Volume 92, Issue 86

Thursday, March 11, 1999


USC budget sees student fee increase

Moran gets an 'F' from faculty

McGuinty promises education will be at platform forefront

Good chance for post grads

Fares on the up and up

Series explores international effects on Iraq

Quirks & Smirks

Caught on campus

USC budget sees student fee increase

By Mark Brown
Gazette Staff

If the University Students' Council votes to support the budget presented at last night's meeting, students will see their fees increase by $9.39 over this year's rates, excluding any possible changes made to the price of the bus pass.

Council went into confidential last night to discuss the bus pass, although its cost will not be disclosed until early next week, after further consultation with the London Transit Commission.

The proposed increases are being attributed to decreases in enrolment and outside corporate revenue, along with internal problems within the USC, explained David Small, VP-finance for the USC. Over the last academic year the USC had to deal with a computer crash where they lost all of the financial data and a staff turnover which caused further expenses and delays.

Small defended the increases by saying fees could not be reduced without a decrease in the level of service.

USC President Ian Armour said he does not like the fact there is an increase, but said it is necessary. "I can guarantee that this budget is trim.

"What it comes down to is the stability of the organization and the stability of the council."

While some of the increases in fees are subject to an increase based on the Consumer Price Index, set this year at 1.2 per cent, if council approves the budget, there could be an increase to the reserve fund next year.

"Overall the reserve fund will help with stability," Armour said.

Small added the reserve fund is necessary to help the USC through the summer months when the organization is receiving very little revenue.

SzeJack Tan, USC president-elect, warned against comparing the student fees at Western to other universities since not all universities share the same expenses as the USC. Still, he said there are several items which still need to be examined, which might require changes to services.

Tan explained the USC is going to have to examine the use of its fees by students by examining the cost of certain programs versus how they are being used by students.

"Anything that operates at a loss we have to look at," Armour added.

Another area where costs are being re-assessed is the use of the pool tables in Gizmos which could be removed make space for offices, Small said.

There may be some things which have been budgeted for which might not get spent next year, Tan said, citing an idea that arose during the USC presidential elections to put the student directory online as an example.

Some of the highlights of the proposed USC budget include higher than expected or new projected profits in areas such as Varsity Authentics and Purple Door Promos, Western Film, Artifex and the Used Book Store.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999