Students need to be aware of what their money supports

When it comes time to pay tuition, many students notice the majority of their bill is dedicated to fees other than the cost of their classes. These fees subsidize various departments, programs and organizations within UH in order for them to continue providing free services to students.

Each spring student fee-funded organizations present recommendations for annual funds to the Student Fees Advisory Committee. Comprised of seven students, two faculty and one non-voting adviser, SFAC determines which programs will continue to receive funds and how much will be allocated to each. These requests are later submitted to the UH president for final approval.

Some of the programs and organizations which rely on student fees are the Blaffer Gallery, Student Publications, the University Center and UC Satellite, Student Program Board, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Metropolitan Volunteer Program, the Frontier Fiesta Association and the Child Care Center, to name a few.

SFAC has been meeting this entire week to determine how to dispense these precious funds. Many organizations are petitioning for more money to continue serving students.

Some of the organizations and programs requesting the continuation of or an increase in funds truly deserve it. They have done all they can do with their budgets, and in order to expand and continue their services, more money is needed.

Other organizations’ requests are questionable. Have they fulfilled their mission in the past year? Are they successfully reaching out to all students? And if they haven’t, where are previously allocated funds going?

Students have the right to know who is doing what with their money. All SFAC meetings are open to the public. They next meet at 9 a.m. Friday and again at 8:45 a.m. Monday in the Bluebonnet Room, University Center. A list of all programs and organizations that receive student fees as well as their fiscal year 2010 requests can be found online at http://uh.edu/sfac/.

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