The Humboldt State University Clubs and Activities office on Oct. 17. C&A Coordinator Molly Kresl said C&A ultimately aims to educate students on best financial practices.

Clubs & Cash Handling

Getting to the bottom of a rumor of an HSU club embezzling money.

Getting to the bottom of a rumor of an HSU club embezzling money

Student clubs aren’t guilty of embezzling money, but they have misused funds.

A rumor from a recent Humboldt State University clubs meeting said that a student club embezzled money. According to Tay Triggs, the director of the Office of Student Life, that rumor was false.

Triggs said the embezzlement mentioned in the meeting was an illustrative example from another college of how clubs might mishandle money. However, Triggs did acknowledge that some HSU clubs fail to follow proper financial procedures.

Triggs said she has seen students use club funds to pay for necessities, including textbooks, but that she wouldn’t label that as embezzlement. For Triggs, embezzlement is applicable only to long-term, premeditated theft.

“Some clubs can accidentally misuse funds if they didn’t get permission to do something,” Triggs said. “There’s all kind of cash handling rules. If they don’t follow them, that can technically be a misuse of funds.”

Triggs said she tends to take a forgiving stance when a student club is found to have mishandled money.

“When it comes to clubs, I’m more educational than punitive,” Triggs said. “I would rather meet with them and make sure they knew what the policy was—if they didn’t, then I’m going to give them a warning.”

Our students are learning all of this. Managing budgets as if they’re tiny nonprofits—which all of them are—is not easy and so we definitely recognize that, especially understanding that the state is a very bureaucratic system.

Molly Kresl, HSU Clubs and Activities Coordinator

HSU student clubs have seen changes in their financial management in recent years in an effort to comply with the Integrated CSU Administrative Manual for student clubs defined by CSU Executive Order 1068, passed late 2011.

HSU Clubs and Activities Coordinator Molly Kresl said all student club advisors, presidents and treasurers undergo financial management training before handling money. Nevertheless, Kresl said policy violations do happen.

“Mismanagement does occur,” Kresl said. “And sometimes it’s unintentional and sometimes there is mal-intent there. And more often than not that mal-intent is coming from a place of need from an individual, but whatever it is, we have these policies and procedures in place to protect that money, to protect our organizations and to protect our students.”

Kresl said Clubs and Activities promotes proper financial management procedures like the taking of inventory, the use of receipt books and the use of dual-custody, which Kresl elaborated on.

“Dual-custody is important because it ensures accountability that one person’s watching another,” Kresl said. “You’re less likely to mishandle money if there’s someone else there. Also to ensure the safety of the students, so an individual student who’s maybe handling like $100 or $200 dollars, doesn’t get targeted and then potentially attacked—not that I would expect that to happen in our community.”

Kresl said club funds are stored in HSU accounts, so transactions are monitored. A club’s advisor and president, or treasurer, must sign for any withdrawals from the accounts. Clubs and Activities tries to aid student clubs as much as possible to avoid financial mismanagement.

“Our students are learning all of this,” Kresl said. “Managing budgets as if they’re tiny nonprofits—which all of them are—is not easy and so we definitely recognize that, especially understanding that the state is a very bureaucratic system.”

Ryen Cosgro, recreation administration senior and president of the recreation club, said he underwent almost nine hours of training to become a club president. Cosgro agreed that learning to manage a club was difficult.

“There’s kind of a steep learning curve, and that’s something that I could tell the clubs office was trying to provide us resources to avoid,” Cosgro said.

Despite the time and effort Cosgro had to put in, he said he was grateful for the training he received.

“A lot of the educating, I was like, ‘Man, I have to go to a lot of meetings and orientations,’ but coming out of it, okay, I learned a lot,” Cosgro said. “That was very helpful.”

Cosgro had doubts about how anyone at HSU could pull off embezzlement, as he said any large expenses require prior approval.

Ryen Cosgro, recreation administration senior and president of the Humboldt State University recreation club, standing outside the HSU recreation and wellness building on Nov. 1. Cosgro said his only gripe so far as a club president has been a small travel budget. | Photo by James Wilde

“From my point of view, it seems really hard to do that,” Cosgro said. “I don’t really see how you can do that unless you’re making false receipts or something.”

In the event that mishandling does occur, Triggs will typically meet with students, gather information and divide up the responsibility of the mishandling based on what she finds.

If an entire club has benefited from mismanagement, Triggs would likely implement conduct policies upon the whole club.

Otherwise, Associated Dean of Students Roger Wang would oversee conduct procedures for individual students.

Depending on the severity of the mishandling, Triggs said she could put the club on probation or revoke its status as a club. Triggs also said she tries to keep an eye on any mishandling to prevent it from impacting all of Clubs and Activities.

“I’d rather confront and deal with one club to eliminate it happening again than to take the chance of it happening more and more and more and then we get into some kind of trouble,” Triggs said. “I’ve never had an audit finding and I don’t plan on it happening any time soon, because I know they’re not fun to rectify.”

Even for clubs caught mishandling money, both Triggs and Kresl emphasized that they ultimately aim to support and educate students.

“Our goal is ultimately to keep students here whenever we can and to support our students as best as we can,” Kresl said. “The whole reason we exist is as a learning institution and our goal is to help our students learn.”

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination

Major League Marijuana

Why I don’t think marijuana is everything it’s cracked up to be in baseball

Pigs Compost on Campus

CCAT tries to reduce HSU’s food waste footprint through new pig program