Volume 93, Issue 12

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


USC predicts financial upswing

Student elections could be online in future

New phones to have all the fixings

Senate to decide on disaster studies

Steel tree of knowledge to aid engineers

A college by any other name

News Briefs

Caught on Campus

USC predicts financial upswing

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

The University Students' Council is promising be more fiscally healthy in light of a recent report to council outlining past financial woes.

Derrick Taub, VP-finance for the USC, presented audited financial statements to council at Wednesday night's USC council meeting, showing a loss in income for the fiscal year of 1998-1999.

The major losses presented were a result of unavoidable occurrences, Taub said. "There was a major system crash in the summer of 1998. The result was so severe that managers didn't have timely accounting information."

While Taub said that necessary personnel changes and some major expenditures were contributing factors to the accounting loss of $487,065. He added there are some up-lifting points about this year's budget.

"Our audit was completed in two weeks, which was the projected time period," Taub said. "[Our accountants] think we've taken the necessary actions to improve the bottom line," he added.

Jim Walden, general manager of the USC, said losing all the data in the system crash perpetuated the major losses presented in the USC statements. "We found all sorts of irregularities and there were a lot of things wrong," Walden said.

Walden added that while it looks like the USC is losing a lot of money on paper, in a few years it will be making a lot.

Ray Novak, a fourth-year political science student and social sciences councillor at Western, said his main concern was that tuition fees would not be increasing again to cover the loss. "There is no way they should be raising student fees again. It's unacceptable," he said.

Novak also said he would like to see the issue of raised student fees attached to the presidential ballot and passed by student referendum.

Stating a need to recover some of the losses before student fees can go down, Walden also said things were going to change for the better within the next five years. "We're going to find increasing financial results."

Taub explained Inprint, Artifex, the Used Bookstore and the now defunct Gizmo's were typical USC operations who incurred losses from year to year. "We're keeping a firm watch over all of our retail service operations. [Getting out of the hole] is a process that will happen through many years of surplus," he said.

Walden agreed with Taub and said the USC was now aware of the cause and effects of the large financial loss.

Even though the system crash took nearly six months to restore, Walden said the chance of it happening again was unlikely. "All our systems are Y2K compliant. Nothing should happen."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999