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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Activities & Organizations

Eleven organizations vie for funding on SFAC’s second day

The Student Fees Advisory Committee met for the second consecutive day Tuesday, hearing out proposals given by 11 organizations for funding.

The first organization to present was the University Center and the UC Satellite, requesting a base of $1,598,609 and an augmentation of $17,200. The changes to its expenses from last fiscal year, $22,746 more, were a result of the closure of the UC Underground, a representative said.

The UC said the augmentation is for the continuation of Weeks of Welcome.

The Center for Student Involvement requested a base of $773,941 and an augmentation of $166,693. Additional funding was said to be going toward Cougar Nights, a graduate assistant for Cougar Nights, leadership initiatives, Alternative Spring Break, two transfers from Student Program Board and Center of Fraternity and Sorority Life, civic engagement and a graduate assistant for said engagements.

Student Body President Cedric Bandoh spoke on behalf of the Student Government Association. SGA didn’t ask for an increase in base, but instead asked for a one-time allocation of $36,625. The money will be used to finish an app that SGA began working on last year. The app will include Athletics, Campus Dish, and Access UH.

Bandoh said SGA has started listening to feedback from students and is responding by addressing major flaws that appeared in the previous app.

Chairman Jeffrey Syptak, Director of Development Eduardo Reyes and Director of Operations Gonzalo Lombard Benito presented for Frontier Fiesta Association, saying it was looking to improve student involvement with focus on productions, operations, cook-offs, marketing and scholarships.

With stadium construction to begin soon, Frontier Fiesta will be at a new location, making FFA unsure of the costs. SFAC has given Frontier Fiesta Association until Wednesday to submit an estimate.

Council of Ethnic Organization’s Student Director Adrian Hobbs presented a one-time allocation request of $53,000 because of the higher number of students enrolled in the University, Hobbs said.

The Activities Funding Board’s student chair Taylor Vigil did not request additional funds for the upcoming school year. Last year, AFB returned about $50,000 to SFAC because the events the money were to go toward conflicted with AFB bylaws.

“The heart of a student’s experience on campus rests in the communion of ideas, experiences and relationships they develop while on campus. To facilitate a better experience the Activities Funding Board seeks to help registered student organizations,” said Vigil.

The return of funds was an issue to the panel. A committee member suggested AFB advertise more so organizations are aware there is money at its disposal.

Jessica Grono lead SPB’s presentation to request a one-time allocation of $50,000, citing UH’s increased enrollment.

SPB also requested an $80,000 base augmentation to help pay for new trips, tournament positions, National Association for Campus Activities conferences for six members and the large concert and speaker series to include Gym Class Heroes.

SFAC questioned Grono about sending six people to NACA, when it could send fewer.

Rowin Cordon, chairman of Homecoming Board, did not request an increase for the organization. Each year, the Homecoming Board is allocated about $72,000 to use during homecoming week.

“What we are doing is collaborating with organizations and their resources (to save money),” Cordon said.

Bruce Twenhafel, manager of the A.D. Bruce Religion Center, requested a one-time allocation of $16,651, for general maintenance this fiscal year and $11,755 for an office coordinator. For the next fiscal year, he requested a base augmentation of $8,051 for general maintenance and $46,852 for an office coordinator. The latter will include salary and benefits.

The Children’s Learning Center said it did not receive enough funding. Some of the things the center is trying to improve in are ongoing programs and engagment in campus partnerships.

Most of its facilities are under construction, and the center is unsure if it should use new facilities or refurbish old buildings, CLC said. The center is currently at 87 percent capacity and it would like to be at 95 percent for the next quarter.

The last presentation came from CFSL where it requested a total of $76,848 to go towards salary and benefits for a Greek housing coordinator and the graduate assistant, strategic planning support and travel support.

The only problem SFAC saw was the travel support. A committee member mentioned that students who wanted to travel on behalf of its organization could get money through other committees.

The SFAC hearings will continue at 8:45 a.m. Friday in the UC Bluebonnet Room.


Edit at 11:25 on Thursday: Frontier Fiesta’s Director of Operations Gonzalo Lombard Benito’s name was said to be Gonzalo Bambio.

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