Request Ambiance Funds

Their use is limited strictly to the commons or public areas. This fund or portion of the Housing budget is subject to yearly approval. All expenditures must improve the overall “ambiance” of the College. The following guidelines and rules are provided to help each College when considering ambiance projects.

Acceptable Projects

The projects must benefit all College members and visitors and enhance the overall appearance of the College.

  • Purchase of new furniture (couches, chairs, tables)
  • Purchase of area rugs
  • Re-covering existing lobby or entry furniture
  • Wall coverings and paintings
  • Special accent lighting
  • Plants for landscaping

Acceptable areas for use of Ambiance Funds:

  • The true “commons” areas including main entrances and dining areas. These are the prime areas to be considered and must be in excellent condition before considering other areas.
  • Libraries and Private Dining Rooms
  • Floor Lobbies
  • Studies
  • Kitchenettes and TV areas — only if all other projects are complete
  • Outdoor landscaping (and improvements or fixtures)

Any projects or proposed purchases that fall outside the norm will be reviewed by the Senior Operations Manager and sent to RCMAC for approval or denial of funds. RCMAC will make the final decision in these situations.

Purchases or projects that come under the “acceptable” section above may be approved directly by the Senior Operations Manager.


Before October 1, the resident of each College or his/her representatives should present to the Senior Operations Manager a list of possible Ambiance projects approved by the College Master and College President. This list should include the current years requests plus ideas for future expenditures. The suggestions of prior years should be reviewed with the Senior Operations Manager and a plan formulated.

To request Ambiance Funds each College must:

  1. Submit a plan and an Ambiance Funds request form to the Senior Operations Manager.
  2. Work with the Senior Operations Manager or designee to obtain bids when necessary.
  3. The Senior Operations Manager will notify the College when a presentation of the project is required by RCMAC (Residential Colleges Management Advisory Committee). If no formal presentation is required, the College will be notified with approval or denial of the proposed project. No funds will be committed to a project without proper documentation including appropriate signatures.
  4. Approved purchases can be made with College funds. Original receipts will be necessary in order to receive reimbursement.

Housing and Dining can provide purchase orders for approved purchases as well.

Housing and Dining may function as project manager on large or complex projects.


October 1: List of Matching, Ambiance and Green Projects due in the Housing and Dining Office. The Senior Operations Manager or designee will review with representatives of each College. The list should include future projects as well as the present year. By compiling such a list H&D and the Colleges will be able to set up a plan for College improvements.

September – April: Regular meetings of the Residential Colleges Management Advisory Committee (RCMAC).

February 1: Deadline for submitting requests for Matching, Ambiance and Green Funds. No requests will be accepted after this date and all remaining funds will be forfeited.

March 1: Deadline for finalizing plans, drawings, and estimates for projects to be completed over the summer.

This is imperative since during the month of April Housing and Dining will be busy finalizing all contracts for summer maintenance and will not be able to devote time to other plans.

April 1: Deadline for turning in all receipts for Matching, Ambiance and Green Funds.

Ambiance, Matching and Green Fund Budgets are allocated by fiscal year (Rice’s Fiscal Year (FY) goes from July 1 to June 30) and are not eligible for expenditure in other fiscal years. Rollover of funds may only occur if your College has submitted an itemized appeal for a multi-year purchase plan and this submission is approved by RCMAC.

*A College’s matching/ambiance/green funds requests may be denied if College has any previous fiscal year balance due to the Housing and Dining Department.