By Jamie Yoos
To some students at the College, the Student Finance Board (SFB) is known as the organization that deals with student finances. The true function of the organization, the funding they provide and how the student body supports the organization through funding each semester is not exactly common knowledge. SFB plays an important role in the way the College’s clubs function by dictating whether or not officially recognized clubs receive funding for their requested supplies.
Khushi Kanda, SFB’s programming director, has found that not many students know the full role of the Student Finance Board at the College.
“I think it’s important that people know about SFB because it is an organization that exists to serve the student body,” she said. “We are only here for the campus community. We serve as liaisons for organizations so that they can get funded and get resources for their events on campus that make the campus so much more fun for students.”
According to Neil Trivedi, the executive director, SFB is responsible for distributing the Student Activity Fee — a fund that undergraduate students pay $149.78 per semester as part of tuition — to recognized student organizations. This money is deposited into the SFB account and then allocated to Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs). Requests for funding can range from concerts and comedy shows to speaker and multicultural events, as long as they are open to the entire student body.
“We review each request, then the collective board determines whether the request warrants funding, and if so, how much using SFB’s Funding Guidelines,” Trivedi said.
If an RSO requests funding, they are able to submit a request to SFB, beginning a process for approval.
“SFB reviews the fiscal merits of the events or items they are requesting funding for. The board can either vote to fully fund, partially fund, zero fund, or table, which means we need more information,” said Trivedi. “The amounts requested can vary from $20.00 to $300,000.000, largely dependent on how much the organization believes they’d need for their respective event.”
The only criteria an organization needs to be eligible for Student Activity Fee funding is to be considered a RSO by Student Government and the Office of Student Involvement.
On a day to day basis, Trivedi runs the weekly Executive and General Board meetings, oversees the review process of funding requests, monitors finances and collaborates with RSOs regarding their finances.
“My job entails overseeing all aspects of the organization,” he said. “Whether it’s working in conjunction with SFB’s Executive Board, General Board, Business Manager or Administration, I strive to ensure that SFB is operating to the best of its abilities.”
There are a total of 19 positions on the board: Seven Executive Board members and 12 General Board members.
The seven Executive Board positions include Executive Director, Operations Director, Financial Director, Assistant Financial Director, Administrative Director, Programming Director and Executive Assistant. The remainder of the board consists of two senior, junior, sophomore and freshman representatives, as well as two Representatives at Large and two Student Government Representatives.
SFB has an advisor and business manager role, both of which are held by Christine Stellerine, a professional staff member of the college since August of 2015. She has held these roles in SFB since October 2020.
“As the group’s advisor, I attend group meetings and work with the executive board and general board in not only following their current guidelines, but improving their guidelines and procedures for the future,” said Stellerine. “As the Business Manager, I make sure that all of the finances of SFB are managed correctly. This includes participating in a yearly audit of our accounts as well as maintaining records of our spending and fixed financial obligations on a monthly basis.”
Stellerine also said that the campus community should be aware of what the Student Finance Board does for the College.
“Each recognized student organization is assigned a liason for the organization to reach out to directly, but more often than not, the SFB door in BSC 214 is open,” she said. “They can stop by the SFB office and someone will be able to help them.”
SFB can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on their Instagram, @tcnjsfb. They can also be reached at their office in the Brower Student Center, room 214. More information can be found on their website, studentfinanceboard.com.