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Friday, November 16, 2018

Activities & Organizations

Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life requests budget increase for leadership conference


Lawrence Daniel, Director of DSAES IT Services, presents his request to the Student Fees Advisory Committee. | Owen Zinkweg/The Cougar

The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services IT Services and the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life both asked the Student Fees Advisory Committee for increases to their budgets during their Monday presentations. 

The Student Fees Advisory Committee is responsible each fall for hearing presentations and funding requests from fee-funded units — ranging from Counseling and Psychological services to Homecoming and Frontier Fiesta — throughout the University. The committee usually makes its funding recommendations during Thanksgiving break before requesting approval from UH President Renu Khator.

Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life

CFSL asked for a total budget of $358,718 for Fiscal Year 2020, which will include the 2019-2020 academic term, representing an increase from the Fiscal Year 2019 budget of $348,323. 

The department, which oversees all Greek Life at the University of Houston, asked for $10,395 in merit and salary increases in their budget request, as well as a one-time request for an additional $5,830 to fund their ELEVATE Fraternal Leadership Conference.

ELEVATE is an opportunity for those in Greek life to learn about and develop leadership skills for the job market and their futures. The program began in 2017 and is intended to fill a gap in the leadership programming at Greek life at UH, said Director of CFSL Jason Bergeron.

He said financial equity was a problem for Greek life, and there are always budget concerns.

“We are using every single cent that we are given,” Bergeron said. “Financial support is critical.”

The CFSL presentation focused on the accomplishments of the organization over the course of the past year. CFSL currently serves upward of 1,500 students in 46 Greek chapters across campus.

“We are nationally recognized,” Bergeron said.

Greek life has won 44 Fraternal Excellence Program awards, and fraternity and sorority chapters at UH have increased their already-above average GPAs by another 9 percent. 

“Anybody who wanted to engage in skill development and leadership development could spend a Saturday doing that,” Bergeron said. “We had some great success in our first outing.”

Bergeron said Greek life always made use of its funding. Most governing councils receive $5,000 or less for a yearly budget, he said. CSFL uses almost all of its funding each year, returning less than

The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services IT Services

DSAES IT Services wants an increase in merit and salary pay. 

DSAES IT Services requested a Fiscal Year 2020 budget increase from the current Fiscal Year 2019 budget of $929,519 to $963,180 to fund merit and salary raises among employees in the department.

DSAES IT Services focuses on resolving any desktop and computer issues for the six Student Affairs and Enrollment Services departments. DSAES IT, which was centralized in the summer and fall of 2013, has worked to spread and upkeep 1,227 computers across campus. Earlier in the year, DSAES IT worked with UIT to produce the UHGO app for technical issues on campus.

DSAES IT Services Director Lawrence Daniel said the service had excellent satisfaction and response times, as 94.29 percent of those who used the service were satisfied with the response time and 96.67 percent were satisfied with the service overall.

“We get feedback, and we are trying to get that number to 100 percent,” Daniel said.

Daniel finished his presentation by speaking about the four-year desktop replacement plan and its recent success thanks to Student Fees Advisory Committee funding.

Daniel did not ask for any one-time budget requests but said SFAC funding eliminates all department budget needs.

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