“We are here to help you spend your money!” boasts the new Student Organization Business Office, whose grand opening kicked off on Friday.
Housed on the first floor of Willard Straight Hall, the office will serve as an all-encompassing place where students can get their questions answered, such as club funding, budgeting, payment requests and purchasing.
Terry Ector and Loreen Geiger will be managing the office as student organization transaction specialists. Previously, Ector worked on the fourth floor of Willard Straight Hall as the Student Activities Funding Commission Coordinator, and Geiger worked out of the business office in Balch Hall as a financial transactions representative.
Geiger was moved to Willard Straight Hall, both as a result of the North Campus renovations and recent efforts to allow students to come to one place to voice all concerns and to finalize how to process everything.
As residents of the new office, their responsibilities include helping student organizations, especially nascent ones, adjust to the new funding system, Campus Groups. Over the summer, Cornell transitioned from using OrgSync to CampusGroups after their contract expired.
Adjusting to the new system has had a learning curve which Geiger and Ector can help address.
The office is there to assist people with the new reimbursement system, which is now electronic in CampusGroups.
In an attempt to help students avoid having to pay out of pocket, Ector described the goal as saving students time by expediting the process — to give them “one-stop-shop to come to” regardless of whether “they got SAFC funding, graduate funding, CU Tonight, gift money,” she said.
Geiger said that another purpose of the transition to Campus Groups was to accelerate the process of approving budgets and receiving of reimbursements from six weeks to seven to 10 days.
“When it was paper, it was very time consuming to check signatures to make sure the right officers were signing,” Geiger said. “Now, there are people over the Business Service Center that can help electronically process things.”
Another problem the transaction specialists can deal with is helping students find funding outside of SAFC. In the event that a club fails to secure a budget the specialists can point them towards other funding boards and the Alumni Affairs Office.
The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Willard Straight Hall 102 and can be reached at SOBO@cornell.edu.