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Volume 72, Issue 95, Monday, February 19, 2007

News

Student fees vital to many facets of campus, student life

Organizations ranging from Music to Athletics 
to Child Care to plead case to SFAC 

COUGAR NEWS STAFF

More than 20 campus organizations and programs will petition the Student Fees Advisory Committee for funds from student service fees this week and early next; each must provide a look at how those funds will benefit the student body.

The Child Care Center relies on the SFAC for about a tenth of its budget, Director Sherry Howard said. 

To provide the SFAC with a comprehensive view of the Center, Howard prepares information starting eight weeks before the meetings.

"What we tell them each year when we go to those hearings (is that) we have six objectives, and we file strategies under each objective. They're not all just related to that funding," she said.

SFAC is not the only source of funding, however, for the Center, Howard said. Parent-paid tuition constitutes a substantial amount.

Funds are also allocated to the Blaffer Gallery, although the money accounts for less than 1 percent of the museum's budget. 

"Our SFAC support specifically directed toward the two student exhibitions we present each year," Terrie Sultan, director of the gallery, said. "The Master's Thesis Exhibition in the spring with the accompanying catalogue, and the all-student show in December."

Additional funding for the Blaffer stems from private donations, government grants and the gallery's fundraising efforts, Sultan said. 

Blaffer isn't the only organization that showcases student talent that vies for funding spirit organizations, represented at SFAC hearings by band director David Bertman, are also present at the SFAC hearings. 

"We start the process, basically at the beginning of every year," he said. "Once we get cleared for SFAC funds each semester, we start documenting and working on the proposal. The process is ongoing." 

The band typically receives $170,000 from student fees, Bertman said. 

"SFAC looks at the influence it has on the student population and the institution," he said. "And in the case of the band department, the cheerleaders and dancers, I think they have been so generous and understanding."

The Athletics Department recieves a substantial portion of the student service funds each year-- more than 30 percent of the total fees. 

"The funding SFAC provides Athletics is about 16 percent of the total Athletics budget," Senior Associate Director of Athletics John Robinson Jr. said.

Athletics received $4.02 million for fiscal year 2007, according to a release from the SFAC. To prepare for the SFAC, organizers ready statistics in advance, Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Services Maria Peden said.

"I go through the grade reports and that's how I put in the grade point averages and the hours passed," she said. "I talk about the programs we have and the things that we do, like mentoring (and academic) advising." 

Student-Athlete Services provides academic counsel to student athletes, in addition to operating a computer lab located in Athletic/Alumni Center. 

"My section of the presentation is the current standing of student athletes," she said. "I think our funding falls on how our students are performing in the classroom."

--With additional reporting by Chris Elliott, Gabrielle Lyons, Blake Whitaker 
and John Arterbury

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