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Frequently Asked Questions

USG Questions

What is the mandatory student activity fee?
Every undergraduate student at Buffalo State pays an activity fee of $75 per semester along with their tuition and other fees. (Part-time students pay a pro-rated, per credit hour amount.) This money is released to the United Students Government to pay for student-sponsored organizations, events, and services.
The fee is mandatory by referendum - every other year, students are given the opportunity to vote on whether the activity fee will be mandatory or voluntary.
The collection of the fee as well as how it is budgeted and disbursed are all covered by SUNY Guidelines.

What does my activity fee pay for?
The STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS section of this website lists groups whose events and activities are funded by USG through the activity fee. The student government operations and the benefits listed in the SERVICES section are funded through the fee as well.

Who decides how the activity fee money is spent?
The USG Treasurer and the Budget Committee (consisting of the Vice Treasurer and a number of USG Senators and advised by the USG Business Manager) assemble the annual budget every spring for the following school year. The proposed budget is voted on by the USG Senate in April. The budget must then be approved by the Buffalo State administration before funds are released. All individual expenditures during the year are approved by the Treasurer and a college representative.

Where is USG?
Take the elevator in the southeast corner of the Campbell Student Union lobby to the fourth floor. The USG administrative and business offices are the first ones you'll see (402 and 416). In addition, many of the USG member organizations have office space on the fourth floor of the Union.

When are the Executive Officers in their offices?
USG officers (listed in the DIRECTORY section of this website) are required to spend a certain number of hours per week in the USG Offices in Campbell Student Union 402. You can visit USG in person or call 878-6701 to ask for the current hours of the officer you'd like to contact, and make an appointment to meet with that officer if you wish.

Organization Questions

Our organization registered last year, why do we have to register again?
Simply put: so we know who you are.
Organization Registration puts the names and contact information of a group's officers, members, and advisors on record with USG and the college. It also confirms that the group is currently active. Without a current registration on file, students claiming to represent a student group can be denied access campus rooms and facilities for events as well as the ability to spend their budget with USG.
Registration is required at the beginning of the fall semester (by mid-September) and any time the leadership of a group changes.

I was just elected as an officer in a USG student organization - how do I find out what my responsibilities are to USG?
Congratulations on your new position!

The first thing you should do is let us know who you are. Have your group file a new Organization Registration Form. (This is done on Bengal Connect at the beginning of the fall semester. If you need to re-register during the year contact the USG Business Office.) Registration will assure that USG and other campus offices will know that you officially represent your club. Next, read Article IX of the USG Constitution (it's on this web site in the USG Constitution section). The basic responsibilities are lined out there. They boil down to:

  • Make sure you maintain communication with USG. Someone in your group should be responsible for checking the group's mailbox in the USG office on a regular and frequent basis. Important memos and correspondence for your club will be there and they should be passed on to the the members of the group who need to know about them. Meeting notices, budget issues, and other business you will have to address will all be communicated that way.
  • Make sure your group is represented at all mandatory meetings. See Article VI of the USG Constitution for info on Organization Representatives. There are two mandatory meetings per semester for the clubs. In addition there is a treasurers' training meeting in September and a Budget Request Meeting in February that should not be missed
  • Register your activities. All of your meetings, activities and events should be posted on the Bengal Connect web site by using the Create an Event form. This lets USG (and the rest of the campus) know that you are an active group and is used by USG in evaluating your activity. If what you are doing is important to you then it is important to USG, so make sure we know about it.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for help from USG. If you are a president or vice president and have questions you can ask the USG President, the AVP for Campus Affairs and Government Relations or other AVPs for help. If you are a treasurer or have budget related questions, the USG Treasurer and the USG Business Office Staff are here to help.

How do I start an organization and get it recognized and funded?
The basic organizing is up to you. You'll need a well-defined purpose and a critical-mass of at least 13 students (so you can have three officers and 10 members) and a track record of events and activities to show your viability as a student group on campus.

For further information on this see the Becoming a USG Organization section on this website.

Our club filled out an Organization Registration and it was approved - does that mean we're recognized by USG?
Not necessarily - being registered is NOT the same as being recognized by USG and vice-versa:
    •    Registration is accomplished by filling out the online form. All organizations must do this at the beginning of the fall semester, regardless of prior status, in order to establish themselves as currently active groups.
    •    USG Recognition requires application for recognition by the group, a review by the USG Rules and Regulations Committee, and then the approval of the USG Senate.

My organization doesn't have a budget from USG. Can we still get money to put on an event?
If your group is currently recognized by USG (see the two questions above) then you can qualify for funds from the Academic Assembly line. This is money specifically set aside for recognized organizations which don't have budgets of their own. You must apply for funds for a specific individual event or activity. The form, instructions, and guidelines for applying are all available at the USG Business Office. If your group is NOT recognized by USG the funds will not be available to you until you go through the recognition procedure.
Additional sources of funding for on-campus events are the Grant Allocation Committee and the Faculty Student Association Founders Fund. These are event-based grants with individual application procedures.


Services Questions

How do I get my organization's event listed on the big lighted sign on the Union?

The Media Sign (on the Campbell Student Union wall facing the Butler Library) was purchased by USG and is managed through the USG Business Office. Its purpose is to advertise on-campus events to students. All decisions on messages that appear on the sign are at the discretion of the USG Program Coordinator and Business Manager.

For USG Organizations, the opportunity to advertise on the Media Sign is part of the event registration proccess through Bengal Connect. Other requests must use the process explained below. 

All requests must be e-mailed to one week prior to the appearance of the message on the sign. Make sure to include the following information in your e-mail:
    •    Name of the organization sponsoring event
    •    Event name and a brief description
    •    Date
    •    Time
    •    Location
    •    Admission cost and ticket availability if applicable
    •    Time frame when you want your message to run (NO GUARANTEES)
Hand written requests will not be accepted.

I hear USG sells stamps. Where can I get them?
USG sells US postage stamps (first class denomination only) through the USG copy room in Union 403, 9am to 3:30pm. Stamp sales are cash only and the supply is subject to availability. USG also sells regular business envelopes. We do not send mail or ship packages.

Can USG send a fax for me?
Yes! USG offers fax and copy services in Union 403, weekdays 9am to 3:30pm.

I'm supposed to get a check from USG. Where and when can I pick it up?
Checks are available in the USG Business Office (Union 416) from 2pm to 4pm on Fridays, or during business hours the following week.

How do I sign out a table or room in the Student Union?
Tables, rooms, and display cases in the Student Union must be reserved online through the Campbell Student Union page on the Buffalo State website. Use the RESERVATIONS link on the page:
To reserve space in places on campus other than the Student Union to go to the Events Management Office, Grover Cleveland 112.

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United Students Government (USG)

Buffalo State •  1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Campbell Student Union 402
Buffalo, NY 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-6701 •  Fax: (716) 878-6600
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