Volume 95, Issue 85
Thursday, March 14, 2002
USC budget approved
Met with kudos, no debate
By Kristina Lundblad
Following a unanimous vote at last night's University Students' Council meeting, the 2002/2003 USC budget was passed.
USC VP-finance Rob Irvine brought forth the motion to council to pass the budget, which was presented to council at last Wednesday's meeting.
The new budget will result in a student fee increase of 1.6 per cent, or $5.94 per student, for the 2002/2003 school year.
Irvine said the increase is a result of a rise in cost of living, occupancy costs and inflationary increases to CHRW/TV Western, a University Community Centre renovation fee and the accessibility levy, among other expenses.
This increase, which is still lower than the current rate of inflation, is necessary for the long-term financial plan of the corporation to eliminate the $900,000 deficit, freeze fees and then eventually cut student fees, he said.
With a week for feedback, Irvine said he only had five students approach him with questions, which were merely points of clarification.
Some of the questions brought to Irvine were regarding the two USC restaurants The Spoke and The Wave.
Irvine said one positive aspect of this past fiscal year is that The Wave had a 50 per cent increase in sales in February, making $17,000 a $31,000 improvement over last year.
As well, The Spoke, on a year-to-year basis, had an increase in sales, he said, adding this reaffirms they should not expect sales to decrease because of the new smoking bylaw.
Irvine said he did not expect the motion to pass so quickly, but considering the positive feedback he received throughout the week, did not expect much debate.
Business councillor Sabrina Anzini said that usually, "in true Ivey tradition," the business councillors spend a lot of time criticizing the budget.
"But, we like it and have nothing bad to say for the first time in a few years great job," Anzini said.
USC president-elect Chris Sinal said he agreed this was an excellent budget and was happy with its quick passing.
"I think we saw the same as we did last year in that it is necessary to explain the entire philosophy behind the budget to council," Sinal said. "It has shown that all councillors believe in what it is we're trying to do with this budget and where the USC will be able to go with it in the future."
Irvine said the incoming VP-finance always does a lot of work promoting where student fees go, so students should have a clear understanding of the $5.94 increase this fall.
Even though the budget is passed, Irvine said students can still approach him with questions about it and their student fees. "[The budget] is an open book," he said.
Copyright © The Gazette 2002