Handbook for Student Organizations

The purpose of this handbook is to take information from around our website and compile it in one place in order to answer questions you may have about any of these topics. We have included links to specific forms, websites, and other information. Our hope is that this handbook will help you function more effectively as an organization as well as making some of the things CSA does more transparent and easy to understand. If you have any questions, don't hesistate to contact the CSA Vice President.

You can also check out our Budget Tips for CSA Organizations.

CSA Student Organization Handbook


How to Update Your Group’s Contacts

How to Access Your Budget

Introduction to Budget Committee

Explanation of CSA Funds

Budget Committee Guidelines and Bylaws for Funding

Making a Budget Committee Request

Costs of Commonly Requested Items

How to be Reimbursed

Advertising Your Event

Fleet Vehicle Use

Mailing List


Welcome to Carleton Student Association (CSA) Senate, your governing body. We hope that this handbook will provide you with a clear understanding of services we provide to student organizations as well as to individual students. As an enrolled Carleton student, you are automatically a member of CSA, giving you certain rights and responsibilities. The students elected to Senate are here to serve you. Our goals are to advocate for student interests with other governing bodies on campus, improve your quality-of-life by offering services such as a textbook exchange, daily newspapers, and vending machines, and to allocate the annual student activity fee to student organizations on campus.

How to Update Your Group’s Contacts

It is important for each organization to update their contact information for officers/leaders regularly. We use this contact information to send emails regarding funding, Spring Allocations, and occasional all organization meetings. You also need to access the Group Administration page in order to give peers access to your COLLAB folder (if you use one) and to add peers who will be updating your website.

How to do this:

1. Go to csa.carleton.edu
2. Click the "Student Organizations" link
3. Click "Group Administration Page"
4. When you login, your organizations will show up
5. Click "Group Profile" for the organization you would like to view
6. Under "20??-20?? Officers", enter the Carleton ID of each new officer

  • All organizations must have at least one officer, but no more than three. Organizations with funding must have a treasurer. An individual may hold more than one position, and more than one person may hold a position (as long as there are only three officers). You can also add additional contacts under “Network Folder Access List” (for your COLLAB folder) and “Reason site maintainers” (for your website).

How to Access Your Budget

Go to The Hub, log in, click on Students > Student Organization Budgets and click on View in Browser. Be sure to click and highlight the correct account before continuing. One budget manager will be assigned to each organization during the fall orientation. Groups formed after the orientation are required to designate one officer as their budget manager. To get access to your budget you need to go through a training session. Please contact CSA Treasurer Henry Gordon (gordonh@carleton.edu) to receive this training.

CSA has many tips for managing your groups finances. They can be found here.

You can also contact Susan Benson at x5990 or sbenson@carleton.edu at any time for a paper copy of your organization's budget.

Introduction to Budget Committee

Budget Committee is the CSA committee responsible for allocating all CSA funds. Each year, your student activity fee is combined with all other students’, resulting in a large pool of money that we are responsible for allocating. We review proposed budgets during Spring Allocations and continue to meet weekly throughout the year to review incidental requests for funds and events. Our meetings are every Thursday at 9 PM in Sayles 251 and open to anyone who would like to come. We make a recommendation on each request and CSA Senate gives the final approval for each request at its meeting on Monday at 7 PM in Sayles 251.

Explanation of CSA Funds

Budget Committee Funding Guidelines and Bylaws

The purpose of these guidelines is to guide the decisions of Budget Committee and to inform Carleton students of the Budget Committee's current practices. Guidelines differ from Bylaws in that the guidelines can be "broken", per say, whereas taking an action against the bylaws does not typically occur.

Section I: General Principles

  1. CSA funding exists to create meaningful opportunities for the Carleton community.
  2. CSA funding shall be available to student organizations and students at large.
  3. CSA is disinclined to fund programs that do not benefit the broader Carleton community. These include, and are not limited to; career preparatory events, job training, and courses that offer certification.
  4. Students are encouraged to come to Budget Committee at least six days prior to the event they are requesting funds for.

Section II: Sources of Funding

  1. CSA organizations should make full use of all available campus resources. For programs and events, students should also look to campus offices and departments that may have related interests, such as the Dean of the College, the Chaplain, the Career Center, and the ACT center. It is highly encouraged that students talk to these offices before coming to Budget Committee.
  2. For travel to academic conferences or competitions, students and student organization are expected to seek out other sources of funding such as the Dean of the College or Dean of Students offices.
  3. Budget Committee encourages the use of funds other than Special Allocations (i.e. Alt Bev, Third Center, Metro Arts Access Fund) where applicable.

Section III: Travel and Conferences

  1. Funds for conferences shall not exceed $900 for one conference-going group.
  2. Groups are encouraged to send the smallest number of students possible to conferences.
  3. Conferences funded by CSA must provide benefits to the campus community.
  4. Travel fees (lodging and transportation) for non-conference events will be funded at up to 75 percent, with the exception of community service projects within 100 miles of Carleton’s campus.
  5. For non-conference events (including academic and sporting events), experiential learning may be considered as sufficient benefit to the Carleton community (at the discretion of Budget Committee).

Section IV: Food

  1. Food, beverages, and catered dinners shall be funded when the CSA Chartered Organization has provided sufficient evidence to the Budget Committee that the food will be integral to the event.
  2. Funding for non-essential food shall be granted in rare circumstances at the discretion of the Budget Committee.
  3. The following restrictions shall apply to catered dinners:
  • Up to 50% of available seats shall be reserved for personal invitations, in accordance with the CSA Chartered Organization's priorities.
  • At least 50% of available seats shall be made open to any member of the Carleton community.

Section V: Events and Programs

  1. Events should be well organized and planned well in advance.
  2. If the event involves a speaker, the expectation is that the speaker will have an opportunity to interact meaningfully with Carleton students.
  3. Events must be open to the entire campus and well publicized. If attendance is limited, sign-ups must be advertised and open to the entire campus.

Section VI: Printing and Publications

  1. First-run publications will be funded at no more than 60%.
  2. Copies intended for off-campus distribution will not be funded.
  3. The use of on-campus printing service is strongly encouraged.

Section VII: Libraries, Collections, and Club-specific Amenities

  1. Organizations desiring to have or to grow a club library must show there are no other methods by which they may access the material.
  2. Inventories must be kept and submitted to the CSA Treasurer every term.
  3. Web hosting away from Carleton is strongly discouraged except in extraordinary circumstances when Carleton ITS cannot provide services integral to an organization's mission.

Section VIII: Advertising

  1. 8 1/2 x 11 sized paper is preferred as the least expensive option.
  2. Utilizing all advertising opportunities such as posters, All-Campus email, the central events calendar, Facebook, banners in Sayles, etc. is strongly encouraged and required for organizations receiving funding for their programs or events.
  3. Generally, advertising funding will be allocated at $5 per event.

Section IX: Other

  1. Funding for students to receive compensation for work associated with students or student organizations is not recommended.

Bylaws Relevant to Budget Committee in CSA Bylaws

A. All- campus mailings and paid NNB ads shall not be funded.

B. Political campaign contributions, lobbying efforts, alcohol, and tobacco shall not be funded.

C. All goods purchased with the CSA's funds belong to the CSA, therefore no goods shall be funded that will become personal property, excepting those goods that have been funded each year for the past five years. Designation of personal property items is at the discretion of the Treasurer. Publications shall not constitute personal property.

D. Funding requests shall not be accepted retroactively.

E. The CSA shall not fund seed money for events in which proceeds will go to benefit the CSA Organization requesting the funds or any other organization. The exception to this rule is ingredients for the crepe maker.

F. Honoraria for performers shall not be funded until the availability and willingness of the performer has been confirmed.

G. Contracts

  1. An authorized employee of the College shall sign all contracts for performers.
  2. All contracts for good and services other than one time performances made on behalf of the CSA or a CSA Chartered Organization must be reviewed by the President, Vice-President, and Treasurer prior to engagement or renewal. Following the majority approval of Senate, the treasurer and the relevant employee of the College must sign all contracts.

Making a Budget Committee Request

Funding request forms can all be found here and are categorized according to whether you are requesting funding for an event or a non-event (i.e. a conference, new equipment, etc). Request forms are due by Tuesday at 5 PM to be considered for the same Thursday’s 9 PM meeting. Some things to keep in mind when filling out a request form are:

  1. Be as specific as you can
  2. Include ALL prices and quantities of items you need to obtain
  3. Include plans for advertisement (all Budget Committee funded events must be open to the entire    campus and advertised)

Important rules include:

  1. We typically fund for advertising at $5
  2. We only fund food if it is central and essential to an event
  3. We do not fund personal property
  4. We do not fund retroactively (so request money before your event, preferable at least one week prior)

Tips for going to Budget Committee

Before you make a BC request, it is important to consider the following questions. If you need help, the Student Activities Office is always staffed with a worker who can help you.

  • Have you looked for alternate sources of funding?
  • What would this event contribute to Carleton as a whole?
  • Is this event open to the entire Carleton campus?
  • Are there other student organizations with whom you could collaborate?
  • If applicable, has the idea/event been approved by the appropriate administrators?
  • Have you reserved the space for the event and/or transportation to the event?
  • Are you certain this is the lowest possible price for your event/idea?

Costs of Commonly Requested Items

Mileage for Campus and Personal Vehicles

  • $.48/mile for car
  • $.53/mile for minivan or cargo van
  • Personal Vehicles: .14/mile

*Calculate mileage using Google Maps and include this information in your Budget Committee Request

How to be Reimbursed

Student organizations are cautioned to use care when keeping track of their finances. Click here for helpful tips on how to keep your organization from overspending.

How to be Reimbursed

The most typical procedure for organizations and individuals to spend their allocated funds is through a reimbursement process.

  • Once an organization or individual has been allocated money (either through Budget committee or Spring Allocations), one or more group members will pay the initial cost with personal funds. If your organization's purchase is too large to pay out of pocket, talk to Jessica VanZuilen, the Student Activities Office Administrative Assistant in the Student Activities Office (jvanzuil@carleton.edu). She has a credit card for student organizations to charge purchases.
    • Fill out a payment request form (green sheet) found in by the CSA Senate Office in the SAO
      • It is very important to attach the original receipt (not a photocopy) and have the treasurer of your organization sign the payment request form. Please note: signed credit card receipts (without items listed) are not acceptable. The receipt must clearly detail what was purchased and the individual prices - this is most often an issue with meals.
      • Reimbursement submission is required within 60 days of expense (or trip) per IRS guidelines. (Reference publication 463).
      • If you need to pay someone upon delivery of a service (a performer, a rental company, etc), please obtain an invoice and completed W9 form from them two weeks prior to the delivery. Lee Clark from the SAO office deals specifically with these contracts. Contracts must be signed one week prior to the event.
    • The Treasurer and SAO will check the form, , and deliver it to the Business Office. You will receive a reimbursement online through your bank account. Please make sure you have signed up for a reimbursement bank account on the HUB. Payments are processed each Thursday. Allow at least seven business days for processing.

**Even if your organization has already purchased items, Senate cannot reimburse purchases that violate bylaws. Senate does not distribute funds to groups or individuals retroactively. Funds must be requested well in advance. Please email the CSA Treasurer before buying items if you're unsure. Overdrawing student organization accounts will result in an automatic audit, and the group officers will be required to repay the funds.**

Advertising Your Event


Posters can be hung almost anywhere on campus. A poster should include the date and time of your event and a short description. Funny pictures and puns are encouraged, so brush up on photoshop skills and your sense of humor to grab people’s attention!

To hang posters in Sayles-Hill, they must be stamped by the Student Activities Office (maximum of four). Due to space limitations, we ask that any materials for posting be no larger than 11”x17”. For special circumstances, make arrangements with the Student Activities Office.

Doors, walls, windows, posts, benches, outside walls and pillars of buildings are not posting areas. Check out the posting policy here. (on the right)

Posters can be printed (in black & white or color!) by Printing and Mailing Services. Submit a printing job online here

All Campus Email

The All Campus Email is a bi-weekly email that goes out to every Carleton student on campus late Sunday and Wednesday nights. It includes information about events on campus, Budget Committee recommendations, and much more. Submissions are due at 9:00pm on Sundays and Wednesdays.

To promote your event in the All Campus Email, go here, sign-in and “post” to submit an item. Alternatively, email your announcement, with the heading in the subject line, to campus_announcements@lists.carleton.edu.


The NNB (Noon News Bulletin) is a paper bulletin that is available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in both dining halls (Burton & LDC), Sayles and the Student Activities Office. It has information about Events, Lost and Found items, Ride Share, Housing, and things being sold.

You may run your text ad for three consecutive publications.

Submit to the NNB online here


Hang a banner up to four feet long so people can read about your event while sitting in lower Sayles. Come sign up for banner space in the Student Activities Office – you may hang your banner for three consecutive days. Banner paper and paint are provided in the Student Activities Office, so get creative. Be sure to include your event name, place, and time!


Set up a table in Sayles and talk about your event! Table reservations may be made through the Student Activities Office – you can reserve a table for three consecutive days. Bring candy and goodies to lure people to your table!

The Carletonian

Buy advertising space in The Carletonian. Email Carletonian@carleton.edu for rates.

LDC Chalkboard

Bring back childhood memories with chalking – on the LDC board!

Facebook Event

Have a Facebook? Don’t most people? Set up a Facebook event and invite everyone you know (probably not your middle school crush though). Post pictures, have people comment, and watch everyone RSVP!

Student Group Listservs

Don’t forget to send an email out to your student groups and tell members about your event! You need to be an admin of the listserv or added by another admin. Check out your listservs here.


Stuff mailboxes with postcards and flyers! They might be thrown out (luckily the recycling bin is nearby) but if your postcard looks cool, people might give it a second glance! If you tape candy to it, they’ll be even more receptive.

Carleton Weekly

Have an event you’d like to advertise to FACULTY and STAFF? Submit to the Carleton Weekly. This newsletter is sent out to faculty and staff every Monday and submissions are due at the end of the day on Wednesday.

Submit online here.

Events Calendar

To add an event to the CSA and Carleton calendars, please submit your announcement online here.

Fleet Vehicle Use

Carleton offers the use of several campus vans and cars to CSA organizations who have money in their budget for travel and an authorized campus driver. You must come to Budget Committee well in advance of any travel with a request for these funds.

Mileage for Campus and Personal Vehicles

Campus Vans: .53 cents/mile

Campus Cars: .48/mile

Personal Vehicles: .14/mile

*Calculate mileage using Google Maps

If your round trip mileage is expected to exceed 100 miles, and the driver is 21 or older, use the mileage calculator in combination with the reimbursement comparison data to determine if renting a vehicle from Northfield's Enterprise Rent-A-Car is a more economical use of College funds. Make your reservation directly with Enterprise.  Arrange for the vehicle to be delivered to you - eliminating your hike to the Stadium parking lot for a fleet vehicle and saving the College money.  The Enterprise vehicle will be clean, safe, gassed up and ready for you.

Reserve vehicles through Fleet Services during regular College business hours, giving the date and time needed, type of vehicle required, departmental charge number, destination, and the driver’s name. Students or student groups wanting to make a reservation, will be required to obtain either a written authorization from the department that oversees their organization or have a representative from the overseeing department telephone Fleet Services to make the reservation for them. Reservations should be made at least 24 hours before use. Sometimes reservations are made several weeks in advance. Since plans may change, making it necessary to alter or cancel arrangements, please adjust your vehicle reservations accordingly. Fleet Services is located in the Campus Services Office - Sayles-Hill 5, x4443.

All students participating in off-campus events sponsored by either the College or Carleton Student Association (CSA) are asked to complete a Release & Waiver Form prior to departure.  Keys to College vehicles will not be issued until the proper forms have been filed with the sponsoring department.   Waiver forms and more information are available through the Student Activities Office here.

Mailing List

E-mail lists for your group are maintained separately by ITS, not by Senate. When logging in to your mailing list account, each list will display "moderators," who have the ability to manage the lists (change settings, privacy options, members, etc). Contact one of these individuals if you need access to list administration. If these individuals are no longer on campus, please contact Mark Heiman (mheiman) in ITS for help.