SFAC: How UH spends student fees
This week, the Student Fees Advisory Committee released its recommendations for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
SFAC is the governing body that allocates all funds received from student fees. The student fee is a flat rate added to all students’ tuition and covers things like campus activities and organizations. For full-time students, the cost is $260 per semester in the spring and fall semesters. The fee is $244 for students taking six hours or less.
Student leaders and faculty went before SFAC in October to request funding. The above chart divides the allocations between student-run organizations and those with faculty leadership. Clicking through each section will display detailed information on each organization and what they received, but here are a few key takeaways.
The vast majority of student funding goes to departments run by faculty members
Of the 36 organizations that draw funding from SFAC, 10 are student-run. The other 26 are primarily run by professional staff and faculty.
For the 2023-2024 fiscal year, $2,119,310 was allocated for use by student organizations. The remaining $22,483,370 went to other departments.
It is worth noting that funding for athletics comes from a set fee of $45 that is calculated as part of the regular $260 student fee.
Frontier Fiesta is the highest-funded student organization
It may be no surprise that Frontier Fiesta, one of the oldest UH traditions, commands the largest portion of the budget allocated to student-led groups.
With $523,073, Frontier Fiesta accounts for roughly 25 percent of the total student budget. This includes a $54,685 increase from last year’s allocation, a portion of which will be used to purchase pre-fabricated fronts for the event.
Previously, volunteers constructed the wooden fronts used for performances and shows, a task that Frontier Fiesta chair Bailey Payne said was too much for her limited staff.
“We have a week to put them up and only a day to take them down,” Payne said during her SFAC presentation. “It’s incredibly taxing on students and volunteers.”
Student Government returned surplus, received additional funds
The Student Government Association received a $10,000 increase over the previous administration’s budget, totaling $161,530. During his presentation, SGA President Joshua Martin said SGA would use the money for funding additional on-campus events such as Street Eats and Election Day Mania in addition to community events like Super-Sized Christmas.
“The goal of these events is to make a greater impact on UH and the surrounding community,” Martin said. “People are always asking us why UH doesn’t have a larger footprint within the community.”
Despite the funding increase, a point worth noting is that SGA returned over $14,000 of its funds to the University this year. Martin said that the sanctions and drama revolving around SGA’s previous administration prevented them from making use of their entire budget, leaving the 59th administration with a surplus.
“The last administration had a lot of turmoil, so we were able to start things off with a little more money in our pocket,” Martin said. “We decided to return a large portion of that remaining money to really try and benefit the quality of student life on our campus.”