Understanding SFAC: It’s your money they’re talking about
You’ve seen the fee. Student Services Fee: $250. But we’ve got so many other fees and funnels for our tuition that you might not have paid close attention to it. It’s perfectly understandable, and more of us than not are guilty of overlooking exactly where our money’s going.
It’s time to try a little harder, though. For all of us, the Cougar included.
The Student Services Fee is fairly simple on a surface level — basically, it funds some of UH’s most well-known organizations and resource centers that you’ve probably either been part of or are fairly familiar with. Among others, it funds the LGBT Resource Center, the Student Government Association, Student Programming Board, Frontier Fiesta, Homecoming, Counseling and Psychological Services and The Cougar.
There are hundreds of outlets that benefit from this fee — it’s arguably the most important addendum to our tuition. So, that’s great and everything, but why talk about this now?
Starting Oct. 27, a panel of elected students known as the Student Fee Advisory Committee will begin hearing the requests from all of these organizations — including The Cougar — for funding, effective October 2015. They’ll cut some organization’s funding, increase other’s and make decisions that will impact both your campus life and your pocketbook.
President and Chancellor Renu Khator has the final say in anything SFAC proposes, but they have a history of getting it right the first time. The presentations end on the 31st, and they’re entirely open to the public. This means that you, one of 40,000 students who will be impacted by the rulings of SFAC, can and should attend.
We call upon the student body to involve itself in this process — to watch the hearings of organizations they love or hate, to ask questions, to learn about where their money’s going. We’re going to keep you updated on the most important things you need to know about SFAC in our online and print coverage, but we feel that this is an opportunity for us, as students, to show that we think more about where our tuition goes than some might assume.
It’s our money, after all, and it’s our campus culture that’s got the potential to be redefined in the next week.