SMC student union reviews finances, new student improvement fund at Annual General Meeting

SMCSU to create a list of ‘essential costs’ as mandated by provincial government’s Student Choice Initiative
SMCSU moved to change its reimbursement system from physical to digital. 
SMCSU moved to change its reimbursement system from physical to digital. SHANNA HUNTER/THE VARSITY

Finance reviews took centre stage at the St. Michael’s College Student Union’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on March 15. The union gave an extensive review of its 2018–2019 annual budget, projected revenue for the upcoming academic year, and presented portfolios from each office.

Vice-President Finance Jason Gardner presented a budget report regarding finances for each office from last May to this April.

The projected 2018–2019 revenue of $120,571.90 was reported as an actual revenue of $65,155.30, constituting an over $50,000 shortfall.

There was also a large gap between projected and actual spending. Community life, for example, has only spent $10,342.28 of its $41,967 budget.

Gardner explained that the reasons for the difference lie in an overestimation when budgeting, as well as reimbursements that have not come in yet for upcoming and recent events.

The union also moved to change its reimbursement system from physical to digital in an effort to encourage sustainability. The motion passed.

The union projects an estimated $102,801.78 in spending for 2019–2020. Less money will be allotted to clubs at just $12,733.08 and formal at $27,606, compared to last year’s allotments of $20,905.80 and $31,250 respectively.

This year, both arts and community life had the largest budgeted amounts at $33,440 and $41,967 respectively, accounting for major events such as formal and the annual musical.

The union also introduced a new Student Improvement Fund, which would go toward physical changes on St. Michael’s campus to benefit campus life. Funds will be used to renovate common spaces, which in the past has included the ‘coop’ in Brennan Hall and the ice rink in the college quad.

Expenses are calculated at $330,000, with the skating rink costing roughly $30,000 and the Brennan Hall renovation estimated at $300,000.

On the Student Choice Initiative, the provincial government’s plan to mandate an opt-out option for certain incidental fees, the union is collectively working on a list of essential costs according to provincial guidelines highlighted by the initiative.

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