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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Activities & Organizations

SFAC: Blaffer and band program receive funding

Last month, UH organizations presented to the Student Fee Advisory Committee with requests for additional funding.  The committee recently released their recommendations, which include both the approval and rejection of specific monetary requests from the UH band program and the Blaffer Art Museum.

Blaffer had a base budget of $21,500 and requested the continuation of that same amount for the upcoming fiscal year of 2017. In addition, they presented a base-augmentation request of $25,000 designated for the funding of the museum’s relatively new Innovation Series.

The Innovation Series is a sequence of lectures that over the past three years has attracted roughly 4,000 students, staff, and faculty in attendance. These lectures included the involvement of seven UH colleges, four internationally recognized scientists and an academy-award winning author.

The $25,000 Blaffer had requested was, “based on the actual costs incurred to produce the first installment of the Innovation Series, which serves as a benchmark for its continuation moving forward,” according to the Blaffer justification report.

While the SFAC approved Blaffer’s continued base budget of $21,500, they respectfully denied the request for the base augmentation of $25,000.

“Although the quality of programming produced by the museum continues to be excellent, evidence this programming has been spurred by and for student involvement has lessened,” the report said.

Those at the Blaffer Art Museum were disappointed that their request for an increase in funds, specifically for the Innovation Series, was denied seeing that it would have exposed UH students to an exciting roster of speakers. Nonetheless, the museum continues to strive to make their program better so that in subsequent years their requests will be granted.

“We respect the SFAC’s vigilance in managing student fees and are reviewing its recommendations on better documenting student-led involvement, creativity, and initiative for future proposals,” Blaffer Public Affair Director Devon Britt-Darby said.

Following Blaffer, the UH band program presented a one-time request of $149,000 in addition to their base budget of $286,400. The band program planned to allocate $74,000 of the one-time request amount for the purchase of new instruments for the Spirit of Houston marching band as well as various ensembles that are all continuing to grow in size. The remaining $75,000 would be used for travel-related expenses, such as the trip the entire Spirit of Houston took to Tulane University this fall.

“(The program would like to) increase presence at all away games in an effort to gain more state, national and international exposure for the program and the University,” the band program said in its presentation to the committee.

SFAC denied the band programs request of $74,000 in order to support the purchasing of five flutes, five clarinets, six trumpets, six trombones and six sousaphones. The report continued to state that the SFAC agreed to fund the $75,000 for travel related expenses.

“We hope this investment will enable the band and spirit squad to reflect the highest credit on our university,” the report said.

Stretching out the appearance of the SOH to outside areas is an objective that both the SFAC and the band members place value in.

“Our purpose as the Spirit of Houston is to create an energetic environment to support our football team and being able to take that energy and school spirit to away games is going to play a large part in fostering school spirit outside of TDECU,” SOH band member and public relations sophomore Steven Hiller said.

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