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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Fee board stays its course

SFRB firm on hearings scheduled for winter break

news@dailylobo.com

The Student Fee Review Board (SFRB) remained firm in its decision to hold fee request hearings during winter break.

At an SFRB meeting Thursday, the board confirmed that the hearings during which organizations will make their cases for funding will take place Thursday, Jan. 10 through Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013.
SFRB chair and ASUNM President Caroline Muraida said the board is sending out a memo to organizations explaining why board members decided to hold the hearings on those dates.

“We’re probably going to get questions no matter what. It’s very difficult to articulate everything we’d like to,” she said. “But this is our best effort to summarize the magnitude of what we’re trying to do.”

In the memo, the board explained that last year, the Strategic Budget Leadership Team asked for initial SFRB budget recommendations to be submitted by Mar. 1, but this year, the team wants those recommendations by Feb. 15. The SBLT looks over UNM’s budget as a whole and works with the SFRB to tweak recommendations based on the broader picture. The recommendations then go to the University president, who makes the final revisions and then signs off on them.

Muraida said the board should have sent out a memo about the schedule change before making the decision to change the dates.
“I think we need to have those direct, honest conversations before we change any dates,” she said. “I think that should have been our first move a few weeks ago.”

Student organizations have raised concerns about the dates of the hearings because it might limit student participation.

But SFRB vice chair and GPSA President Marisa Silva said students who are a part of organizations’ budgetary processes will likely be in town for the hearings anyway.

“Any student staff would be returning on January third,” she said.
The board briefly discussed on Thursday the possibility of moving hearing dates from Jan. 10 through Jan. 12 to Jan. 11 through Jan. 13 to facilitate student participation, but ultimately rejected the proposal.

Silva said the board will do its best to schedule hearings around organization representatives’ schedules. Silva said that if an organization requests a certain time slot for its hearing, the organization must provide a reason why it needs a hearing at that time.

Muraida said organizations should specify within their applications that they need a specific time for their hearing. Applications are due Dec. 17. Organizations that already sent in their applications but want to request hearing times should email sfrb@unm.edu.

In other SRFB news
The SRFB held workshops on Friday for organizations applying for funding in order to prepare organization representatives for the January hearings. The board is considering holding an additional workshop Thursday in the SUB. Board members will email applicants when they have made a decision on whether to do so.

The Student Fee Review Board is accepting applications through Dec. 17 from organizations that want to request student fee funding. Applications are available at unm.edu/~gpsa, under the SFRB tab. For additional information, email sfrb@unm.edu.