Activity Fee Committee needs more women, member says
Funds can no longer be used for remodeling.
Published: Friday, October 26, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012 14:10
One of two female faculty representatives on the Student Activity Fee Committee suggested Oct. 12 that the committee needs a balance of male and female representatives.
English Professor Laurie Coleman said all the student representation seemed to be male.
The five student representatives and one alternate are male. Faculty representatives are two women, two men. The nonvoting chair is female.
“I really feel we should have a more equitable balance of male and female representing the students,” Coleman said.
The Student Government Association appoints student members. Three new appointees are Jeff Schnoor, addiction counseling sophomore; Justin Wideman, biology and prenursing sophomore and secretary of student government; and Alex Post, drama sophomore.
The other student members are James Riebeling, speech communication sophomore and a member of student government’s Senate; and Mike Martinez, anthropology sophomore and student government vice president.
Student government President Jacob Wong, psychology sophomore, is an alternate. Three alternate positions remain unfilled.
Faculty members appointed by college President Robert Zeigler are Brian Barwise and Deidra Dobson, instructors of American Sign Language and interpreter training; Charles Falcon, theater instructor; and Coleman.
“I know I can talk on this. The committee has chosen … the members for the students at least to be the most nonbiased people on campus and we don’t have a whole lot of female leadership on campus. You have a predominant male leadership on campus,” Wideman said.
Mendiola said committee members should encourage more female representation on the committee.
Riebleing said a lot of female students on this campus are working mothers or single mothers. The committee hopes to diversify the representation, but a lot of the female students have demanding schedules, he said.
Coleman said she did not think that was the problem with the lack of representation considering there was a single working father on the committee, Schnoor.
Although the college procedure governing the committee stipulates that the college president may appoint up to four alternates, Mendiola told Wong to appoint one other alternate.
Mendiola went over procedures that outline how the committee works and its rules and regulations.
Falcon, who said he has been on the committee for five years, gave this documentation to Mendiola after the first meeting Sept. 25.
Mendiola re-established there would be no capital expenditures with money collected from the student activity fee even though the district procedures list includes capital expenditures.
Procedure F.2.3.1 lists three types of funding requests — annual funding requests submitted in the spring for recurring and anticipated requests, supplemental requests submitted throughout the year for new or unanticipated requests, and capital expenditures funding.
In fall 2006 Jorge Posadas, director of student life and former nonvoting chair of the committee, allotted $170,000 of student activity fee funds to remodel Loftin Student Center.
However, at the Sept. 25 meeting, Zeigler announced there would be no fee money for construction.
Mendiola read from the procedure that "the district office of institutional research … shall conduct an annual comparative study of funding for all student services fee areas at comparable Texas community colleges."
The procedure states that this study will be used to assist the committee in determining the broad areas of interest that merit funding.
“I don't know if that had been done. ... I would like to, I guess, get up to speed with that," Mendiola said.
Falcon said he did not know if the committee had followed that.
"The only outcome that I know is that we did have discussions about some committees from other colleges that were doing things a little differently from us. But how Jorge (Posadas) came up with that, or got that info I don't know," he said.
Posadas was chair of the committee from its inception in 2006 until he resigned this summer. The committee met behind closed doors from 2006 to fall 2011 when Zeigler required the committee to open its meetings to the public.
Wideman said he thought the committee’s 2012-13 budget proposed in the spring based on doubling the activity fee may have been based on information from the district office of institutional research.
"I think that might have also dealt with this committee last year putting forward a $2 budget instead of a $1 budget per credit hour. It might have come from that study, because I know that our surrounding community colleges are at $2 per credit hour except for us," Wideman said.
Wideman was not on the committee when the budget was approved on April 5.
In continuing her review of procedures, Mendiola read that the chair of the committee should provide the committee with semester or end-of-year financial statements indicating fund balances.
“It's another objective the committee has not done yet, but is "something that we need to do," Mendiola said.
Mendiola proceeded to a flow chart on applying for funds from the student activity fee. She questioned how a member of the college community who is not a part of a club or organization presents an idea for something the person would like to see funded.
"Is there a mechanism for that?" she asked.
Falcon said anyone can apply like campus organizations, and the proposal would be considered the same way as if it were generated by an organization.
In the third step on the flow chart, Mendiola asked what it meant for the organizations to deserve money based on their history.
Falcon used Mexican-American Engineers and Scientists as an example and said if the organization is asking for funds, the committee would see how much fundraising they did, if they spent more money than they expected to spend and if they provided the committee with an accounting of the funds provided.