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 discusses the university budget and tuition freeze

Illustration courtesy of Student Government Association at UTSA

In their second general assembly of the semester, UTSA’s Student Government Association (SGA) discussed several topics, such as the university budget, how different funds are used and the tuition freeze that occurred last fall. 

An open forum was offered to those present at the meeting, but no one in attendance participated. The meeting then introduced the guest speaker, Senior Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs and Chief Financial Officer Sheri Hardison. 

Hardison began her presentation by shedding light on UTSA’s finances and where the university currently stands fiscally in comparison to previous years. Her presentation included graphs and charts that outlined the finances being discussed and how they function at UTSA. 

She explained that as the university continued to grow, the operating revenue seemingly decreased. This results from UTSA receiving federal pandemic money during previous fiscal years, such as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF). “Although it went down, that’s not a problem. That was one-time money,” she said. 

The presentation proceeded with Hardison discussing how UTSA’s endowment funds and HEERF operate within the university budget. 

She explained that although UTSA does not receive as many endowment funds as other universities, they are anticipated to grow as the university gets older. As for HEERF, UTSA was among many universities given a large amount of money from the federal government at the beginning of 2020. As a result, the university was given a total of $176 million, which has almost all been spent as of the end of August, according to Hardison. 

She added that 40% of that amount was required by the federal government to go directly to students who make direct student payments, but the university prioritized giving 60% of the funds to students. 

The presentation proceeded with Hardison outlining the money UTSA receives, where it is used and why. This included tuition and fees, general university activities and auxiliary activities. 

Hardison then shifted the topic of her presentation to discuss the tuition freeze that occurred last fall and how this currently affects students. She explained that the tuition and fees for undergraduate students and any other types of mandatory academic fees are frozen for the academic year 2024 and will continue to be for the next year. This means that a student’s tuition and fees for next fall will be the same as they were previously. 

The presentation concluded with Hardison talking specifically about the university budget and how it is used. She discussed several categories of what the budget is spent on, such as the university’s debt, operations maintenance and university administrative fees. 

The assembly then moved on to new business. This session, SGA nominated and confirmed Senator Heaven Martinez, Senator Ethan La Bourne and Senator Eva Romo to the Financial Affairs committee. Senator Michela Mgba was also nominated and confirmed for the position of Election Commissioner. 

Following these confirmations, SGA Advisor Chantea’ Swinson-Rhoe gave an update on some of the upcoming SGA-coordinated events. Swinson-Rhoe will be giving an update on the current budget for SGA at the next General Assembly on Feb. 22. She also gave some insight on the upcoming Spring SGA Elections, which will occur from Feb. 19 through March 4. Dia en la Sombrilla, which is coordinated with the help of SGA, will occur on April 18. Swinson-Rhoe also gave a reminder that Leaderfund applications, which allow registered student organizations to be reimbursed for up to $750, are due on May 8. 

SGA’s next general assembly will be at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 22  in the Harris-Travis Room (2.202 and 2.212) in the H-E-B Student Union, and all UTSA students are welcome to attend.

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Amber Serio
Amber Serio, News Editor
Amber (she/her) is a senior majoring in English with a concentration in Professional Writing. After graduating in the Spring, she plans to attend grad school and further her education in English. Originally from a small town on the outskirts of Houston, she greatly values the art of writing and media, as this has been something she has wanted to pursue her entire life. Outside of the Paisano, you can find her spending time with her weenie dog Otis, thrifting, or reading a romance novel.

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