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Volume 68, Issue 99, Wednesday, February 19, 2003 


SFAC offers praise, criticism in hearings

By Geronimo Rodriguez
The Daily Cougar

The third day of the Student Fees Advisory Committee presentations convened Tuesday in the University Centeris Bluebonnet Room, with SFACis members relaying the message to presenters that any funds received should ultimately benefit the student body.

SFAC members also helped clear up the confusion with budget proposals and finances affected by the campusi newly acquired PeopleSoft computer software.

During the Frontier Fiesta presentation, chairman David Dalton and SFAC members traced the whereabouts of $18,655, which was not accessible through Fiestais PeopleSoft account for the 2002-03 fiscal year. The organization shifted money around to make ends meet. But after receiving a 13-month report in January, Dalton said the money finally surfaced in the organizationis account.

"We have heard the PeopleSoft theme come up pretty regularly. Itis been part of the issue with 15 to 20 percent of the presentations," said Dean of Students William Munson, who is an SFAC ex-officio member and Department of Student Affairs representative. "Either itis the person doing the accounting for them or a software problem, but itis the first complete year for the University to use it for finances. Weire hoping to learn from this experience."

Aside from crunching numbers, SFAC stressed to the organizations -- namely the Student Programs Board, the Urban Experience Program, Forensics and Frontier Fiesta -- that all funding should be geared toward enhancing the University. The programs should also keep in mind they are catering to a diverse college population, the members said.

Ultimately, the efforts by the committee to fill its role in properly handling student fees were amplified in the form of criticism and praise.

SGA Representative Jackie Thomas, for example, asked Dalton, whose association proposed a budget of $72,062, whether Fiesta is making attempts to reach out to the campusi outlying neighbors, including the Third Ward.

In regard to Forensicsi estimated $77,000 budget proposal, Alysia Minor, who serves as an SGA representative, expressed her concerns about whether the program would grow into an elite group.

Minor said the program should incorporate ideas into its plans that would significantly serve the student body.

The SFAC presentations will continue at 8:45 a.m. Friday in the Bluebonnet Room. The four-day hearings will wrap up at 2 p.m. with a presentation by Elwyn C. Lee, vice president for student affairs. A public comment session is slated for 11:30 a.m.

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