Blanket Tax

The Blanket Tax Initiative Fund application timeline for the spring of 2017 is as follows:

  • 01/30: Application opens
  • 02/19: Application closes
  • 03/10: All decisions rendered and clubs contacted regarding status
  • 03/20: Presentation to the SA Senate





This is an annual process required for all organizations receiving blanket tax funding, including the Student Association.

Purpose: To ensure that blanket tax funds are used for organizational purposes and in furtherance of student interests and to provide the Student Association with an awareness of how blanket tax organizations are serving the student body.

Scope: Organizations’ use of blanket tax monies and other student-funded sources, unless organizations wish to include information about external (non-student-funded) revenues.

Criteria for Review: The Blanket Tax Standing Committee will conduct its review on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Blanket tax funds shall be used in a manner consistent with the mission, purpose, and goals of the organization receiving the funds
  2. Blanket tax funds shall be used only for organizational purposes
  3. Blanket tax funds shall be used in a manner consistent with all Rice University rules and regulations
Review Process: The review process will follow the below steps:

  1. SA Treasurer distributes form requesting documents and information, including
    1. Proposed and actual budgets from the previous three fiscal years, broken down into categories
    2. Proposed budgets for the current fiscal year
    3. Explanation of trends
    4. Information about total blanket tax income and surpluses from previous fiscal years
  2. Organizations have at least two weeks to submit the form and requested documents
  3. Standing Committee meets to determine whether sufficient information has been submitted
  4. Standing Committee contacts organizations to request additional information if needed
  5. After receiving necessary documents, the Standing Committee meets with each organization’s advisor, president (or equivalent), and treasurer to discuss the organization's finances and ask any questions. This meeting may be waived by the organization.
  6. Standing Committee deliberates on the information available and selects an outcome:
    1. Organization is in good standing. There are no questions or concerns regarding compliance with review criteria unresolved by the initial meeting and documents provided.
    2. Referral to investigations and contingency process. There are questions or concerns regarding compliance with review criteria that warrant further consideration.
  7. Standing Committee prepares a report explaining the outcome
  8. Standing Committee sends a copy of the report to the organization
  9. Organization has five business days to respond with questions or concerns and to submit a written statement concurring with or dissenting from the report. This statement becomes part of the report.
  10. Standing Committee presents the report, including the organization’s statement, to the Student Senate and publishes it on the SA website

This is a process conducted on an as-needed basis to address issues raised with regard to a specific organization.

Purpose: Same as annual review

Criteria for Review: Same as annual review

Referral: An organization can be referred as follows:

  1. Direct referral from Blanket Tax Standing Committee, in which case a Blanket Tax Contingency Committee is convened for the relevant organization
  2. Written request by student, faculty member, or staff member referred, in which case the following steps are required before a Contingency Committee is convened:
    1. SA President and advisor review the request and meet with the advisor and student leaders of the organization as necessary
    2. SA President and advisor select one of the following outcomes:
      1. Resolved. If the questions, concerns, and potential issues are not relevant to the review criteria or are resolved, the process ends.
      2. Convene Contingency Committee. If the questions, concerns, and potential issues are relevant to the review criteria and not resolved by the initial review, a Contingency Committee will be convened for the organization.
    3. SA President and advisor release a report indicating the outcome
Process: The Blanket Tax Contingency Committee process will follow the below steps:

  1. Blanket Tax Contingency Committee is convened
  2. Contingency Committee conducts investigation
    1. Organization submits written statement addressing the questions/concerns/issues
    2. Whoever raised the issues submits a written statement
    3. Contingency Committee makes a public request for additional written statements from interested parties
  3. Contingency Committee meets with organization’s advisor, president (or equivalent), and treasurer
  4. Contingency Committee meets with whoever made the initial inquiry and any other relevant parties
  5. Contingency Committee offers organization an opportunity to respond in writing or in person to the information gathered from meetings in step #4
  6. Contingency Committee deliberates on the information available and selects an outcome:
    1. No Violation. Organization is not in violation of review criteria. Questions, concerns, and issues are resolved.
    2. In Violation. Organization is in violation of one or more review criteria.
      1. If this is the third time in a period of four years the organization has been found in violation, the Contingency Committee recommends a blanket tax decrease or removal to the Student Senate.
      2. If the following are the case, the violation counts as two violations for the above rule:
        1. Previous year’s budget had a surplus of 50% or more
        2. Surplus is not justified on the basis of the review criteria
        3. Proposed budget for current year does not reasonably address the issue
    3. Referral to Judicial Proceedings. Organization and/or officers or members may have violated Code of Student Conduct or other Rice University policies/regulations. Contingency Committee refers to relevant University office. This outcome is accompanied by a finding of No Violation or In Violation with regard to the review criteria.
  7. Contingency Committee prepares detailed report explaining the outcome
  8. Contingency Committee sends a copy of the report to the organization
  9. Organization has five business days to respond with questions or concerns and to submit a written statement concurring with or dissenting from the report. This statement becomes part of the report.
  10. Contingency Committee presents the report, including the organization’s statement, to the Student Senate and publishes it on the SA website.
  11. If Contingency Committee recommends a decrease or removal of blanket tax, Student Senate discusses and may approve only by two-thirds vote
  12. If Student Senate approves recommendation for decrease or removal of blanket tax, a proposal is placed on the next General Election ballot
  13. A decrease or removal of blanket tax passes only by a vote of two-thirds of the student body with General Election turnout of at least 20%

This is a process conducted on an as-needed basis to evaluate organizations’ requests for additional blanket tax funds or organizations’ requests for a new blanket tax.

Purpose: To evaluate requests for new blanket taxes or increases in existing blanket taxes and make a recommendation to the student body.

Scope: Organizations’ student-funded and external sources of funds and their use of those funds.

Eligible Organizations: Registered student organizations that have completed Student Activities and Student Association requirements for the current year

Criteria for Review: The Blanket Tax Standing Committee will recommend an increase only if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Requested funds would contribute to organization’s mission, purpose, and goals
  2. Requested funds would benefit the student body and the Rice community
  3. Organization has a strong financial need
  4. All other reasonable means of acquiring funding have been exhausted
  5. Organization’s financial need is long-term and annual
Review Process:
  1. SA Treasurer distributes an application form at least two weeks prior to the last day of classes for the fall semester to request the following:
    1. General explanation of request for funds
    2. Efforts to acquire other sources of funding
    3. Contribution of blanket tax funding to the long-term sustainability of the organization
    4. How the organization currently uses its funds
    5. How additional funds will benefit the student body
    6. Any other information the Standing Committee deems necessary
  2. Organizations submit applications by the last day of fall semester classes.
  3. Standing Committee meets to determine whether sufficient information has been submitted
  4. Standing Committee contacts organizations to request additional information if needed
  5. After receiving necessary documents, the Standing Committee meets with each organization’s advisor, president (or equivalent), and treasurer to discuss the organization’s finances and ask any questions. This meeting may be waived by the organization.
  6. Standing Committee deliberates on the information available and selects an outcome on the basis of the review criteria:
    1. Approve. The increased or new blanket tax meets the review criteria and is therefore advisable
    2. Neutral. The increased or new blanket tax may or may not meet the review criteria and is therefore neither advisable nor inadvisable
    3. Reject. The increased or new blanket tax does not meet the review criteria and is therefore inadvisable
  7. Standing Committee prepares a detailed report explaining the outcome.
  8. Standing Committee sends a copy of the report to the organization.
  9. Organization has five business days to respond with questions or concerns and to submit a written statement concurring with or dissenting from the report. This statement becomes part of the report.
  10. Standing Committee presents the report, including the organization’s statement, to the Student Senate and publishes it on the SA website.
  11. Student Senate may put a proposal to increase an organization’s blanket tax or create a new blanket tax on the General Election ballot by a two-thirds vote. If the Senate declines to do so, the organization may put an initiative on the ballot.
  12. Proposal passes in the General Election if it receives a two-thirds vote in favor and the General Election has at least 20% turnout