Bylaws of The Green Initiative Fund
The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior changes initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program manager.
SECTION 1.1 – POWERS AND VOTING
A simple majority of the Committee’s full membership is required to make funding and any other official decisions, except as provided for elsewhere in these bylaws. Apart from their normal function as a part of this Committee, a member has no individual authority.
SECTION 1.2 – DUTIES OF GRANT MAKING COMMITTEE
TGIF’s Committee is the decision-making body for The Green Initiative Fund. The committee chooses which projects receive funding, approves changes to grant awards, and provides guidance for TGIF.
It shall be the duty of the voting Committee members to:
- Attend committee meetings
- Review grant applications and determine the allocation of funds
- Vote on issues which require committee approval, such as project adjustments
- Provide feedback to and help support all grantees and grant applicants
It shall be the duty of the non-voting Committee members to:
- Attend committee meetings
- Provide advice and background information to the Committee during grant review
- Provide feedback to the Committee on issues that require Committee approval, such as project adjustments
- Provide feedback to and help support all grantees and grant applicants
SECTION 1.3 – MEMBER NUMBER & REPRESENTATION
TGIF’s Committee shall consist of four students and three non-students, as follows:
- One graduate student appointed by the President, Campus Affairs Vice President (CAVP), or Vice President of Finance (VPF) of the Graduate Assembly (GA)
- One undergraduate student appointed by the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC)
- One student with a background in environmental justice, selected by TGIF’s Committee after the other five members have been selected. This position is open to all undergraduate and graduate students via a student at-large application
- One undergraduate student, selected by TGIF’s Committee after the other five members have been selected. This position is open to all undergraduate students via a student at-large application
- One faculty member approved by the Academic Senate
- One staff member from Administration, selected by the Vice Chancellor of Administration
- One staff member from Capital Strategies, selected by the Director of Capital Strategies
The campus Director of Sustainability, the Director of Capital Planning, a member of the Committee on Student Fees, and the Director of the Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC), shall attend Committee meetings as non-voting Members, and the Committee shall invite experts/guests to provide information and expertise as needed.
SECTION 1.4 – OFFICERS
TGIF’s Committee shall have two co-chairs. The co-chairs shall preside at all meetings of TGIF’s Committee, acting as facilitators and holding meetings to the agenda in a timely fashion. The co-chairs shall also coordinate and approve meeting agendas with TGIF’s Manager (described in Article 2). One of the co-chairs must be a student member of TGIF’s Committee. The co-chairs will assist the Manager with their duties. At the beginning of each term of office, TGIF’s Committee will take nominations and volunteers for co-chairs. Candidates for co-chair will be selected first by majority vote of the Committee. Candidates for both positions are eligible to vote in these elections.
The co-chairs shall hold office for one year, though with Committee approval a chair can serve another term.
SECTION 1.5 – TERMS OF OFFICE
Each member of TGIF’s Committee shall be appointed for one year, fall-spring semesters. TGIF’s Committee must meet at the beginning of the fall semester to select the Student at-Large Representatives from a pool of applicants. Committee members may serve no more than two consecutive terms but the total number of terms they may serve is not limited. TGIF’s Manager will contact the appointing representative bodies for Committee member nominations in the prior summer (June-August).
SECTION 1.6 – MEMBER QUALIFICATIONS
All Student members of TGIF’s Committee must be registered (full or part-time) UC Berkeley students during their term of office. The Student at-Large applicants may only be undergraduate students, while the Environmental Justice Student at-Large Representative applicants may be either undergraduate or graduate students. Students graduating at the end of the spring semester or a subsequent summer session are still eligible for committee membership, even though their student status may technically expire before the end of summer. Staff members of TGIF’s Committee must be currently employed by UC Berkeley; faculty may be currently employed or emeritus.
SECTION 1.7 – MEMBER REPLACEMENT
A Committee member may be removed by unanimous vote of the other Committee members for unjustifiable absence, conflict of interest, or other appropriate reasons. In the event that a Committee member is removed or resigns, the original appointing body will select a replacement. The new Committee member will serve the remainder of the original member’s term.
SECTION 1.8 – CONFLICT OF INTEREST
TGIF’s Committee shall conduct itself in such a way that conflicts of interest are minimized and all potential conflicts of interest are made public.
For example, each Committee member must make public all campus groups and organizations of which they are a member. Where appropriate, Committee members should recuse themselves from voting on grant allocations for projects proposed by such groups. For such votes, the “full Committee membership” as defined for voting majority purposes shall be decreased to account for the Committee member's recusal.
SECTION 2.1 – DUTIES OF TGIF’s MANAGER
There will be one staff position 100% FTE [Full-Time Employee] referred to as TGIF’s Manager. TGIF’s Manager works under the direction of TGIF’s Committee and exists to meet the needs of the Committee. TGIF’s Manager reports to the Director of the Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC).
The function of TGIF’s Manager is to:
- Advise and support TGIF’s Committee
- Recruit and orient new Committee members annually
- Facilitate communication between project grantees, project applicants, and TGIF’s Committee
- Develop and run trainings and workshops for grant applicants and grant recipients
- Advise prospective grant applicants
- Advise TGIF funded projects and track their progress, ensuring all projects are meeting TGIF Grant and Program Policies
- Coordinate with and support larger campus-wide sustainability initiatives
- Coordinate TGIF-related speaking opportunities at on- and off-campus events
- Develop and maintain all forms of TGIF communications and publicity
- Provide sustainability fund consultation for fellow higher education institutions
- Serve as ex-officio on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS)
Budget & Administration
- Manage TGIF’s budget and other administrative tasks
- Document all TGIF-related activity and author TGIF’s annual report; maintain and update TGIF archives
SECTION 2.2 – HIRING THE GRANT MANAGER
TGIF’s Manager will be hired via open recruitment. Candidates must understand and agree to comply with all of TGIF’s Bylaws and supporting documents. The Committee may recommend that the Director of the SERC dismiss the Manager in response to poor performance. Only the Director of the SERC has the authority to dismiss TGIF’s Manager.
SECTION 2.3 – SALARY OF THE GRANT MANAGER
Funds for TGIF’s Manager compensation (salary and benefits) are allocated annually from TGIF’s budget before the amount available to be allocated for projects is calculated. The amount of TGIF’s Manager compensation will be commensurate with the level appropriate to the responsibilities of the position.
SECTION 2.4 –OPERATIONAL BUDGET FOR THE GRANT MANAGER
TGIF’s Manager may submit an annual budget request to TGIF’s Committee for funds to be used for operational expenses incurred by the Manager in the performance of their duties.
SECTION 3.1 – ALLOCATION OF FUNDS BY THE GRANT MAKING COMMITTEE
As noted in Section 1.1, TGIF’s Committee shall decide to allocate funds to submitted projects by a simple majority vote of the full Committee membership. The Committee may elect to fund only a portion of a proposal.
TGIF’s Committee shall award a total of up to $50,000 each fall in the form of up to $5,000 Mini-grants.
TGIF’s Committee shall award additional grants of $5,000 or greater each spring. TGIF’s Committee and Manager will determine the total amount each spring, based on the amount of student fees received for that year. Applicants will first submit an abstract in January or February and selected applicants will be invited by TGIF’s Committee to submit Final Applications in April. Grant Recipients will be announced when projects have been chosen by TGIF’s Committee.
SECTION 3.3 – GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR PROPOSED PROJECTS
All projects to be considered for TGIF funding must meet the following criteria:
- Projects must directly address environmental sustainability on UC Berkeley’s campus, or in the capacity that on-campus activities are creating negative environmental impacts in neighboring communities. All proposed projects must have a clearly defined, measurable outcome.
- Project proposals may be submitted by UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty. Individuals and organizations outside of UC Berkeley may not submit proposals.
- Projects shall have received all necessary written approval by appropriate campus officials prior to consideration.
- TGIF funding will not fund projects already mandated by law or UC Berkeley policy directive (e.g., standards for new building construction), since UC Berkeley is already obliged to allocate funds for such projects. TGIF will fund projects which go above and beyond minimum requirements and that are unable to gain funding from other sources.
- All projects shall have a mechanism for evaluation and follow-up after funding has been disbursed. All funded projects must submit the required project updates, posters, and final reports. If a project is expected to have ongoing benefits such as annual cost savings, the project plan must include a mechanism for tracking, recording, and reporting these benefits back to TGIF’s Committee on, at least, an annual basis.
- Projects must have publicity, education, and outreach components.
- Projects should have student involvement.
SECTION 3.5 – PREFERENCES FOR PROPOSED PROJECTS
TGIF’s Committee shall give preference and priority to project proposals that also meet the following criteria in this section. However, meeting these criteria is not required for projects to be considered for TGIF funding.
- Preference will be given to projects that demonstrate the greatest reduction in UC Berkeley’s negative environmental impacts for the least cost.
- Preference will be given to projects with a strong student-participation component.
- Preference will be given to projects that can obtain matching funds from sources other than TGIF.
- Preference will be given to projects impacting UC Berkeley’s sustainability “closer to home.” For example, priority will be given to projects that directly address sustainability on campus over projects which address the Bay Area-wide environmental impacts of UC Berkeley’s campus operations.
- Preference will be given to projects centered on reducing harmful environmental impacts and/or improving sustainable living for underserved, marginalized, or underrepresented communities
- Preference will be given to proposals coming from student organizations and campus departments with a focus on social equity and/or environmental justice; or those proposals that support underrepresented or marginalized students
SECTION 3.6 – ADDITIONAL PROJECT CRITERIA AT DISCRETION OF COMMITTEE
TGIF’s Committee may determine additional requirements or preferences for each year’s funding cycle, provided that these additional criteria are:
- Consistent with the overall mission of TGIF.
- Consistent with the requirements and preferences outlined in these Bylaws.
- Any funds not allocated in a given year shall remain in TGIF’s account for future use.
- Funds allocated to a project that are not spent within the project time frame shall be returned to TGIF for reallocation, unless the project has submitted and received Committee approval for a timeline adjustment.
- Standing funds must be invested in a socially responsible manner.
- TGIF funds are not to be used or reallocated for purposes other than those described in this document.
- TGIF shall continue to operate even after student fees are no longer collected into the Fund, as long as sufficient money remains in TGIF’s account.
SECTION 5.1 – TGIF’S ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE STUDENT BODY
TGIF shall be accountable to the student body and therefore shall:
- Make all its records available to the public via TGIF’s website and Annual Report to the Student Fee Referendum Committee (SFRC).
- Issue a TGIF Annual Report of its activities to the ASUC Senate, the Graduate Assembly, the Executive Director of the ASUC Student Union, the Committee member appointing bodies, and the public.
SECTION 5.2 – ACCOUNTABILITY OF PROJECTS
- All projects funded by TGIF shall submit project updates to TGIF’s Manager and a project poster during the project’s progress. All projects will also submit a final report upon completion of the project. The final report must include a budget detailing the spending of all funds and answer the questions stated in the “Final Report Guidelines.”
- Upon review of the Final Report, TGIF’s Manager shall judge whether the funds were spent within the scope of the project. If the Manager feels the funds were spent outside of the project scope, the Manager may recommend that TGIF’s Committee require the return of some or the entire grant funds to TGIF.
- Projects who consistently fail to submit the required documentation by the set deadlines may be required to return funds to TGIF and will not be eligible to apply for and receive future funds from TGIF. TGIF’s Committee also may require such projects to complete additional reporting processes.
SECTION 5.3 – RECORDS AND REPORTS
TGIF must keep on record:
- Minutes of all meetings of TGIF’s Committee indicating the time and place of holding such meetings, the names of those present, and the proceedings thereof.
- Adequate and correct books and records of account, including accounts of its properties and business transactions and accounts of its assets, receipts, disbursements, gains and losses.
- All abstract submissions and grant applications received each year.
- Records of projects selected each year and the funds allocated to each.
- Updates, posters, and reports submitted by TGIF funded projects and all annual reports received from projects with ongoing benefits.
- Copies of all annual reports which TGIF has issued to the ASUC Senate, the Graduate Assembly, the Executive Director of the ASUC Student Union, the Committee member appointing bodies, and the Student Fee Referendum Committee (SFRC).
A two-thirds (2/3) vote by the voting members of the existing TGIF Committee may amend, create, or repeal portions of these Bylaws, unless doing so would materially and adversely affect the mission of TGIF.
SECTION 7.1 – PROJECT ADJUSTMENTS
For the purpose of the bylaws, budget reallocation refers to the process of increasing the total grant amount or changing what awarded funds can be used towards.
For small projects (those that receive grants less than or equal to $10,000), TGIF’s Manager may approve changes for:
- Budget reallocations that do not change the intent of the grant (i.e. allocating money from one stipend to another position) and compose less than 50% of the grant amount
For medium projects (those that receive grants between $10,000 and $50,000) TGIF’s Manager may approve changes for:
- Budget reallocations that do not change the intent of the grant and compose less than 25% of the grant amount
For large projects (those that receive grants greater than $50,000):
- Budget reallocations that do not change the intent of the grant and compose less than 15% of the grant amount
TGIF’s Manager must include any approved budget reallocations in project progress reports sent to TGIF’s Committee.
For timeline adjustments, TGIF’s Manager may approve projects which:
- have delays or changes due to circumstances out of their control (i.e. projects waiting for approval)
- cumulative delays less than six months
TGIF’s Manager must include any approved adjustments in project progress reports sent to TGIF’s Committee.
SECTION 7.2 – CONSECUTIVE PROJECTS
Projects which seek funding for continuation or growth of existing projects may apply for a maximum of three TGIF grants for projects within the same project scope. The TGIF Manager is responsible for making project grantees aware of this regulation as they are applying and will bring any potential exceptions to the TGIF Committee for a vote.
TGIF Bylaws (Last Updated Spring 2023)
The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley’s negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program manager.