CoogTV and Coog Radio made requests to the Student Fees Advisory Committee Monday for one-time requests to attend the College Media Conference in Dallas next year.
CoogTV President Cory Rodriguez presented the request and asked for $3,651 for travel expenses to the College Media Association-hosted conference. He did not request a base augmentation from fiscal year 2017’s budget of $78,378.
Rodriguez highlighted CoogTV’s achievements from the past year including interviews with President and Chancellor Renu Khator and Mayor Sylvester Turner. CoogTV has increased their show production from eight shows last year to 12 this year.
CoogTV has also collaborated with several other on-campus organizations, like the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication for the “Big Talk” lecture series.
Rodriguez emphasized the growing reach of CoogTV; the group’s programming is shown on its website, residence halls, the Student Centers and the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. CoogTV’s social media outreach has increased since last year as well with a 74 percent rise in Facebook likes, doubled number of Twitter followers and a 1,500 percent rise in YouTube subscribers.
“This is the first year we’ve started uploading videos directly to Facebook,” Rodriguez said. “We’ve looked at the views over time and for Facebook, it’s just skyrocketed.”
Aarik Charles, Coog Radio’s station director, presented a one-time request for $2,615 to send three board members to the conference, but no base increase from their $26,877 budget in fiscal year 2017.
Charles highlighted Coog Radio’s role in bringing students together at a diverse university like UH. The station has a mission to “provide outlet for innovative individuals” and encompass students from all different backgrounds and majors.
“College is about learning about yourself,” Charles said.
Charles said that Coog Radio’s budget in the past has gone toward purchasing industry-standard DJ software and teaching students how to use it professionally. The station saw a 154 percent rise in listenership since last year.
Coog Radio often holds music meetings, where the organization’s 50-plus members suggest what they would like to hear on the music stations, podcasts and SoundCloud.
“This will always be a challenge for radio today,” Charles said, about gaining and maintaining regular listeners. “Radio is ever-changing.”
SFAC Chair Brinda Penmetsa requested clarification from Rodriguez about sending five CoogTV executive board members to the conference when other organizations under the Center for Student Media umbrella are sending fewer.
Penmetsa also requested a detailed analysis of what each CoogTV board member would gain from attending the conference, which is to be sent in before deliberations begin next week.