. Thoroughly explain what the other options are and why you chose the one you chose.

  3. What is the amount being requested from USG? The club should be using all other sources of funding first before requesting money from USG. If you have money in your account that should be deducted from the total cost. If another club is co-sponsoring and they have money in their account, that should be deducted from the cost. Regarding the amount of money you would like to spend, do not round. This should be the exact amount as stated in the cost breakdown.

  4. Cost Breakdown. This is a detailed item-by-item breakdown of what you are buying and how much it costs. Make sure to separate it by WHAT you plan to buy, DO NOT put different items in the same line, even if it's from the same vendor.

  5. Vendor Quotes. This is verification FROM THE VENDOR that shows the cost of the items you listed in the cost breakdown. This needs to be from the seller. Using a document that you created and misrepresenting it as a quote from the vendor may be fraud. Almost anything from the vendor works as a quote; a shopping cart, a menu, an email or text, and a list price on a website all are valid vendor quotes.

Steps 3, 4, & 5 work together to prove the validity of your request. The amount you are requesting is backed up by the cost breakdown which shows what exactly you plan to spend the money on. The vendor quote proves that the prices you included in your request are the actual prices you will be paying. Do not include sales taxes. Inconsistencies between these will result in your request being delayed and may result in your request not even being considered.

What is an Event Request Form (ERF) and how do I fill one out?

An Event Request Form (ERF) is how the club asks for permission to host an event. All events need one regardless of whether they are on-campus, off-campus, or virtual. A club cannot advertise an event or spend money on an event until an ERF has been approved. An ERF is filled out on Bulldog Connection. Detailed instructions for how to fill out an Event Request Form can be found HERE. Each ERF is reviewed by your club liaison and once approved goes to the Student Event Management Team (SEMT) who has the final decision on whether to approve or deny it. If it is denied you will be notified as to why. Most denials happen because of incomplete/insufficient information or because the ERF is submitted too late. Make sure to submit your request as early as possible and keep an eye out for comments. If you have any questions email your club liaison. If you do not know who your club liaison is, their information can be found on Bulldog Connection. If you are still unsure who your club liaison is, email the USG Club Director at Clubs@bcstudentgov.org.

You need to have funding available before an ERF will be approved, but since the Treasurer and a representative from Central Depository sit on the SEMT they will confirm if a grant request has been received and if funding is available. Do not delay submitting an ERF because of funding. SEMT meets once a week on Friday morning, but if funding is the only thing missing, and your club has a grant request on the agenda for the upcoming CFC meeting, they will allow the event to be approved mid-week when the grant is approved. Additionally, submitting early gives the club more time to fix other issues with the ERF.

If you have questions regarding a specific ERF, send a message in the comments section or email your club liaison. If you have general questions you can email your club liaison or SEMT@brooklyn.cuny.edu. If you submitted an ERF on Wednesday or on Thursday morning, email your club liaison and ask them to review it before the SEMT meeting on Friday Morning, understand that he/she may be busy and your request may not be reviewed until the following week.

How do I make purchases?

A different process is used depending on the type of purchase. Regardless of what you are buying, ALL PURCHASES NEED PRIOR APPROVAL FROM CENTRAL DEPOSITORY. Normally, purchases cannot be processed unless all 3 prior steps have already been completed; however, it is recommended that you email CD@brooklyn.cuny.edu even before approval with any plans you have so they can advise you on what to expect and how to possibly speed the process up.

  1. For invoices under $250, we may be able to pay in-house. This process can take as little as 2 weeks.

  2. Invoices over $249.99 need to be processed through CUNY First. This can take 4-6 weeks and usually takes longer than that.

  3. Trips or single purchases over $999.99 need approval from the Brooklyn College Association (BCA) before they can be processed. BCA only meets four times per semester, and you need approval from the BCA budget committee first. This can add an ADDITIONAL 2-5 WEEKS to the process.

  4. Payments for services or contracts, regardless of the amount, need to be processed through CUNY First. This includes speakers, DJs, artists, etc. For service payments, extra (income) tax information needs to be collected from the vendor and submitted to CUNY. This can be done before approval, and should not be delayed while waiting for approval.

USG recommends using 'Option 1' whenever possible. CUNY can be very unpredictable and avoiding them will allow your club to have more control over your event. If you plan to spend between $250 and $300, call the vendor and try to negotiate, it will usually work (though it may require that you change your order slightly). If you plan to spend between $300 and $499, try to split the purchase between different vendors. Though there is technically no limit on how many vendors you can use, you may be asked to limit your event to two vendors in a given category. A single vendor is NOT allowed to split a purchase into multiple invoices to get around this rule, even if multiple clubs will be paying. You can ask CD@brooklyn.cuny.edu for their advice on how to proceed if you have any questions.

Guides:

  1. Under $250: LINK

  2. Between $250 and $999.99: LINK

  3. Over $999.99: LINK

  4. Payment for services regardless of amount: LINK

How do I open and register a club? Click Here

How to Re-register a club? Click Here

Updates/Changes

12/22/2021 - Page Created

1/28/2022 - Instructions Updated

2/28/2022 - Removed how to open a club & how to re-register a club