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Saturday, March 23, 2019

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SFAC prepares to hear budget proposals


student center

SFAC will deliberate for three days after presentations have concluded. | File photo/The Cougar

The Student Fees Advisory Committee hosted their first information session Wednesday about their purpose and the upcoming open presentation meetings.

SFAC will hear presentations from organizations about their budgetary requests for fiscal year 2018’s funding starting Friday in the Senate Chamber of the Student Center North.

Brinda Penmetsa, SFAC’s SGA chair representative and Farah Islam, the SGA vice-chair representative led the info session, which ended with a Q&A from audience members. Questions included the exact breakdown of fees and how service fees and facilities fees are used.

What is SFAC?

Created by state statute in 1991, SFAC is comprised of seven students, two faculty members and one non-voting adviser. The students chosen for the committee are representative of the student body. The remaining members are representative of the University community as a whole.

To avoid bias towards an organization, none of the committee members are allowed to be student leaders in fee-funded organizations.

What do they do?

The committee is charged with allocating the use of the Student Services Fees students pay every semester. To decide where funds go, they host presentations from each student-funded organization in the fall.

The committee will deliberate for three days following the presentations and will submit a report to President and Chancellor Renu Khator by Nov. 22 for final approval.

Part of SFAC’s duty is determining whether to maintain or change the student services fee for Fall 2017. The current student service fee was raised to $255 from $250 this semester. The fee is capped at $270.

When is it?

Presentations run for four days: Friday, next Monday, Tuesday and Friday. The presentations are open to the public.

All of the presentations start at 8:30 a.m. and will run until late afternoon. There is also a time for public comment set up around 11:30 a.m. every day.

The full schedule can be found here.

Who is participating?

The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services IT Services, Veterans Services and the Health Center will start off the presentations Friday morning. Later in the day will be Campus Recreation, Blaffer Gallery and the Spirit of Houston marching band.

Next week, the Center for Student Media, the Student Centers and the Frontier Fiesta Association will present Monday. Tuesday’s presentations include the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Center for Student Involvement and the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Rounding out the presentations next Friday are UH Wellness, Cougars in Recovery and Intercollegiate Athletics, among others.

More information about SFAC, guidelines and past recommendations can be found at their website.

The Cougar will offer comprehensive coverage of the SFAC meetings to follow.

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