Frequently Asked Questions
Can S&A funds be used for...
Meals are subject to the following restrictions, for any questions, contact SURC Accounting:
- Subject to rate limits specified in CWU policy 3-50-240 Meal Reimbursement.
- Meals may be purchased for a lecturer or entertainer if food costs are specified in the contract or as part of payment for the performance.
- Meals may be purchased for students who take a speaker/entertainer dining out if the students are involved in a program organization. (No more than thee such students per event). Meals may also be purchased for an organization’s advisor in attendance.
- Banquet meals may be purchased for student(s) receiving awards at a banquet.
- Light refreshments may be purchased for consumption at approved student programs. Light refreshments include nonalcoholic beverages and edible items commonly served between meals.
- For purchases of meals and light refreshments, see the following CWU policy 2-40-200, specifically point #4.
S&A Fee funds may be used to purchase decorations for a banquet, dance, or other approved event. The cost of the decorations must be reasonable and appropriate for the event. As the decorations are state property, they must remain with the University. A list of decorations and who will be the custodian of them after the event must be included.
- prizes for a promotional contest of chance (PCOC)?
- Yes, if the primary purpose of the PCOC (drawing, sweepstakes, game of chance) is to advertise or promote your organization and/or its activities. Since a fee is never charged to participate in a PCOC, the value of each prize must comply with CWU procedure 3-50-320 Procedure for Promotional Expenditures.
- Additionally, the Washington State Gambling Commission has specific requirements for conducting promotional contests of chance. It is your responsibility to fully comply with these requirements. Please refer to the Washington State Gambling Commission website for more information.
- items to be given away, e.g., flowers, birthday cakes, or awards?
Generally not. Purchasing flowers or cakes to be given away on special occasions, e.g., funerals and birthdays, is prohibited.
Awards such as engraved plaques, trophy cups, and monogrammed clothing may be given away if the following criteria are met [RCW 41.60.150, CWU Policy 7-220.127.116.11(6.b)]:
- The award must be personal to the recipient, having intrinsic sentimental or personal value, and
- The award must be reasonable under the circumstances and should not have more than nominal monetary value, and
- The award must be presented for some sort of participation or achievement.
- wages of a person employed by an approved faculty/student/alumni group?
S&A Fee funds may be used for wages. However, S&A Fee funds cannot be used to pay wages for purposes unrelated to your organization’s approved goals.
- How should proceeds from an event be handled?
It depends upon the organization conducting the event. If the organization is directly funded by S&A Fees, all proceeds from the event must be treated as S&A Fee funds and be placed in an S&A Fee funds account. All proceeds must be deposited in the appropriate account in a timely manner.
If the organization conducting the event receives S&A Fee funds indirectly from another organization, proceeds from the event are placed in the conducting organization’s account. Such an arrangement is usually termed "co-sponsorship."
- Can my S&A Funded organization conduct a raffle?
Yes, but only with prior approval from the office of the Assistant Vice President for Financial Affairs (to ensure that your organization understands and complies with all requirements, restrictions, and reporting).
The net proceeds from each raffle must be used solely to supplement funding for your organization’s approved objectives and expenditure plan and must also be limited to currently enrolled CWU students age 18 or older.
The Washington State Gambling Commission has strict requirements and restrictions that apply to raffles. Please refer to the Washington State Gambling Commission website for more information.
Individuals receiving over $600 (fair market value) of prizes per year are subject to IRS reporting requirements.
The city (or other local jurisdiction) where the raffle is conducted may have licensing and/or other requirements. (For example, the City of Ellensburg Police Department requires notification for all raffles conducted within the city limits.)
It is your responsibility to fully comply with all city/state/federal requirements, restrictions, and reporting.
- Can someone from my organization win and keep a prize if my organization conducts a promotional contest of chance or raffle?
Those individuals who arrange the event, including the advisor, are not eligible to win or receive prizes. A member of the sponsoring organization could be eligible to win or receive a prize if he or she did not coordinate or assist with event arrangements.
- Does the S&A Fee Committee approve allocations to large organizations intending the monies to be spent on behalf of smaller subsidiary groups?
This is a common practice. The expenditure plans of larger (umbrella) organizations must include the details of planned expenditures on behalf of smaller groups. The subsidiary groups must be approved CWU organizations (Equity and Services Council, sports clubs).
- How do I document and pay for student travel?
Official student travel requires prior approval by an appropriate University administrator. Before departure, a Travel Authorization (TA) must be completed and signed.
Student travel, with minor exceptions, is handled the same as staff and faculty travel. See https://www.cwu.edu/financial-affairs/travel for travel information.
- How do I go about getting reimbursed?
After the return from travel or the end of the event, you have 2 weeks to turn in all relevant receipts for reimbursement to SURC Accounting (SURC 263).
In the event that all receipts have not been returned to SURC Accounting within the 2 week timeframe, only those receipts turned in will be reimbursed.
You will be reimbursed through the online travel report process. SURC Accounting will e-mail out instructions on how to complete this portion after all receipts have been submitted to SURC Accounting (or the two week window to turn in receipts has close) and all of the information is reconciled. Please watch your CWU email for questions and instructions.
The reimbursement process takes roughly 3 weeks to complete from the end of the event.
- Purchases are paid on a reimbursement basis only, meaning you must pay for items/travel first and then be reimbursed after following all required steps of the funding source.
- S&A Fees may only fund CWU student activities and programs.
- CWU students have a strong voice in the S&A Fee funding process but, by statute, only the Board of Trustees is authorized to determine the student activities and programs to be funded.
- S&A Fees may be expended as required to provide (and support) the student programs and activities that have been approved by the Board of Trustees.
- Organizations must ensure that their student activities and programs (and component parts) are adequately described during the S&A Fee funding request process.
- The fact that the expenditures may involve, food, beverages, awards, etc. is of no consequence.
- Under no circumstances may S&A Fees be used for expenditures deemed to be gifts.
- A gift is a transfer of money (or property) without consideration and with donative intent.
- In order to preserve the quid pro quo nature of the transaction (so that the exchanges are not later seen as gratuitous), it’s advisable to document the nature of the transaction.
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