Current Updates

January 23, 2018

  • Financial Reports:
  • Umbrella RSO Deadlines:
    • Jan 25 – Intent to Use forms due for all Umbrellas
    • UFDP – Fall Reports past due, Spring Reports due Apr 26, Final Reports due Jul 5
  • Fiscal Year Deadlines:
    • Application deadlines still apply
    • Spring Application Period ends Apr 7
    • Spring Smart & Final appointments end Apr 26
    • Summer Smart & Final appointments TBD
    • Payments to vendors must be generated by June 1 for any summer events
    • Funding capacity for events between Jul 1 and Aug 21 TBD
  • Express Catering Quote – directions given by Express Catering:
    1. Create an account on
    2. Select your campus and vendor
    3. Add order and select your event date(s)
    4. Select delivery method (time and location)
    5. Under “order name” input “QUOTE”
    6. Enter 0000000000 for the Account Number
    7. Enter Y0000000 for the Requisition Number
    Once you know your application status, email Express Catering to either confirm your QUOTE as an order to fulfill, or to cancel it. 
  • Smart & Final Reminders
    • Schedule at least 7 business days in advance
    • Reference app ID# and be prepared with informal quote (item availability may be different in store)
    • Meet Finance Intern (in name bade) by registers for check out at the time of appointment
    • Be prepared to transport your items
    • Only a 15 min grace period is observed before the appointment is considered as missed
  • Prize/Gift Reminders
    • Prizes are limited to $150 per event and cannot be gift cards; anything over a value of $100 per person needs a VP Approval form
    • Speaker appreciation gifts may be physical items or Amazon e-gift cards; must be of equal value and cannot be issued in multiples to a single person
    • Recipient Memos signed by recipients for any physical gifts or prizes is required; an email acknowledgement is required at minimum
    • e-gift cards for speakers are issued after the event takes place; leave a comment on your app in Pluto with the names and emails of the speakers
  • Amazon Reminders
    • Use of Amazon has been restricted to specialty items essential to events and that cannot be obtained through other approved or internal vendors
    • Amazon e-gift cards are only appropriate for speaker appreciation gifts; no other gift cards can be ordered
  • Technical Updates
  • Please contact with any questions, concerns, or feedback. Your thoughts are much appreciated! 


Past Updates

October 17, 2018

These important updates will be made to other areas of the website within the next week, so please be patient as we update each page and document. You should abide by these updates as you read them here.

  • The Spring Application Period opens 10/21/18!
    The Spring Application Period is for events taking place during the Spring Semester ONLY.
    The Fall Application Period will close 10/28/18.
    All policy updates will apply to applications reviewed 10/22 and onward.

    Applications for early Spring Semester events (Jan 7 – Feb 3) MUST be submitted within the posted deadlines (see Calendar of Submission Deadlines) for review this semester, despite being more than 4 weeks in advance. This is due to Study Days and Exams, Winter Break, as well as the time it takes to establish normal operating hours come January.
  • Updated Application Requirements:


    Funding applications reviewed on Monday 10/22 and beyond will be subject to new Amazon policies. Broadly, Amazon may only be used for purchasing Justifiable specialty items that cannot be purchased elsewhere, and Amazon gift cards.

    Policy for specialty items: 

    • Due to logistics we are not able to continue using Amazon for products that can be purchased through other vendors such as Smart and Final, Oriental Trading, the USC Bookstore, and Office Depot.
    • If there is an item(s) that is essential to your event, you must provide the rational (several sentences minimum, 2 paragraph maximum) for needing the item(s) along with your funding application and a screenshot of an Amazon cart. This can be uploaded as a single PDF within the quote section of your funding application request.
    Requirements and restrictions for specialty items:
    1. The item must be available using Prime shipping.
    2. Items are subject to a comparable substitution (e.g. the nature of the item is similar but the color may not be exact, the size of the item may change, etc.).
    3. If an item is unavailable at the time of the purchase GSG will contact the applicant to discuss alternative options.
    4. Orders will be placed 1-2 weeks out from the event date, no earlier unless specified.
    5. All deliveries will be to SKS 410 and students must pick up items within 3-5 business days.
    6. Students will be notified through the funding application system (Pluto) when orders are placed, expected to arrive, and available for pick up.
    Policy for Amazon gift cards:
    • Amazon gift cards are the only option allowed (no gift cards from other vendors) to be purchased from Amazon moving forward.
    • Amounts for prizes can vary, but any gift cards for appreciation gifts must be in equal amounts. A single person may not be a recipient of two or more gift cards.
    • Gift cards will be issued electronically via email after the event.
    Requirements and restrictions for Amazon gift cards:
    1. The applicant submits gift card purchase information with their funding application.
    2. After the event is held, the applicant will submit the gift card recipient list along with the post event materials within 5 business days of the event. The recipient list must include the following information for each person: name, email address, student ID number (if applicable) and the reason for issuing the gift card.
    3. The recipient will receive the e-gift card via email within one week of receipt of the post event materials.

    Express Catering Quotes:

    Formal quotes are still required, but if you have difficulty getting formal quotes by emailing or calling Express Catering, or other internal vendors, please send a PDF of your order from Step 3 (Review Selection) during the online ordering process.

    • You should NOT continue to checkout or complete an online order request until you have obtained GSG funding and an Internal Requisition to use for payment.
    • IRs signed by the Director of Campus Activities are uploaded to applications, NOT directly sent to internal vendors. Applicants must utilize the IR number to place orders and to pay using a printed copy if needed. Please contact if you encounter any issues. 

    Office Depot and Oriental Trading:

    To order from these vendors, place items in an online cart and take a screenshot before checkout. Both vendors deliver to the SKS 410 Office ONLY.

    Vendor Locations:

    Some vendors have multiple locations across LA. Please be certain that you are using an approved location (e.g. Togos on Vermont).

    Prizes and Speaker Gifts (Recipient Memo):

    The Recipient Memo provided on the Finance Resources must be used whenever physical items are given as a prize or gift. Take the Memo with you to your event to get a signature from the recipient acknowledging receipt. This memo does not apply to electronic Amazon gift cards.

August 19, 2018

  • Updated Application Requirements
    • Advertisements
      • Include all relevant event details
      • Include the GSG logo
    • Amazon Requests
      • Add all items to cart
      • Enter desired delivery location – we ship it straight to you!
      • Upload screenshot from checkout as your quote.
      • For e-gift cards, only enter recipient’s information. You can only request e-gift cards if you know this information in advance. Otherwise request a physical card.
    • Partial Payments
      • If your request for GSG funds is for a partial payment to a vendor, the quote must be for the GSG portion ONLY – we will not accept quotes or final invoices/receipts over the approved amount.
    • Smart and Final
      • The first two weeks are expected to fluctuate for appointment availability.
      • It is YOUR responsibility to contact to schedule.
      • Your appointment time is your CHECK OUT time.
    • Event Photos
      • You are REQUIRED to submit at least one photo of your event to shows its success and potential for future funding.
  • Vendors
    • Internal vendors are the easiest to use for events. Check out USC Hospitality to get an idea of which internal vendors are available.
    • External “approved” vendors are overseen by the USC Business Office, NOT GSG. We provided a meager list of “frequently used” vendors in our Finance Resources, but we cannot provide a complete list as it is always changing.
    • Call your vendor to confirm they accept POs from USC!
  • Payment Generation
    • When all payments for a Funding Application (FA) have been generated, the FA History will show “payments generated” and the app status will change to “in progress.”
    • All payment info is uploaded directly to the corresponding expense. Click to view the expense to utilize IR, PO, and IBR numbers. You can also download and print your IR to use.
    • Amazon order numbers and expected delivery dates are entered into the FA notes section.
  • Upcoming Events
    • Check out the upcoming events funded by GSG! All graduate students are welcome at these events.
    • Contact if you have any difficulty accessing these events.

August 1, 2018

  • The Fall Application Period is open! The online portal has been released.
  • Recipient, Transportation, and Umbrella Fund Approval Memos have been added to the Finance Resources.
  • Umbrella resources have been uploaded to the Finance Resources. Templates for budgets, Umbrella Fund policies and applications are available.
  • Finance Orientation has been updated.

July 25, 2018

  • Policy Updates:
    • Language corrected for “Blue Probationary List” under Other Terms
    • Language added to clause #9 under General Policies regarding “Open” events
    • Included clauses #3 and #4 under Appropriate Use of Funds regarding Academic Programming and Alternative Breaks

July 20, 2018

  • The 2018-2019 Finance Orientation has been added.
  • The Spring 2018 Report and FY18 Annual Report for RSO Event Funding have been posted to the Finance Resources page.
  • The Umbrella Fund Disbursement Program (UFDP, formerly OFDP) has been opened. The updated agreement has been added to the Finance Resources page. If an Umbrella is re-enrolling, the previous year’s Final Report is due before re-enrollment.
  • The Student Affairs VP Approval Form and Intent to Use Form have been updated and added to the Finance Resources page.

July 13, 2018

  • Policy Updates:
    • Minor grammatical corrections
    • Included clause #1 under General Policies
    • Included clause #23 under the Processing Phase
    • Hyperlinks and resources will be incorporated shortly.

July 9, 2018 (edited 7.10.18)

  • 2018-2019 GSG Finance Policies have been released! Check out the Finance Policies page. Some updates include:
    • The Budget Application and Expense Request forms have been combined. This will reduce deadlines to 4 weeks!
    • We have divided the year into two application periods to prevent overusing funds during a single semester. The Fall Application Period runs August-October and the Spring Application Period runs October-April.
    • Applicants will still be expected to follow the 2018-2019 Calendar of Submission Deadlines.
    • Umbrella Organizations will be expected to provide an annual budget, published policies for RSOs to request their respective Umbrella Funds, and a general organization email. Ideally these will be ready (or drafted) by the second week of the fall semester.
    • GSG will now fund promotional items like t-shirts and printing costs. Gifts cards may also be requested.
    • Honoraria (payments for speaker fees) have been discontinued due to logistical issues. Only physical gifts or gift cards are allowable requests.
    • Amazon is now an approved vendor!
  • Additional updates may be made to policy language as we continue to work with Campus Activities.
  • Sign up for our new GSG Finance Newsletter to receive notifications for reliable updates on funding!
    • Major policy changes and additions will be summarized for the first issue.
    • The Newsletter will also provide information on Travel Grants Program, Emergency Fund Program, and Childcare Subsidy Grants Program.
  •  The 2018-2019 Finance Orientation and Assessment will be available soon. Watch for updates in the next week. 
  • The Umbrella Fund Disbursement Program (UFDP, formerly OFDP) will be available within the next week.
  • Web Updates
    • A new temporary online application portal will launch August 1st
    • The current Finance pages will be under construction for cosmetic updates
    • New pages and resources will become available over time

Archived Updates

2017-2018 Archived Updates


Direct any questions or concerns to the Director of Finance – Education and Access at