Attention Louisville and Princeton Quizbowl

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Progcon
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Attention Louisville and Princeton Quizbowl

Post by Progcon » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:05 pm

Hello,

I wish I did not have to make this thread, but this thread is made to single out that the Louisville and Princeton quizbowl teams have still not paid for WAO II. This tournament happened in Fall 2017, and it is extremely disheartening that these two schools insist that we navigate purchasing department forms instead of paying us directly. We have not heard from either school in a while and are anxious to pay the remaining writers for their work on the set.

If you are associated with these two universities, I would please ask that you immediately either send dondelillopresentswaoii@gmail.com an email and CC myself (harrisbunker@gmail.com) and Jakob (jakobsmyers@gmail.com). This email should either contain a request for my address for where to mail a check or information and a contact (phone number required) that will help us with the purchasing department forms. It is patently ridiculous to expect us to have a taxable entity for us to get paid for this tournament.

Please contact us as soon as possible.
Harris Bunker
Grosse Pointe North High School '15
Michigan State University '19 B.S. in Economics & B.A. in Mathematics
UC San Diego Economics 2019 -

"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."- Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Rococo A Go Go
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Re: Attention Louisville and Princeton Quizbowl

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:34 pm

I can’t help you (maybe Matt Church can) but the quizbowl team at Louisville is not usually able to pay people directly without going through a department. For some time now, any revenue made by the quizbowl team is taken by the school, who then pays for the team’s expenses like it would any other department of the university. The only other way to pay for team expenses has been for individual players or sponsors to do so and then request reimbursement, although this process was difficult the last time I did it and I nearly wasn’t reimbursed. Hopefully you can either talk to Matt or contact the UofL Purchasing Department and get it all figured out.
Nick Conder
Louisville, KY

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."--Eugene V. Debs

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sephirothrr
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Re: Attention Louisville and Princeton Quizbowl

Post by sephirothrr » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:34 pm

I'm not now nor was I then officially officially affiliated with UofL Quizbowl in any way, but I find your outrage rather incomprehensible. UofL Quizbowl is a part of the University of Louisville, and as such, as absolutely no ability whatsoever to simply mail out checks to people. UofL teams have both hosted and attended several tournaments a year for the past several years, and as far as I know you're somehow the only person unable to fill out fairly standard reimbursement forms.
Regardless, I've passed on your concern to the faculty advisor, but if you refuse to fill out tax forms I'm not really sure what we can do for you.
Welcome to bureaucracy, my dude.
Ramapriya Rangaraju
Kentucky Quizbowl Alliance
University of Louisville
duPont Manual High School
Birdofredum Sawin wrote:
Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:52 pm
If you don't want to be regarded as a "raving lunatic," it might be advisable to rave less, or at least to do so in a less loony manner.

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a bird
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Re: Attention Louisville and Princeton Quizbowl

Post by a bird » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:28 am

sephirothrr wrote:I find your outrage rather incomprehensible. UofL Quizbowl is a part of the University of Louisville, and as such, as absolutely no ability whatsoever to simply mail out checks to people.
I'm not commenting directly on Harris's outrage, but I want to point out that the above is an oversimplification. Quizbowl clubs are not part of their universities in the sense that academic departments etc. are. Quizbowl clubs are largely run by students (not university employees) and in many cases get funding from external sources (i.e. hosting tournaments).

In my experience it's normal--and sometimes advantageous--for clubs with external funding to have a bank account external to their university. Having an external account is not necessary, but if the bureaucratic process makes it hard for you to pay expenses like mirror fees through the university in a timely manner, you should probably have an external club account.

If it takes months for your club to pay mirror fees after hosting a tournament, this reflects poorly on your club. It reflects poorly on the club and creates difficulties for the editors whether or not the slowness is due to university bureaucracy.
Graham Reid
Kenyon 2017
Maryland Physics 20??

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mhayes
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Re: Attention Louisville and Princeton Quizbowl

Post by mhayes » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:08 pm

a bird wrote:
sephirothrr wrote:I find your outrage rather incomprehensible. UofL Quizbowl is a part of the University of Louisville, and as such, as absolutely no ability whatsoever to simply mail out checks to people.
I'm not commenting directly on Harris's outrage, but I want to point out that the above is an oversimplification. Quizbowl clubs are not part of their universities in the sense that academic departments etc. are. Quizbowl clubs are largely run by students (not university employees) and in many cases get funding from external sources (i.e. hosting tournaments).

In my experience it's normal--and sometimes advantageous--for clubs with external funding to have a bank account external to their university. Having an external account is not necessary, but if the bureaucratic process makes it hard for you to pay expenses like mirror fees through the university in a timely manner, you should probably have an external club account.

If it takes months for your club to pay mirror fees after hosting a tournament, this reflects poorly on your club. It reflects poorly on the club and creates difficulties for the editors whether or not the slowness is due to university bureaucracy.
I don't have a dog in this fight, but I disagree with the spirit of this post. The quiz bowl team at UofL is presumably an official university club, and as such, is bound by university rules. It doesn't matter if it's an academic department that is run by faculty or a club that is run by students.

Some universities don't let student clubs handle funds at all; I recall one tournament where registration fees had to be given directly to a university representative. In such cases, the clubs are likely not allowed to have external bank accounts.

I agree that something needs to change here, but I can't fault people for not wanting to circumvent university policy.
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John Ketzkorn
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Re: Attention Louisville and Princeton Quizbowl

Post by John Ketzkorn » Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:27 pm

mhayes wrote:
a bird wrote:
sephirothrr wrote:I find your outrage rather incomprehensible. UofL Quizbowl is a part of the University of Louisville, and as such, as absolutely no ability whatsoever to simply mail out checks to people.
I'm not commenting directly on Harris's outrage, but I want to point out that the above is an oversimplification. Quizbowl clubs are not part of their universities in the sense that academic departments etc. are. Quizbowl clubs are largely run by students (not university employees) and in many cases get funding from external sources (i.e. hosting tournaments).

In my experience it's normal--and sometimes advantageous--for clubs with external funding to have a bank account external to their university. Having an external account is not necessary, but if the bureaucratic process makes it hard for you to pay expenses like mirror fees through the university in a timely manner, you should probably have an external club account.

If it takes months for your club to pay mirror fees after hosting a tournament, this reflects poorly on your club. It reflects poorly on the club and creates difficulties for the editors whether or not the slowness is due to university bureaucracy.
I don't have a dog in this fight, but I disagree with the spirit of this post. The quiz bowl team at UofL is presumably an official university club, and as such, is bound by university rules. It doesn't matter if it's an academic department that is run by faculty or a club that is run by students.

Some universities don't let student clubs handle funds at all; I recall one tournament where registration fees had to be given directly to a university representative. In such cases, the clubs are likely not allowed to have external bank accounts.

I agree that something needs to change here, but I can't fault people for not wanting to circumvent university policy.
As someone who comes from a school with some bureaucracy issues, aren't there deadlines to these things? At the very least, communication from Princeton / UofL would seem important. I don't think Harris is entirely out of line here for expecting payment within a year of playing the event (although hopefully he now realizes that some organizations do need other schools / people to fill out forms to get payment).
Michael Etzkorn
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy '16
UIUC '21

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sephirothrr
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Re: Attention Louisville and Princeton Quizbowl

Post by sephirothrr » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:45 pm

So, the main reason I was so dismissive was that the situation that Harris has presented where he's attempting to get payment but the dastardardly and/or incompetent bureaucracy isn't responding to him is patently untrue.

On November 2, 2017, over two weeks before the tournament, the University of Louisville sent an email to the WAO II address instructing them on how to receive payment, a two step process:
  • 1. Fill out a vendor form, and get a vendor ID number
    2. Submit a new invoice, referencing the aforementioned vendor ID number in the invoice
As far as government bureaucracy goes, I feel that's quite reasonable.

On (the weekend of) November 17, 2017, we held our mirror.

On December 19, 2017, the University sent a reminder email, as it appeared that no action had been taken in getting a vendor ID, and at that point offered any assistance that might be necessary to complete the process.

On December 22, 2017, the WAO address responded, stating that he was out of town, and had finally completed the vendor form and received a vendor number, which he provided. However, this email was received during the winter break, so no further action was taken until...

January 2, 2018, when the University responded that the information was received - however, the name/address on previous invoice did not match the name/address used to register for a vendor number, so they would need a new invoice reflecting the correct name/address.

On January 17, 2018, the WAO address responded, asking "what do".

On January 19, 2018, the University repeated that the invoice needed to changed so that the payment address on the invoice matched the one used to register the vendor ID.

On February 8, 2018, the first reminder email was sent stating that the University had still not received an updated invoice.

On February 28, 2018, the second reminder was sent stating that the University had still not received an updated invoice.

On March 13, 2018 the third and final email reminder was sent stating that the University had still yet to receive an updated invoice.


I feel that the University of Louisville has gone well beyond what it needed to do in order to get you paid, and I don't appreciate you publicly laying the blame on others because you're too incompetent to change the name and address on a word document.
Ramapriya Rangaraju
Kentucky Quizbowl Alliance
University of Louisville
duPont Manual High School
Birdofredum Sawin wrote:
Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:52 pm
If you don't want to be regarded as a "raving lunatic," it might be advisable to rave less, or at least to do so in a less loony manner.

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Rococo A Go Go
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Re: Attention Louisville and Princeton Quizbowl

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:56 pm

a bird wrote:
sephirothrr wrote:I find your outrage rather incomprehensible. UofL Quizbowl is a part of the University of Louisville, and as such, as absolutely no ability whatsoever to simply mail out checks to people.
I'm not commenting directly on Harris's outrage, but I want to point out that the above is an oversimplification. Quizbowl clubs are not part of their universities in the sense that academic departments etc. are. Quizbowl clubs are largely run by students (not university employees) and in many cases get funding from external sources (i.e. hosting tournaments).

In my experience it's normal--and sometimes advantageous--for clubs with external funding to have a bank account external to their university. Having an external account is not necessary, but if the bureaucratic process makes it hard for you to pay expenses like mirror fees through the university in a timely manner, you should probably have an external club account.

If it takes months for your club to pay mirror fees after hosting a tournament, this reflects poorly on your club. It reflects poorly on the club and creates difficulties for the editors whether or not the slowness is due to university bureaucracy.
As a condition of receiving university funding, UofL Quizbowl is not allowed to keep funds raised through hosting tournaments and similar sources. It used to not be like this I believe, but the school went through several embarrassing embezzlement scandals, went completely broke, and then cracked down on everything. When I was a more active member of the team I desperately wanted that to change, but it did not.
Nick Conder
Louisville, KY

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."--Eugene V. Debs

jaredlockwood
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Re: Attention Louisville and Princeton Quizbowl

Post by jaredlockwood » Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:09 pm

Hi Harris,

Thanks for bringing it to my attention that you still haven’t received the payment for WAO II from Princeton. For what it’s worth, my last communication with the organizers of WAO II was on February 7th, when I reached out via e-mail to inform them that we’d finally received the payment we’d been waiting on from teams so that we could pay the mirror fee. Since I don’t really deal with any of the financial stuff for our team, I forwarded the invoice to our treasurer, who sent an e-mail to the WAO II organizers about how to fill out the necessary forms in order to be paid. She then followed up via FB messenger on February 23rd to make sure that the e-mail had been received. Through that conversation, our treasurer asked if there was going to be any problems filling out the forms, to which she was told it should be fine. After that, we did not hear back from you until last week – five days after the publication of this post, in fact – when I was cc’ed on an e-mail dated August 15th to our school’s finance department. The e-mail stated that the organizers of WAO II had completed the appropriate forms “over a month ago,” so presumably sometime in late June/early July – about five months after we’d provided you with the necessary information.

By that point, we’d already been running low on freed-up funds and had decided to spend the money we’d set aside to pay the WAO II organizers since we had not heard anything from them for some time. We decided to do so only because we knew that we still had three outstanding payments from other groups that, once received, would be more than enough to cover the WAO II mirror fee. Unfortunately, we still haven’t received the money we are expecting from those organizations, and not from lack of trying on our part. At least two of said organizations are facing similar frustrations in dealing with their own administrations’ bureaucracies. After receiving the WAO II organizers’ e-mail last week we discussed with our university’s dean and decided that, given the frequency with which we’d reached out to one of the organizations in question about its WAO II payment to no avail, the best course of action is for our administration to reach out directly to that of the other organization to try and expedite the process of receiving payment so we can pay our own mirror fee. Hopefully this should be taken care of soon.

Reading Nick’s post, it looks like our University operates in pretty much the same way as UofL:
Rococo A Go Go wrote:any revenue made by the quizbowl team is taken by the school, who then pays for the team’s expenses like it would any other department of the university. The only other way to pay for team expenses has been for individual players or sponsors to do so and then request reimbursement, although this process was difficult the last time I did it and I nearly wasn’t reimbursed.
We discussed amongst our team a year or two back about circumventing this issue by setting up an external bank account, as has been mentioned in this thread, but after consulting University regulations we discovered that doing so is expressly forbidden and any club that is found to have done so will face severe penalties and possibly be disbanded, so obviously that was not a possibility for us.

While normally I wouldn’t have a problem with paying you up-front out of my own pocket and then dealing with the bureaucracy myself to get reimbursed, my personal funds were completely exhausted trying to finance my internship this summer. Not to mention I’ve already poured over $800 of my own money into our club to pay for various things – money which I will likely never see again considering the difficulties we’ve had in raising adequate funds for our club. As such, you will now likely have to wait until we have received the still-outstanding fees that we are owed from WAO II attendees and other sources or until after this year’s PHSAT at the end of September, because we currently have insufficient funds in our account.

I apologize to you and everyone else involved with WAO II for the inconvenience. If you have further concerns or inquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact me at jaredlockwoodqb@gmail.com.
Jared Lockwood

Hallsville High School 2015
Princeton University 2019, 2023

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a bird
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Re: Attention Louisville and Princeton Quizbowl

Post by a bird » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:59 pm

I want to clarify a few things from my earlier post. I'm not advocating anyone break their university's rules, but if you have the option, external accounts are useful.

While I previously focussed on what clubs can do, clearly tournament organizers can also help speed the process along. As editors for a set, you will probably have to deal with this sort of bureaucracy with some hosts—it would probably be helpful to designate one responsible person to deal with payment forms consistently and quickly.
Graham Reid
Kenyon 2017
Maryland Physics 20??

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