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Volume 69, Issue 89, Thursday, February 12, 2004


Student fee hearings set to start on Friday

Groups will make their cases for $19M in student fee funds

By Portia-Elaine Gant
Senior Staff Writer

The Student Fees Advisory Committee will begin hearings for allocating student fee money Friday morning, and Dean of Students William Munson said he encourages public participation, especially from students.

"It's a very educational process," Munson said. "Any student who has an interest in knowing where their student service fee goes will find it very interesting to see the process and how the funds are allocated."

Munson said student fee-funded groups can request three types of allocations: base funding for fiscal year 2005, one-time funding for FY 2004 and a one-time allocation for FY 2005.

"The base for fiscal year 2005 is to cover the ongoing operating expense of a unit," Munson said. "The one-time allocations usually come in for capital expenditures, such as some minor equipment or a short-term program."

Although there is no formula for the distribution of the estimated $19 million in fees, the committee must adhere to two guidelines regarding the amount a single organization can receive.

"The Activities Funding Board is one unit that receives a percentage allocation," Munson said. "According to our rules, they are allocated 1 percent of the student service fees. Another guideline that the Student Fees Advisory Committee follows is that no one unit can receive more than 35 percent of the fee. That is a consideration of the group as they go through recommending allocations."

The Athletics Department received $3.19 million this fiscal year based on the SFAC's recommendations in 2003. Athletics has received 35 percent of the fees, the largest amount of any group, since 1988. Although Munson said that allocation isn't a rule, but it has become a tradition.

The hearings, scheduled for Friday, Monday, Tuesday and Feb. 20, are open to the public; the hearing schedules will be printed each day in The Daily Cougar. All hearings will be held in the University Center's Bluebonnet Room.

Fifteen minutes of public comment is allotted each day.

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