Show Me the Money!
By Jessica Greschner, Marketing Manager
From conferences to cocktails, meals to musicals, clubs to groups, the Sauder community supports countless events and organizations for undergraduate students. But such perks clearly do not come without a cost. While working within a budget, club members and program coordinators often have to cover a portion of these expenses until further reimbursements from the CUS can be issued.
In many cases, students are quickly compensated without complications; however, problems arise when young, financially insecure students wait months for such reimbursements: Sauder sports teams have waited up to a full year, and conference organizers have waited weeks. Why, one might ask, is this process so slow?
Delayed reimbursements are a result of the thorough and technical policy outlined by the CUS, which involves formats, requirements, and regulations “in accordance with the code and bylaws of the UBC Alma Mater Society.” The policy specifies a number of guidelines: those hoping to be reimbursed must have readily available receipts, the signatures of the VP finance or club president, an appropriate request that is within budget, and a receipt or receipt memo – all of which can take time to acquire and process. Reimbursement requests that fail to follow the prescribed format are deemed unacceptable and returned to the requester. Evidently, careful adherence to these guidelines is essential to timely reimbursement.
Because money – primarily that of tuition payers – is the main concern of this policy, it is important that these bureaucratic measures be followed in order to ensure that the right amount of money reaches the right people. As such, the procedural requirements outlined in this policy seem to be justified. The reimbursement process is also extended by a commitment to follow AMS standards, as they too play an active role in the compensation of Sauder students.
Although waiting for compensation may not be ideal, the lengthy process is reasonable. The CUS handles hundreds of reimbursement applications, sometimes including the expenses of an entire conference. Combined with rigorous processing arrangements, this naturally decreases the speed of reimbursement. Put simply, the CUS is busy and dedicated to following secure procedures that ensure a professional financial system. Next time you’re not satisfied with the speed of your reimbursement, perhaps reflect on the processes involved with a bit of understanding. Sauder is fortunate to have such expansive resources, and we students reap many of the resulting benefits – in a practical if not timely manner.