The Cougar Editorial Board" />
side bar
Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Staff Editorial: Present the facts before passing the resolution, SGA

SGA President

Instead of rallying the student body around things they know people hate, members of SGA should call for an open investigation of Carlucci’s department, not his resignation. | Francis Emelogu/The Cougar

An over-budget, uncompleted TDECU Stadium was thrust into the national spotlight after allegations that funds meant for academics went to finishing the stadium. Then Student Government Association President Charles Haston publicly came out and blamed one division for it all: The Division of Administration and Finance.

And that’s when the story starts to get complicated.

Led by Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance Carl Carlucci, Associate President Emily Messa and Assistant President Esmeralda Valdez, the division has been under tremendous scrutiny from Haston and SGA since October, when Administration and Finance refused to present to the Student Fees Advisory Committee, which is mandatory for any organization on campus that receives a portion of the $250 Student Services Fee is that is included on your tuition bill every semester.

In lieu, Carlucci presented to SGA in November, where he was accused by Haston of lying to SGA on the terms of deals with Aramark and the ability for Sports and Entertainment to run UH’s 40,000 seat stadium, when it only had experience running facilities that didn’t hold half of the capacity of TDECU.

Four audits have been launched, and while the investigation in the allocation of academic funds found no violations, a question still arises: Are Carlucci and his division really the ones to blame?

Hot words like parking, Aramark and the stadium have escalated the situation into a new stratosphere, and SGA is riding the rocket — along with a mountain of accusations — all the way to the top. These buzzwords filled a petition that’s garnered over 1,300 signatures and made multiple rounds around Facebook.

Though Haston said he insisted that the petition’s author, economics and political science freshman Dalton Laine, write a disclaimer that Laine isn’t affiliated with SGA, the petition has been shared by numerous members of SGA on social media.

“I think it was nice for us to see that we had some grassroots work,” Haston said.

And for the record, Haston said that he isn’t happy with how he’s handled the situation.

“We’ve been working on issues with the MOU for nine months, and we’ve tried really hard to work behind the scenes and not work in public,” Haston said. “But, at some point, we weren’t making any progress and we realized the only way to get (the administration) to respond was to make things public.”

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee issued a resolution supporting Carlucci until the rest of the audits are completed. They said that while they understand the issues, Carlucci has overseen many changes on campus, including the addition of residential housing.

The Cougar agrees with the Faculty Senate that no judgment should be made on who is to blame for the entire situation until all of the audits are completed and presented to the Board of Regents. The Cougar also praises SGA for trying to keep students informed by demanding transparency between the Administration and the students.

Haston has been vocal about all the ways that Administration and Finance, especially under the leadership of Carlucci, has failed the students. However, for an SGA administration that has been consistently battling against the UH administration in the name of the student body, they have been going about this whole situation from the wrong perspective.

SGA should realize that real people stand behind these accusations, and while we – like the Faculty Senate – understand the issues, we do not agree with UB 51006: No Confidence against the Department of Administration and Finance. We will not take sides until all parts of this convoluted conversation are accounted for.

Every SGA administration is known for something throughout its year-long reign. With the 51st administration of the Student Government Association coming to a close in the next couple of weeks, is this witch hunt what they want to be known for?

— The Cougar Editorial Board

Editor’s Note: A sentence has been removed that incorrectly paraphrased SGA President Charles Haston. Haston did not say that he agreed that SGA has acted without tact. The headline has also been edited, changing the word “get” to “present.” 

Tags: ,

17 Responses to Staff Editorial: Present the facts before passing the resolution, SGA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑
  • Sign up for our Email Edition

  • Polls

    What about UH will you miss the least this summer?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...