SFAC presentations have rocky beginning
By Ed De La Garza
Daily Cougar Staff
The first day of Student Fees Advisory Committee presentations got off
to a rough start, with representatives from the Student Government Association
making a request for $25,000 in immediate funds four days before their
SFAC was supposed to open with committee business and an overview by
the Dean of Students Office, but SGA President James Robertson Jr., Vice
President Brandon Butler
and Director of Finance Temitope Ayoola asked to be allowed to speak.
According to a memorandum written by Ayoola, the coming SGA election
and inauguration would cost "as much as $9,000 (all coming out of a spendable
balance of about
$9,400)," meaning the "next (SGA) administration would not have enough
funds to operate."
Robertson intimated he had received assurances from someone in the UH
administration that the request would be approved. He was not specific
about the administrator.
Assistant Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students
William Munson, an ex- officio member of SFAC, advised the committee that
voting on the request would
set a precedent for any other organization or department to make the
same type of request.
The request was tabled for future consideration. Should the request
be approved by SFAC, which is comprised of nine voting members, five of
whom are SGA senators, $5,750
would be available to the 39th administration.
In other news, University Center Director John Lee recounted the damages
to the University Center, UC Underground and UC Satellite caused by Tropical
Storm Allison. He
stated that repairs to the UC alone had run more than $446,000.
He said he was uncertain how much of the damage to the Satellite, which
is still gutted and will not re-open until Summer 2002, would be covered
by the Federal Emergency
Management Agency. Lee requested $914,437. Last year, SFAC approved
more than $1 million for the UC.
Marcie Devine, director of the Child Care Center on the corner of Wheeler
Avenue and Cullen Boulevard, reported Allison had severely hurt enrollment
for Fall 2001, with the
storm causing the center's closure for seven weeks during Summer 2001.
The center provides child care to children of UH students, faculty and
staff. Devine asked for $60,300.
Wilford Weber, a professor and chairman of the curriculum and instruction
department who said his child had attended the center 25 years ago, suggested
Devine raise her staff
development budget from $1,000 to $4,000.
"I would be able to use it very wisely," Devine said. Devine was asked
to submit an additional line-item request by the end of the week as to
how the additional $4,000 would be
During the Student Publications presentation, SGA representative and
sophomore university studies student Terrence Lawrence asked about a survey
conducted by a graduate
class taught by Praveen Kumar, a College of Business professor, stating
that 69 percent of people thought The Daily Cougar was fair and unbiased.
Lawrence asked what the
remaining 31 percent thought.
"Most of the complaints are that we don't cover the events people want
us to and that's just because we don't have a big enough staff, or can't
cover everything," Editor in Chief
Nikie Johnson said.
But Weber was a little more critical. He wondered whether student organizations
that pay for advertisements in the Cougar could receive publicity from
"We do cover those stories," Johnson said. "We try to cover a lot of
these things; every couple of semesters we do something, and we put them
in the (Campus) Spotlight when
they have events."
Student Publications publishes the Cougar, the Houstonian yearbook,
Transitions magazine and the UH directory. It requested $129,230.
Presentations resume at 8:45 a.m. today and run through Friday.