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Thursday, March 30, 2023


SFAC hearings continue on Day 3

Friday’s round of Student Fees Advisory Committee hearings brought in representatives from student services, publications, recreation and the arts.

University Career Services, which provides career counseling and job search assistance for the campus, requested a base allocation in the amount of $61,039; projected income for fiscal year 2010-2011 is $929,746.

In its memorandum to the committee, the department stated that more than half of the request was “to replace the state monies removed from the UCS budget in FY 2011.”

The Center for Students with Disabilities, which provides services to UH students with various physical and psychological disabilities, stated in its presentation the the center “has not requested a base augmentation increase in…11 years.”

Eleven years ago, the center was serving approximately 300 students; today, over 1,200 students are serviced by the center.

The center has requested $409,623 from the committee, along with a base augmentation, or budget increase, of $10,722.

Student Publications, which uses student fees to publish The Daily Cougar and the student orientation magazine Transitions, made a request for an increase in funds due to a drop in advertising from reduced budgets campus wide.

“Campus departments and student organizations aren’t spending money to advertise on campus because their budgets have been cut,” advertising sales manager for the department Delores Crawford said. “We’ve cut our expenses in every area to salaries.”

According to its presentation, the department has made a 43 percent cut to hourly student payroll compared to last year in order to adapt to the decline in revenue.

Production manager Matt Dulin said the money provided by SFAC is an investment in success.

“The money doesn’t just pay for paper and ink,” Dulin said. “It paves the way for students to get the experience and skills to launch their careers and become successful alumni.”

Student Publications made a request of $181,124 for fiscal year 2010-2011; the request for the upcoming fiscal year remained the same.

The department did request base augmentations in the amounts of $32,306 for early printing and $43,789 for an office assistant.

A budget increase of $4,347 through a UH administration charge was also requested.

The Department of Campus Recreation presented the committee with a request for $566,490 of student fees, along with a $13,366 base augmentation request. These fees will supplement the $7,325,000 already provided by dedicated fees that students pay directly for recreation.

Director Linda M. Buonanno cited an increase in student participation for requesting additional student fees.

“There was a vast increase in participation,” Buonanno said. “If you look at the whole university, we’ve increased in participation. That’s significant.”

The UH Forensic Society, which is home to the UH speech and debate team, requested a one-time allocation of $90,287 to the committee, along with a fiscal year 2012 base augmentation in the amount of $200,388.

According to its presentation, the augmentation is needed “because the UHFS’ membership has grown from 23 members to 300-plus since the start of the 2008-2010 school years.”

The UH marching band and spirit squad increased its request from last year by $4,114. A request for an increase of $40,000 in dedicated fees was also made.

According to its presentation, one of the most significant representations of quality is the college marching band and its cheer and dance groups.

“The Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band and its components are ambassadors for the University that help create an environment supporting the highest standards for (UH’s) spirit and tradition.”

The Blaffer Gallery’s request to the committee remained the same as last year, $17,800, but a one-time allocation of $2,200 for student-related programming was also requested.

“The costs will remain pretty much the same due to the weak economy, which requires the museum be economical in its spending habits,” the official request stated.

The SFAC hearings will wrap up today.

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