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Monday, November 30, 2020

Administration

Metropolitan Volunteer Program, Council of Ethnic Organizations present budget requests to SFAC


MVP partnered with Agape Development Ministries and the Southeast Houston Transformation Alliance for Keep Houston Beautiful Day. | Mahnoor Samana/The Daily Cougar

About 100 students attend each Metropolitan Volunteer Program Service Night and participation is growing, according to director Chris Pinto. | Mahnoor Samana/The Cougar

The Metropolitan Volunteer Program and Council for Ethnic Organizations presented their base budget requests and additional funding for the next fiscal year to meet their programs’ demands on Tuesday.

MVP asked for the Student Fees Advisory Committee’s approval for one-time requests of $2,438 and $5,936 along with a continued $71,134 base budget for the next fiscal year.

“Our program helps students meet with their peers and collaborate to address social issues in their community,” said MVP Director Chris Pinto, who started the presentation.

The first request of $2,438 was for MVP’s Service Nights. In these events, students volunteer in activities such as food collection and help homeless individuals. MVP hopes to receive funds for supplies to put on eight Service Nights per semester.

Pinto said that about 100 students attend each event, and participation is growing.

“Since the events have grown, we are not able to sustain them without the additional fees that we are requesting,” Pinto said.

The one-time request of $5,936 was designated for volunteer fairs. Thirty-five non-profit organizations are supported through these fairs with more than 1,130 students in attendance. MVP stated a 185.3 percent increase in student attendance since 2013.

Approval of this request will support marketing efforts and supply purchases for the events.

“I want to thank you for this very informative and thought-out presentation that you have provided today,” said SFAC’s Presidential Student Representative Katie Nuss.

Pinto’s presentation was followed with attendees’ applause.

The Council of Ethnic Organizations’ presentation immediately followed with a different route by not requesting additional one-time funding for the next fiscal year. CEO only requested to keep the $12,182 base budget previously approved by SFAC.

In its presentation, CEO highlighted the reorganization of its members through the establishment of a 25-member council.

“We have learned about the beauty of differences in people, and this not only makes us better but it emphasizes inclusion, which is a big part of the UH mission,” CEO council member Nazir Pandor said.

If granted, the allocated budget will be used to host three signature events. The funds will also support cultural and diversity-related events from other campus organizations.

“We do not want to spend for the sake of spending and we want to make sure we use the money to support events that will impact the community,” said CEO Vice Chair Fatima Siddiqui.

The CEO council contains 25 members from 25 ethnically based organizations that provide focused advice to the Center for Student Involvement. Each council member provides an in-depth student perspective to efficiently deliver efforts for the organizations covered.

While MVP and CEO presented different budget requests to SFAC, they shared the common goal of increasing student involvement and improving student experience at the University.

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