Volume 91, Issue 40

Friday, November 7, 1997

musical chairs


High hopes for USC wallet

By Brendan Howe
Gazette Staff

Being in the black is expected next year for the University Students' Council after its red ink was cut in half last year from the year before.

The audited statements for the USC are now completed, showcasing a reduced operating deficit and strong predictions for the coming year.

After a $315,358 loss from the 1995/96 school year, last year's performance improved to the tune of a $145,629 loss. USC VP-finance Lucy Pinheiro said a major factor was profits made from The Spoke and the Wave. Restaurants and bars lost $53,589 in the 1995/96 year. She added the USC plans to have no deficit at the end of this year.

So far this school year, Western Film has been one of the most notable improvements financially, she said. After making a change from only showing movies four nights a week to having screenings twice nightly, the box office has exploded with revenue and popularity.

Mark MacLellan, manager of Western Film, said in the first five months of this year there have been as many people coming to the movies as all of last year. He also noted concession sales have already equalled last year's total as well.

"Western Film is starting to become a movie theatre in north London as opposed to the campus theatre at Western," MacLellan said.

Western Film was one of the contributors to last year's operating deficit with a loss which appeared on the audited financial statements of between $40,000 and $45,000, MacLellan said. He added the goal this year is to break even.

Jim Walden, general manager of the USC, said the Wave was another council-operated business whose financial performance has really turned around. He said when the USC first took control of the Wave it was losing $275,000. It is budgeted to make $13,500 this year.

Pinheiro said after a month of operations the bar has done 40 per cent better than expected.

"The last few years the Wave has become a mainstay of campus entertainment," said Mark Wellington, manager of the bar. He said this is one of the major reasons they have been successful.

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Copyright The Gazette 1997