Student Organizations and Fiscal Policy
University Policy Number 6000
Categorized: Student Policies
Related Law & Policy: N/A
This policy applies to all George Mason University (“Mason”) student organizations (“Organizations”), including Registered Student Organizations (“RSOs”), Club Sports, Departmental Student Organizations (“DSOs”), Student Media Groups (‘SMGs”), and Scalia Law School Student Organizations (“LSSOs”).
II. Policy Statement
Organizations must adhere to the appropriate procedures for registration and governance.
Organizations that receive funding directly from University sources (such as, education and general fund, student fees, auxiliary enterprises, and other) must adhere to Mason’s financial policies and procedures. Organizations that spend in excess of their available University fund balance will be required to cover such overage with Self-Generated Revenue. Funding from University sources cannot be deposited into or transferred to an off-campus bank account. Unused allocations from University sources will revert back to Mason’s central account annually.
Organizations that collect Self-Generated Revenue must use an off-campus bank account, in the name of the Organization, to deposit and spend the revenue. Organizations are fully responsible for their own off-campus finances, including (but not limited to): paying vendors and invoices; maintaining a record of all income and expenses and their supporting documentation; complying with related federal, state, and county (if applicable) tax laws; and, filing federal and state tax returns. Mason is not responsible for debts or other liabilities related to an Organization’s off-campus finances.
Organization: an organization comprised of Mason students that is recognized by the University and registered with the appropriate University office or department.
Registered Student Organization (RSO): an organization (in which all members are currently enrolled Mason students or students in the ADVANCE (or other similar pipeline) program, and all officers are in good academic standing) that has completed the Student Involvement registration process.
Club Sport: an Organization (in which all members are currently enrolled Mason students or students in the ADVANCE (or other similar pipeline) program, and all officers are in good academic standing) that is registered and advised by Mason Recreation staff, coaches, or faculty/staff advisors.
Departmental Student Organization (DSO): an Organization (in which all members are currently enrolled Mason students or students in the ADVANCE (or other similar pipeline) program) that is advised by a Mason department in accordance with the individual department’s procedures and may be provided financial support by Mason.
Executive Council of Club Sports (ECCS): a committee of student leaders, elected by the Club Sports Presidents’ Council, to advise and make decisions on day-to-day operations of the Club Sports program.
Student Bar Association (SBA): a student government association that acts as the umbrella organization for all other student-run organizations at Scalia Law School (LSSOs).
Scalia Law School Student Organization (LSSO): an Organization in which all members are currently enrolled Scalia Law School students that is recognized by the Scalia Law School Student Bar Association.
Student Media Group (SMG): an unincorporated association of students at Mason who publish or broadcast content and are advised by the staff of Student Media, a department of University Life.
Self-Generated Revenue (SGR): money raised by an Organization through various activities, such as the collection of dues from its members, charging admission to its events, fundraising, advertising, submission fees, and sales. When fundraising, seeking out donations and/or sponsorships from off-campus entities, contributions are only tax deductible if the student organization maintains an exempt status under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Campaigns to collect tax deductible contributions by a student organization that does not have exempt status must be conducted through the George Mason University Foundation, Inc. (GMUF) and require approval of University Advancement and the appropriate university department in addition to GMUF.
Student Funding Board (SFB): a departmental Organization (advised by an Assistant Director of Student Involvement), that reviews funding applications submitted by RSOs. These funds allow Mason students to host events and programs organized by their RSO.
Tax Identification Number (TIN): an identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax laws. Also referred to as the Employer Identification Number, or EIN.
A. Governance and Registration
- RSOs must adhere to the Student Involvement procedures for registration and governance.
- Club Sports must adhere to the Mason Department of Recreation procedures for registration and governance.
- DSOs must adhere to the procedures for registration and governance of the Mason office or department that established or supports them. All DSOs comply with Mason policies and procedures.
- LSSOs are governed by the Scalia Law School – Student Bar Association and must adhere to their established procedures for recognition and governance. The Student Bar Association complies with the policies established by the Scalia Law School.
- SMGs are governed by the policies and procedures of Student Media and Code of Virginia § 23.1-401.2 (“Student journalists; freedom of speech and the press”). Mason does not control or dictate what SMGs publish or broadcast
B. Funding From University Sources
- RSOs may apply for funding from the Student Funding Board (SFB) for its activities. SFB funding will be allocated to a Mason controlled (Org) account.
- Club Sport teams must apply for funding each spring through the student-led Executive Council of Club Sports (ECCS). Approved funding will be allocated to a Mason controlled (Org) account in the club’s name.
- DSOs receive funding from the Mason office or department that established or supports them. Funding from department sponsored activities will be allocated to a Mason controller (Org) account.
- LSSOs may apply for funding from the Student Bar Association (SBA) for their activities. SBA funding will be allocated to a Mason controlled (Org) account.
- SMGs receive funding through the Student Media department in University Life. Approved funding will be allocated to a Mason controlled (Org) account in the media organization’s name.
C. Self-Generated Revenue
- Organizations must deposit all Self-Generated Revenue into an off-campus bank account in the name of the Organization. Organizations may not open or use a personal bank account to house or manage its self-generated revenue.
- To open an off-campus bank account, the Organization is required to obtain a tax identification number (TIN) from the Internal Revenue Services (IRS).
- When applying for a TIN or opening a bank account, Organizations may not use Mason’s name or any derivatives of it (such as, “GMU” or “Mason”) in the organization title. If an Organization wants to indicate its affiliation with the Mason, it may do so by listing “at George Mason University” or “at Mason” after its title.
- Effective Date: This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost and Executive Vice President.
- Date of Most Recent Review: 2/9/22
VI. Timetable for Review
This policy, and any related procedures, shall be reviewed every three years or more frequently as needed.
Senior Vice President