Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

SGA addresses tuition and budgets

Illustration courtesy of Student Government Association at UTSA

In last week’s General Assembly, the Student Government Association (SGA) brought guest speakers Associate Dean of Students Jessica Dawson, Athletic Director Dr. Lisa Campos and District 10 Councilman Marc Whyte on stage.

The main initiative of the night was to give insight into why UTSA has frozen its tuition rates and what that means for students. In exchange for the frozen tuition rates, UTSA athletics partnered with Student Affairs to announce a proposed increase in the mandatory athletics fee assessed to all students every semester. 

The proposed increase could add an estimated half to $1 million to the budget, currently slated at $47 million. 

Dr. Campos emphasized that the fee increase would bring more national visibility to UTSA, explaining how, on a national level, better sports teams bring more exposure to universities. “Seven out of the last nine years, the football champions played in the New Year’s six bowls,” she said. “Millions of people are watching and will go to recognize UTSA embracing the spirit.”  

Dr. Campos claimed that the last time the fee was increased, the addition of a football program opened a whole new door for UTSA athletics. Since then, football has allowed UTSA to generate more revenue and scholarships. “The [athletic] fee equates to about 35% of our overall operating budget. Before football, student fees covered 60% of our budget. So that means when we added football we added more revenue, donations and scholarships,” Dr. Campos said.

Dr. Campos also remarked she wants to make an investment in the classroom and career initiatives on campus. Before COVID-19, there were 100 student workers in the athletics departments but many were let go due to budget constraints. 

Next, the assembly welcomed Marc Whyte, a newly elected city councilman. Whyte remarked how elements of the assembly were similar to his job as a city councilman, adding that he is glad to see college students getting involved and learning from each other. 

After all the guests were done speaking, the board shared some events SGA will be having. This Thursday, Sept. 28, there will be a vaccine clinic from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Denman Ballroom (SU 2.01.28) for students who need a flu and COVID-19 shot.

SGA then moved on to discuss their proposed budget for Fall 2023 using an open forum approach. Interim Director Chantea Swinson-Rhoe heavily stressed the budget is subject to change. “[Budgets] are subject to change based on the needs and direction you do within your committees. So this will fluctuate based on what you do in your committees,” Swinson-Rhoe said.  

The total proposed budget for the 2023-24 academic year is $47,173. Throughout the semester, $1,000 will be used for hosting SGA’s general assemblies, $3,086 will go to programming like elections, meet and greets and homecoming giveaways. $3,000 will be used for marketing materials such as printed graphics, photographers and promotional materials.

Another $5,500 will fund stipends for officers, chairs and directors and $1,000 will go towards senator supply costs like training materials and photos, although SGA noted that most of this went to the menstrual hygiene initiative. An additional $8,000 will be used to obtain supplies for programs from SGA directors and chairs. Finally, $4,000 will go toward general organization resources including meetings hosted by the UT Systems, professional development and all of the smaller elements that help SGA run. The proposed allocations for the fall semester total $25,586, although they are subject to change.

SGA’s next general assembly will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 5 in the Harris and Travis Room (HSU 2.202 and 2.212) located in the H-E-B Student Union and is open to all UTSA students.

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Kara Lee
Kara Lee, Graphic Editor
Kara is a communication major on track to graduate in 2025. After graduating they hope to work for non-profits that specialize in environmental concerns so they can give back to the planet that provides so much for us. When Kara is not in school or working they can be found either drawing or hiking.

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