In-debt organizations ask for increased income during SFAC hearings
November 5, 2012
Many organizations, both in the black and in the red last fiscal year, asked for fee augmentations from the third meeting for the Student Fees Advisory Committee on Friday.
Metropolitan Volunteer Program requested a one-time allocation of $4,622 for its new “Plant the Pride” project. A smaller version of the project was held last year with a good turn out, said Director of MVP Maureen Durojaiye.
After MVP returned $7,700 of unused funds, SFAC members asked MVP why it does not use that money to fund the project. Durojaiye said MVP expanded its programs this year but its budget hasn’t grown, so that money wasn’t in their budget anymore.
The New UC Representatives did not ask for any money.
University Career Services did not ask for any additional funds. Director David Small presented how the organization was helping students.
The marching band and Spirit Squad asked for a one-time allocation of $50,000 for cheer and dance and a base augmentation of $50,000.
Urban Experience Program did not ask for any increases or allocations, but instead talked about its monetary breakdown.
UH Forensics Society asked for a base increase of $145,531. It said it did not have money to continue to compete in national competitions, which led to a decrease in the number of students in the program and a decrease in its national recognition. It asked for the money to continue to compete, and for $51,000 to support the assistant director of Forensics and $80,000 to support the director.
The SFAC members were concerned about the increase — because Forensics has gone over budget before — and felt the society needed to review the necessity of the assistant director position. Another issue was Forensics’ generated income was not in the budget SFAC received. The committee asked Forensics to project its expenses to see if it would go over budget this year.
Scott Sawyer, Veterans Services Office interim director, didn’t ask for a base increase but instead requested $14,000 for assessments. Last year, the organization had a peer-to-peer program where paid student veterans counseled other student veterans. VSO wants formal training for the participants, Sawyer said.
“We provide a safe and positive place for veterans,” Sawyer said. “They find community in the VSO that is really important. They can share their stories and have a sense of engagement, which they can’t find any place else as veteran students.”
Next was Emily Church, director of development, representing the Blaffer Gallery. She asked for a base augmentation of $2,500 for two new programs. One will help the University connect with first- and second-year students so they can stay enrolled. The other is to promote the gallery in the residence halls and organize tours with their floor-mates.
“We really see our position as being a gateway to Houston community, but also a resource for students to learn about art,” Church said.
The last SFAC meeting will start at 10 a.m. in the University Center Bluebonnet Room.