OMSA Allocation Board Guidelines

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) Allocation Board is designed to supports programs that directly impact OMSA constituents, enhance the OMSA mission, and add value to the University community. 


  1. The strongest proposals that may receive full funding exhibits the following characteristics:
    • A commitment to coalition building and collaboration through partnership and co-sponsorship of the event.
    • Demonstrates initiative and resourcefulness by seeking and securing funding from different sources (i.e. departments, non-profit organizations, corporate sponsorship, etc.)
  2. While AB’s primary focus is cultural student organization funding, AB will consider non-cultural student organization requests on a case-by-case basis as long as the event directly impact OMSA constituents, enhance the OMSA mission, and add value to the University community. 
  3. AB will not fund for discretionary funds, non-specific miscellaneous expenses, emergency cash, petty cash, or non-specific maintenance requests.
  4. AB will not fund retroactively, nor will AB fund for events that will take place before a funding decision can reasonably be made at regularly scheduled AB meetings.
  5. AB will, under no circumstances, fund for debt.
  6. Programs over $200 organized by a registered student organization must demonstrate that funding requests have been made to other major funding resources.  Other funding resources would include Allocations, Community Service Fund, Student Government Finance Committee (SGFC.), etc.  All funding sources can be found at:


  1. AB will not hear requests for events taking place within 10 days of the date on which the budget is due.
    • A schedule of proposal submission deadlines and review dates is available on the OMSA website. 
    • When a student organization proposal has been successfully submitted, the listed contact will receive a confirmation email acknowledging receipt of the proposal.
    • An agenda of the meeting along with presentation time will be sent to the student organization contacts/representatives.
    • Student contacts/representatives are not required to attend the review meeting.  However, the student organization contacts/representatives may attend the meeting at the designated time to answer questions the board may have. 
  2. AB requires that all budgets be complete, itemized, and include all pertinent information relevant to the request including but not limited to;
    • Biographical information on speakers and performers;
    • Specific price quotes on all items requested.  If quotes presented are deemed unreasonable, AF reserves the right to request additional quotes before making a funding decision.
    • Confirmed locations, dates, and times for events.
    • When an event is co-sponsored, a contact/representative from each co-sponsoring student organizations must be listed on the proposal.


  1. In order to apply for funding, student group programming must meet one or both of the following criteria:
    • Dialogue or Identity Engagement: Programming designed to highlight conversations across different identities.  Speakers or performers whose social identities are salient in their speaking or performances.
    • Social Justice Education: Programming designed to promote social justice and identity based education, trainings, or workshops.
    • Community development: Programming designed to develop community or affinity within social identities.  

Student groups must demonstrate how their programming meets one or more of the above criteria in the "Goals of Event” section of the funding application.

2.      Event Location

  • AB will not fund for events that take place in a private residence or off campus.
  • AB will generally not fund for an student organization to rent a University of Chicago classroom unless:
    1. There are no free rooms available;
    2. The expected attendance for the event requires a venue that can house a large capacity;
    3. There are no free rooms that have media capabilities that are necessary for the event to occur.

3.      Food, drinks, supplies

  • AB will generally consider funding for food for all events if that food is not the sole draw of the event and/or relates, enhances, or reflects the specific format and/or theme of the event.
  • AB will consider funding for alcoholic beverages only if the requesting organization assumes full liability and meets all necessary regulations and policies established by the University of Chicago and CLI (Center for Leadership and Involvement).
  • AB will consider funding for other necessary supplies (paper products, cups, etc.) only if a detailed estimate of these expenses is included in the proposal.  If a restaurant provides the food, AF will not fund for such products if the restaurant will provide them. 

4.      Speakers

  • Reasonable honoraria for speakers will be considered.
  • AB will generally not fund for accommodations, meals, or transportation for speakers who live in the Greater Chicago Area.
  • AB will consider funding for the speaker’s/entertainer’s set fee.
  • AB will consider funding for an accurate current estimate of the speaker’s/entertainer’s airfare.
  • AB will generally not fund more than per night for a speaker’s/entertainer’s hotel accommodations.
  • AB will not fund honoraria or fees to University of Chicago students, faculty or employees.
  • AB will generally fund up to for speaker transportation fees.

5.      Travel arrangements

  • AB shall require printed price quotes for all transportation expenses including, but not limited to, airline tickets. AB does not fund for business class tickets.
  • AB will consider funding for mileage at the current university rate for student organizations to pick up speakers, equipment, food, and other supplies.

6.      Film & movie screenings

  • AB will not fund for movies to be shown unless the organization can present a waiver of rights by the rights-holding organization or unless the organization is purchasing the rights to show a picture from the appropriate organization. A waiver or purchase of rights must be presented at the time of the funding request.

7.      Decorations, programs, tickets and extras

  • AB will generally fund for decorations if the scale of decorations is deemed by AB to be reasonable and in line in the size and purpose of the event.
  • AB will generally provide partial funding for the printing of 8 page (4 double-sided sheets) programs on cardstock for large scale events (over 300 people). Other requests for program printing may be funded but it will be at the discretion of AB. In either case, a detailed quote must be provided at the time of the request.
  • AB will consider funding for ticket printing and other extras provided a detailed quote is presented with the funding request and it is deemed by AB to be reasonable in light of the size and purpose of the event.

8.      Advertising

  • All marketing materials for AB funded events must include the OMSA Logo.
  • AB reserves the right to suspend this guideline.
  • AB will generally not fund for newsletters, agendas, calendars, and other intra-organizational items.
  • Leadership retreats and board development
  • The AB will consider funding programs designed to develop the leadership skills of officers and members of a student organization.  Funding applications for this type of programs must including the following supporting document.
    • A detailed schedule/itinerary for the day including detailed description and purpose/objective of the activities and exercises.
    • A itemize budget for the program.
    • A list of the names of the participants and their role in the organization.

10.  Small Scale Programs

  • The AB will consider reviewing small-scale programs proposals before the established meeting dates if proposals meet the following criteria.
  • The program is in response to an emergent need, global current event or a critical campus event.
  • The funding request is under $200

11.  Other budgets

  • AB will generally not fund for loans.
  • AB will generally consider funding for an event at which a fundraiser will occur. 
  • AB will generally not fund for a fundraiser at which students must pay to attend.
    • If tickets are sold, ticket revenue for an event at which a fundraiser will occur must be applied to the costs of the event
  • AB will not fund for donations to be made to outside organizations

Section IV: AF Decision Notification & Follow-Up Procedures

  1. Decision Notification
    • The AB decision notification email will be sent to the contacts/representatives of the student organization within 24 to 72 hours of the nearest review date along with follow up instructions. 
    • AB will not disburse funds without a complete and accurate account number, which must be provided in full on the funding proposal. 
    • Decision appeals are accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  2. The AB decision notification email sent to the contacts/representatives of the student organization will have attached to it an Event Summary Form due exactly two weeks (14 days) after the event has been executed. The complete Event Summary Form along with a minimum of two supporting documents must be emailed to the AB Chair by the deadline.
  3. Below is a list of recommended supporting documents.  If there are additional supporting documents that cannot be submitted electronically, please drop them off at 5710 S. Woodlawn Ave.
    • Printed or electronic flyer or marketing for the event for archival purposes.
    • CD of images or printed photographs of the event that may be used for future marketing. 
    • Quote from a participant about their thought and feedback of the event for archives. 
    • Recorded audio/video (i.e. Youtube Like), soundtracks of the program for archival purposes.
    • Souvenir from the program such as a program booklet, ticket stub, etc for archival purposes.
  4. Any organization failing to adhere to the follow-up procedures, in their entirety, will be rendered ineligible for future Allocation Fund funds until all necessary forms and their accompanying documentation have been received by the Allocation Board Chair.

SECTION V:  Managing Allocations

  1. AF may impose a quarterly cap for the distribution of funds.
  2. The AB Chair will produce and update on a yearly basis the AF Costs Guide for the student organizations which will include average costs for commonly-needed items and services.  AB will operate from the AB Costs Guide in determining allocation amounts for specific items and services.
  3. AB may consider not recommending funding for a budget if the budget is submitted by a student organization, which is requesting for an event that harbors little to no programmatic value.