Activity Fee Review Committee (AFRC)

The Activity Fee Review Committee (AFRC) is the committee on the Morris campus charged with making decisions about the distribution of Student Service Fees. AFRC oversees two funding mechanisms at UMN Morris: Annual Allocations and the Assistance to Student Group (ASG) fund. Groups may request allocations from either of the funding sources but not both. Annual funding is available to groups who have a long history on the campus and consistent spending patterns that have developed over several years. ASG is reserved for groups who don’t receive annual funding and typically do not have ongoing budgetary needs, but wish to request money for special projects.

2020-21 Deadlines

Assistance to Student Groups (ASG) deadlines and hearings

ASG applications are due in Student Activities by midnight on the following dates:

  • Thursday, September 10
  • Thursday, October 8
  • Thursday, November 5
  • Thursday, February 11
  • Thursday, March 25
  • Thursday, April 22 (2021-22 requests only)

Annual Funding

  • Annual Requests Due Monday, February 8 at 4:30 pm
  • Annual Budget Hearings Held February 12-13

AFRC FAQ

What does AFRC stand for?

Activity Fee Review Committee.

What are the responsibilities of AFRC?

AFRC makes recommendations about the Student Services Fees to the Chancellor annually and allocates funds from the Assistance to Student Groups (ASG) fund.

 How does the AFRC make decisions?

The AFRC has a set of guidelines that define the principles that the committee follows in making funding decisions. Requesters are encouraged to be familiar with these guidelines. The two key principles in these guidelines are:

  • All decisions must be made practicing viewpoint neutrality.
  • Student service fees should be used in such a way as to create the greatest benefit to the greatest number of students.

What funding options exist for student organizations?

AFRC oversees two funding mechanisms:

  • Annual group funding
  • Assistance to Student Group (ASG) fund

What is the ASG fund?

 The ASG fund is a budget set aside by the AFRC each year to provide resources to student groups that are not annually funded. There is no limit on how much funding a group can request or the number of requests a group can submit.

 What is Annual Funding?

 Established organizations that have shown consistent need for at least three years through requests to the ASG fund may request annual funding. Annually funded groups submit one budget request each year and receive a single allocation. These groups cannot request additional funding through ASG and must be able to function solely on their one annual allocation.

How does the ASG process work?

 There are a number of set ASG deadlines each semester (usually 3) which will be set before the beginning of the Fall Semester. Groups may submit funding requests prior to each deadline for review by the committee. Submissions must be made using the electronic submission process outlined on the AFRC website. The AFRC Chair, Vice-Chair and Advisor will review requests following the deadline and may send some submissions back to the group with requests for clarification. The full committee will meet approximately one week after the deadline to review all requests and make decisions. Groups are asked to have at least one representative present and discuss the request with the committee. If the committee runs out of ASG funds prior to the final deadline(s) those opportunities will be closed.

How does the Annual Funding process work?

The Annual Funding process operates very similarly to the ASG process but happens only once per year. Annually funded organizations are required to submit a budget in the early Spring semester for the next academic year. The committee will hold a series of hearings over one weekend where all groups are invited to present and discuss their budget with the committee. Through this process the AFRC must create a Student Service Fees budget that is balanced. In many years the total of funds requested is greater than the expected fee revenues for the following year, so the committee must make decisions about funding allocations. The AFRC guidelines clearly spell out the principles and mechanisms for making such decisions.

Are there things that AFRC cannot fund?

Yes. All expenses must be in compliance with University spending policies. There are also several things spelled out in the AFRC guidelines that the committee cannot fund or cannot fund in full. All requestors are strongly encouraged to be familiar with these guidelines and review them in advance of submitting a request. Most notable funding limitations include: travel, clothing and food.

What sort of questions will the committee ask in my hearing?

 In addition to the narrative questions included on the application, here are some questions frequently asked in hearings about travel because it often requires a significant amount of money for a small number of students.

  • How will their attendance make an impact and contribution to the rest of the campus?
  • How much will the individuals financially contribute?
  • Have you asked other orgs to help pay? If so, what are their contributions?
  • Why this conference versus one that is closer?
  • If you are using University vehicles, have you accounted for both the per day and per mile costs as separate line items?

 Large events can often be very expensive so groups requesting large events may expect questions such as these.

  • Have you considered charging admission for the event?
  • Have you approached other groups about co-sponsoring?
  • Have you held any fundraisers to generate funds to support this event? 

Student leaders are often unaware of the funding the org currently has or how much the group may have carried forward from the prior year. As a result the committee may ask:

  • Since your request does not show the club's current balance, how much money is in the club's account currently?
  • If there is funding in the club account why is it not being used for this request?
  • How much does an annually funded group anticipate it will have at the end of the current year that will carry forward to the next year?

 Often groups do not provide specific amounts or document where they are sourcing things from. Requests should be as specific as possible.

Who is on the AFRC?

 The AFRC is made up of 9 students each serving two year terms, two Faculty or P&A Staff members each serving three year terms, One USA representative serving a three year term, the Director of Student Activities (non voting) and a student employee of the Office Student Activities, Conferences and events acting as secretary (non voting).