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Friday, October 31, 2014

Former MSA Budget Committee chairwoman becomes new SFRC chair

Catalano has been on SFRC since her freshman year.

April 16, 2014

Junior Shelby Catalano will become the new Student Fee Review Committee chairwoman.

The committee, which comprises 13 students — one chair, two vice chairs, seven undergraduates and three graduates — is responsible for reviewing student activity fees each year, said Alysha O’Neil, the Student Affairs administrative manager and adviser of the SFRC.

The committee then makes a recommendation to the vice chancellor for student affairs on how student fees should be allocated for the next upcoming year. The vice chancellor submits a recommendation to the chancellor, who then sends it to the UM Board of Curators for approval, according to the cashier’s website.

SFRC used to comprise all members of the Missouri Students Association, until the vice chancellor approached them and asked if this could be changed in spring 2012, Catalano said.

“Any student could apply to be on it, so it was a more representative population of the campus,” she said.

O’Neil has been the adviser of SFRC for four years and has known Catalano for the duration of this time.

“Shelby has been on the committee for as long as I have,” O’Neil said. “She’s really put in a lot of time for the committee and she’s really dedicated to … its purpose.”

Catalano, who served as the MSA Budget Committee chairwoman for the past 1 1/2 years, said SFRC is one of the best committees she’s ever sat on.

“To me, the whole process of getting to represent the students and … knowing exactly what’s happening with (our) money is probably the coolest thing to me,” Catalano said.

The application process for the position required that she submit an application with two letters of recommendation, one from a fellow student and the other from an adviser.

Catalano approached Campus Activities Assistant Director Kathy Murray and Senate Speaker Ben Bolin for her recommendation letters.

“(Catalano) has four years of institutional knowledge and training in SFRC,” Bolin said. “I think that will be very good for the committee.”

Former SFRC chairman Jake Sloan said there were five applicants this year for the position. He compiled these five applications together and sent them to MSA President Mason Schara and Graduate and Professional Council President Jake Wright for review.

Sloan said they made a unanimous decision that Catalano was by far the best applicant.

“I think she’s very qualified,” Sloan said. “I’ve been on SFRC for three years, … and I have definitely seen a marked growth of Shelby. She’s really exceeding the standard set on that committee.”

Schara said Catalano’s history with the Budget Committee was a defining quality.

“She is also very close with the professional staff that deals with all of the different budget areas through her Budget Committee (chair) experience,” Schara said. “So it’s not only just the historical background, it’s also the … relationship background she has that was a very big deal for us.”

Catalano said leaving her position as Budget Committee chair is “a bittersweet moment.”

She will serve as an MSA senator until her academic seat expires. She said she will exercise her voting power in Budget Committee until then.

Catalano said her goals as SFRC revolve mostly around the committee having transparency so students can see where their dollars are going.

“I don’t think some students even realize they pay student fees,” Catalano said. “But I think we’ve made great leaps and bounds in making it more accessible for students to actually acquire that information.”

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