Conflict of interest disclosure: The Cougar is in large part funded by Student Service Fees. To view our 2025 budget requests and SFAC presentation, go to UH.edu/sfac/unit-requests/fy25/ and look under “The Cougar.”
During a special session on Wednesday, the Student Government Association held a vote of confidence in support of the Student Fee Advisory Committee’s recent decision to recommend a reduction to UH Athletics’ share of the Student Fee Fund.
SFAC — an advisory body made up of seven students and two faculty — finalized their recommendations for the 2025 fiscal year in late November. Since then, members of the committee have voiced concerns about the University’s response — or lack thereof. Senate representatives hope the Vote of Confidence in SFAC Fiscal Year 2025 Recommendations and Student Government Solidarity with SFAC resolution will encourage University President Renu Khator to heed their advice.
“We are pushing for the University to respect the decision of SFAC to reduce the funding of athletics by $1.5 million. This is due to the fact that they lack transparency, so we want to make sure they are held accountable,” SFAC Vice Chair Anahi Ortega said.
The committee advised the University to redistribute a significant portion of those funds towards raising compensation for other fee-funded organizations.
“We should know where our money is going and how it is affecting our student body, so this decision was not made lightly,” Ortega said.
SFAC plays an advisory roll in creating the budgets for a total of 33 departments and organizations, the majority of which are student-run and depend on Student Service Fees for their operations.
“The recommendations promote activities that directly benefit the student experience and the money should be spent on student services,” said SFAC Chair Yusuf Kadi.
In addition to signaling their support for SFAC, last night’s senate meeting also saw the introduction of another round of revisions to SGA’s election code. The proposed changes are largely clerical, but do include a reduction to the allotted time for campaigning from four to three weeks.
“Last year we only had three weeks of campaigning compared to the usual four and voter turnout didn’t decrease. In fact, in the initial election last year turnout was the highest it has been in three years,” Rizk said.
If the act is passed, the Election Commission will commence the election on the second Monday in February — as opposed to the first Monday.
“We have one of the longest campaigning periods, and you would think that that correlates with voter turnout, but it doesn’t,” Rizk said.