SFAC: High funding requests show campus culture change
During Friday’s SFAC hearings, Frontier Fiesta and Student Programming Board submitted base augmentation requests of $242,740 and $376,002, respectively, a sign of the campus culture shifting toward a more active and engaged student body.
SPB President Isaiah Ross cited the need to continue catering to “the majority” of students, who have expressed the need for more events that will keep UH students entertained on campus. SPB submitted one-time requests for FY16 (fiscal year 2016) of $8,511.00 “to support UH Carnival” and $8,087.00 to fund a proposed Harry Potter Festival, according to SPB’s SFAC report.
In 2014, SPB did not submit a base augmentation request and operated within its current base budget of $156,875. SPB received $22,472 and $107,272 in one-time funding requests for “large-scale concerts.” On Friday, Ross referred to the success of last March’s B.o.B. performance at Frontier Fiesta. The performance was presented by SPB; its success was indicative of the student body’s need for more engaging, live events that they can enjoy free of charge, Ross said.
Big Sean’s Homecoming performance, scheduled for Nov. 7 at Cullen Performance Hall, is the first event that SPB has charged students for. Currently, tickets are on-sale for $30, $20 and $10, though Ross emphasized the importance of providing free programming to all UH students.
“If we’re going to charge for events, we need to give students a good reason to pay for them,” Ross said.
Combining its one-time and base augmentation requests, SPB is requesting a total of $400,584.00 for FY16.
Most notably, Frontier Fiesta submitted a one-time allocation of $96,990 to hold the three-day event in TDECU Stadium and its surrounding parking lots. A one-time allocation of $132,500 was also submitted for a predicted “increase in operational/production expenses for increase in size,” according to Frontier Fiesta’s SFAC report.
“With the large increase in space that we will receive in moving to the stadium, Frontier Fiesta can add more carnival attractions that everyone wants,” the report reads. “The stadium assists by adding hype of the event being back at the previous location and,
additionally allows for Frontier Fiesta to ride on the excitement of the University of Houston stadium being brand new.”
Frontier Fiesta, citing the need to cater to UH’s non-conventional student body, requested a one-time request of $14,840 for Family Funday, an event that gives students the chance to showcase the University to prospective students, said Stephanie Bailey, marketing director of Frontier Fiesta.
In total, Frontier Fiesta is requesting one-time allocations and base augmentations adding up to $524,080.00.
If both SPB and Frontier Fiesta’s one-time and base requests are approved, $924,664 would be directed towards student organizations that foster involvement and engagement, indicative of the identify shift UH has been undergoing. This includes the planned renovations of Hofheinz Pavilion and the addition of TDECU Stadium, Cougar Village 1, Cougar Village 2, Cougar Place and the new University Center.