Who we are
Established in 1946, the Student Budgeting Committee (SBC) is a longstanding, non-political student institution. Our primary responsibility is to provide funding to Swarthmore College’s chartered student clubs and organizations, which we do every semester. Our top priority is to allocate funds in an independent, equitable, and responsible manner in order to enrich the college experiences of the broader student body. SBC operates independently of the Student Government Organization of Swarthmore College (SGO) as a self-governing body and has done so since 2018.
Where do club funds come from?
Every year, students are charged a “Student Activities Fee” as part of their tuition, room, and board fees. All the fees we collect each year are collectively referred to as the “Student Activities Fund” (or SAF), which is our budget. The SAF is freshly generated every year; we have no savings. Our job is to divide the SAF into portions which we can give to each of the 100+ clubs and organizations on campus.
How do we make decisions?
We operate in compliance with the SBC Constitution, which outlines the responsibilities of our members, such as providing office hours, examining student spendings, and processing reimbursement requests. We work closely with the Office of Student Engagement from day to day.
We allocate funds once per semester, and then provide supplemental funding throughout the semester as needed. We allocate funds on a case-by-case basis. In order to ensure consistency between decisions, we have official Budgeting Guidelines, established to make things clearer for student treasurers.
How we work
SBC has 9 members: a Chair, a General Manager, and 7 Associates. Normally, we meet twice a week in order to process and vote on funding requests, communicate with student groups, and respond to inquiries. During the semesterly allocation process, we meet up to five times a week in order to evaluate budget proposals and make decisions. We also have Office Hours throughout the week that students are free to attend.
The Chair and General Manager meet with the Office of Student Engagement on a weekly basis to facilitate SBC operations and discuss next steps.
At least 5 SBC members must be present for any decision to be made on behalf of SBC, and a majority of us must vote in favor of any budget proposal for it to be approved. Once approved, we notify OSE and the funds are unlocked for student use.
When your budget comes to us, we consider each item individually. We consider whether the funds requested match our Constitution and Guidelines, whether they are central to your club’s purpose, what the impact of the funds will be, whether the cost is reasonable, and whether there are cheaper options available. The more detailed your request is, the more likely it is to be approved.
SBC is proud to provide public information regarding the funds that we allocated for Spring 2024. This information is still being updated as we process club appeals and supplemental funding requests.