In the know: Student fee hearings begin Monday

The Student Fees Advisory Committee will hold open meetings for organizations to present their requests for funding starting Monday in the Senate Chamber of the Student Center North.

Who is SFAC?

The committee is made up of seven students, two faculty members and one non-voting adviser. The students chosen for the committee are representative of the students and the remaining members are generally representative of the University community as a whole.

What do they do?

The committee is responsible for hearing all of the different campus organizations’ presentations and deciding how much the money from student fees is distributed to fee-funded organizations for fiscal year 2017.

Oh, OK. When is it?

Presentations run for four days, Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Oct. 30 and Monday, Nov. 2 and are open to the public. All of the presentations start at 8:30 a.m. and will run until late afternoon.

The committee will deliberate for three days following the presentations and then will submit a report to President Renu Khator by Nov. 16 for final approval.

They also determine whether to maintain or change the student services fee for fall 2017. The current student service fee is $250 and has been since fall 2014.

Who is participating?

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Health Center and Intercollegiate Athletics will present Monday to lead off the week, along with a couple of other organizations.

Tuesday brings us the A.D. Bruce Religion Center, Center for Student Involvement, Frontier Fiesta and the Student Program Board.

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion will present Friday, along with The Cougar (who also receives SFAC fees) and Student Government Association.

The Blaffer Gallery, Campus Recreation and the marching band are among the last group of organizations will present on Monday, Nov. 2.

A full list can be found on the SFAC website.

What are some of the organizations asking for?

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is asking for a one-time request of $250,000 to fund “a direct benefit and value added experience” to the football game against the University of Oklahoma at NRG Stadium on Sept. 3, 2016.

The money would be used to purchase student tickets, provide transportation to and from NRG Stadium and to host a tailgate party.

“We want our students in the stands, our fans want our students in the stands and our football program wants our students in the stands,” Hunter Yurachek, vice president of intercollegiate athletics, wrote in the one time request. “There is no better way to show the power of UH’s ‘H-Town Takeover’ than to put it on display for a nationally televised event against a perennial Big 12 program like Oklahoma.”

The A.D. Bruce Religion Center is requesting a $17,172 base augmentation to hire a graduate assistant that will be responsible for establishing a series of monthly programs that will “explore the role of religion and spirituality in college student’s lives.”

SGA is asking for a $4,859 decrease in base funding, 10 percent less than the entire funding allocation given to SGA for fiscal year 2016.

“This decrease is designed to place a higher amount of responsibility to the current and future executive officers of the organization to find more affordable solutions or alternatives to existing programs and services while honoring the mission of the organization,” SGA President Shaun Theriot-Smith wrote in the request.

Counseling and Psychological Services is asking for a base augmentation of $153,509 to hire two new licensed clinicians in order to reduce staff to student ratio to 1 to 1,500 from 1 to 3,259.

SPB is requesting four one-time requests totaling $135,730 to cover additional programming like a Coog Comedy Showcase and concerts.

CORRECTION: the headline has been changed from “A breakdown of SFAC”

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