Budgeting & Reimbursements
In the Autumn Quarter, treasurers of each student organization will be given access to a copy of their budget tracked by the Dean of Students Office. As the budget tracked by DOS is only updated as expenditures and deposits have been completed, LSSOs are also required to keep track of their organization’s budget internally to ensure that all completed transactions are accurate and in alignment with their budget planning.
It is critical that LSSOs do not spend money in excess of their budget allocation. If an LSSO exceeds their allocation, the organization will be ineligible for funding the following year.
LSA-allocated funds zero out at the end of each academic year and any LSA funds remaining in a student organization's account will not roll over to the following academic year.
If members of an organization incur out-of-pocket expenses, they need to complete and submit a LSSO Funds Request Form. Reimbursement and stipend requests must be received by Student Affairs Office within two weeks of the expense being incurred.
LSSOs that will incur a large, out-of-pocket expense over $250.00, must discuss the expense with the Office of the Dean of Students before incurring the expense; doing so will avoid incurring a non-reimbursable expense or having a lengthy wait before reimbursement.
The process for submitting a reimbursement is as follows:
Instead of reimbursing speakers and guests for individual travel, LSSOs are to provide a travel stipend to cover travel expenses. LSSOs may, however, reimburse a speaker’s travel expenses for cab fare, mileage, etc., if the speaker is traveling to the Law School from within the Chicago metropolitan area only.
Domestic speakers from outside the Chicago metro area may receive a stipend of up to $750 (depending on the event’s budget) to cover airline tickets and any incidentals (cab fare, meals, etc.). Hotel costs are not included in the $750 cap. Keep in mind that the stipend and hotel costs come from the sponsoring LSSOs budget. Refer to the Planning an Event section for details on how to secure a hotel for speakers and guests.
The process for submitting a speaker stipend is as follows:
- Ask your speaker fill out and sign a W-9 form
- Complete an online LSSO Funds Request Form (https://www.law.uchicago.edu/LSSOFundsRequest);
- Upload the W-9 Form with your LSSO Funds Request
As a general rule, goods and services are reimbursable. Questions regarding reimbursable expenses should be directed to the Office of the Dean of Students before incurring the expense. Most of these restrictions are University-wide restrictions, and the Law School is prohibited from allowing exceptions.
Goods: Office supplies, stamps, photocopying, art supplies, films, and fabric.
Services: Engraving, screen printing, printing, taxi and parking expenses, tickets to events, and rentals.
Not all goods and services are eligible for reimbursement. Several categories of non-reimbursable expenses have caused problems for LSSOs in the past. These include:
Food Delivery Gift Cards: LSSOs may not use their funding or otherwise be reimbursed for the purchase of food delivery gift cards.
Gifts/Donations: LSSOs cannot be reimbursed for gifts given to guests, outgoing leaders, outside organizations, or others. If an organization hosts a VIP speaker for whom a gift may be appropriate, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students.
Personal services (unless accompanied by appropriate documentation): For example, if a LSSO pays a cellist $50 to play at a reception, the cellist must submit an invoice and a W-9 rather than a receipt. For details about what satisfies this requirement, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students before incurring the expense.
Speaker honoraria: The rationale for not paying honoraria is that speakers are honored to be asked to speak at the Law School. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Insurance on rental cars: Any student who rents a car for official University business (including student organization business) must rent the vehicle from Enterprise locally or National Car Rental. Students do not need to purchase the rental company’s insurance policy because the vehicle will be covered under the University’s insurance policy as long as all appropriate paperwork is completed. Contact the Office of the Dean of Students for the appropriate paperwork. Please note that it takes a minimum of two weeks to process a request for University insurance, so make sure that paperwork is submitted well in advance of the anticipated travel date.
Travel arrangements purchased with miles or points: The University can only reimburse for travel arrangements (plane tickets, hotel, etc.) purchased with actual funds (whether via cash or credit card). The University cannot reimburse for travel arrangements made using frequent flier miles or points.
All reimbursement requests and expense receipts are due no later than 5:00 p.m. May 14, 2021 for the 2020-2021 school year.