Participatory Budgeting

P A R T I C I P A T O R Y  B U D G E T I N G  P R O J E C T

With the purpose of bringing together graduate students across disciplines and providing a direct avenue so that they can make a significant impact on their campus, the Graduate Student Association has allocated resources for Participatory Budgeting.

What is GSA participatory budgeting?

GSA Participatory Budgeting is a mechanism that allows graduate students to design and implement a campus project that impacts their fellow graduate students across disciplines. It is a democratic process in which graduate students directly decide how to spend part of the Student Assessment Fee*. It enables graduate students to have a say in how GSA spends their monies in projects that directly affect their lives.

How does it work?

By the first general assembly meeting of each academic year, the Graduate Student Association will send a call for the project proposals, which must comply with the following criterion:

1-     The project shall be inclusive in a way that Western graduate students could benefit from it.

2-     The project budget must not exceed the amount of money allocated by GSA for this purpose.

3-     Students may not receive stipends or hourly compensation as a result of this project. Personnel listed in proposal budgets must be University staff, faculty, or outside contractors. 

4-     The project shall be attainable during the academic year in which it was approved**. 

5-     The proposal shall not have for object to reimburse a completed or initiated project.

6-     The project must comply with all Western Michigan University regulations.

How can I submit a proposal?

All Participatory Budgeting proposals should include:

1- The name and a detail description of the project.

2- An itemized budget of the project.

3- A project timeline that indicates when it could start and the steps and it would take to be ready.

4- Supporting documents that validate the prices that you claim in the budget (e.g. invoices, quotes, contracts, etc.)

Please, follow this link Participatory Budgeting submission form to submit your proposal. Hard copies and other file formats may be rejected. The proposals deadline is Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 at 5 p.m. The Graduate Financial Allocation Committee would review the submitted proposals and select only those that are completed and comply with the criterion previously explained. The Committee will follow its guidelines to notify the students whose applications are approved or rejected.

Finally, in the case that more than one proposal is approved, the graduate students whose proposals were approved will be invited to the next general assembly meeting to present their projects. The general body will deliberate following the Robert Rules of Order and vote to select one project.

The student whose project is selected will have absolute authority in the implementation of the project. They will work under the guidance of the GSA Vice-president and its advisor to ensure that every University regulation is followed and to guarantee the transparency of the process.

* Some WMU graduate students do not pay SAF (e.g. graduate students who take classes exclusively on WMU satellite campuses). Although students who do not pay SAF cannot propose PB projects, they might in some cases be able to benefit from them.

** In the case that a given PB project cannot be completed during the academic year that it was approved, it will remain at the discretion of the GSA leadership and Advisor to determine whether it can be executed during the summer sessions, or it should be revisited for the next academic year.

For more information, please email us at or
your voice at western Michigan university