Groups request funding from SFAC

University departments and student organizations requested funding to the Student Fee Advisory Committee during meetings Monday and Tuesday.

A representative from each organization presented their case to the committee as to why they were requesting needed or additional funding. They discussed what their program does and how the money is spent, “so members have a clear understanding of what a department does and its goals for the next fiscal year,” according to the SFAC Web site.

SFAC is comprised of 10 members: seven students, two faculty members and one non-voting advisor. Members are in charge of funding allocations from student service fees.

The Athletic Department asked for the most funding — $4,362,707. This was the same amount the department requested last year.

Athletic Director Mack Rhoades justified the funding by saying that renovations are needed at Robertson Stadium and Hofheinz Pavilion. Rhoades also said the department is looking to create a vision for the future of UH athletics to maintain the sports program, entertain fans and strive for all teams to finish in the top three of the Conference USA standings annually.

The Department of Commuter Services requested $30,623 in funding from the committee. 

Daniel Gray, Programming Coordinator for Commuter Services, said he is working on building a better working relationship with Metro. One project includes a partnership with Metro that would allow students to use their Cougar Card to pay for bus fees.

Student Publications, asked for a one-time allocation of $181,124. The department rarely requests for outside funding because it generates most of its money from advertisements, but the recession has made ads harder to sell.

“This is something that we have never asked for before, and it is a hard thing to do. But our revenue is down,” Director of Student Publications Richard Cigler said. “We are in a position that we are not comfortable with, but it is something that we felt we should bring up to the committee for consideration.”

Cigler said cuts have been made to the Student Publication budget, changing the printing schedule from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., and shortening working hours for students. Other cuts could include not publishing The Daily Cougar on Fridays and only publishing it once a week, instead of twice, during the summer.

Other departments and organizations that requested a one-time allocation include Council of Ethnic Organization, Frontier Fiesta and Metropolitan Volunteer Program.

The Dean of Students Office requested $486,519. Dean of Students William Munson said the money is needed because funding from the freshman orientation now goes to the Office of Academic Affairs.

Freshman orientation provides about $500,000 for the University, but the Dean of Students Office no longer receives this money.

The committee will review all requests, and Vice President for Student Affairs Elwyn Lee will make his recommendations to the committee as to who should receive additional funding on Friday.

For a complete list of organizations and the amount of money each requested, log on to

Additional reporting provided by Neal Dasgupta, David Haydon, Darlene Campos, Sarah Raslan and Joaquim Clarke

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