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Budget 2002/2003 -
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USC Budget 2002/2003
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- Budget 2002/2003 -
USC targets $900k debt
By Kristina Lundblad
Students will have to get prepared for another student fee increase, according to the University Students' Council budget tabled at last night's meeting.
USC VP-finance Rob Irvine presented to council a budget which would 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 represents three changes, those being rises in cost of living, occupancy costs and mandated inflationary increases to several fees, such as CHRW/TV Western, a University Community Centre renovation fee and the accessibility levy, among others.
Despite the 1.6 per cent increase, Irvine stressed that figure is still lower than the current rate of inflation.
USC general manager Mark Sellars also spoke to council, asking them to show self-discipline and allow cost of inflation increases to student fees in the short-term, in order to achieve financial stability down the road.
"I think that within two years we'll actually have killed the deficit," Sellars said, noting the current USC debt is $900,000.
Upon elimination of the deficit, Sellars said the fiscal flexibility should exist for the USC to freeze student fees possibly in 2004 or 2005.
The next step, Sellars added, would be for the USC to analyze and attack each fee individually. Then, by 2013 or 2014, he said the student fees could be cut by 50 per cent.
"You need to build a reserve fund so that you can actually govern as opposed to just being figure heads," he said.
The budgets for several USC commissioners came into question.
Student senator Josh Morgan questioned why several commissioners had their budgets cut for the coming year, specifically noting the alcohol awareness commissioner.
Irvine responded that changes to the communications officer position required that some budgets be cut.
Harris Krofchick, USC internal promotions commissioner, said he was happy with the increased allotment of $5,010 put into his portfolio.
"Basically, the USC has realized they've got to communicate to students," Krofchick said, adding this has not been a focus in the past.
"This is the first year they're really doing something about [external communications]," Krofchick said, noting the USC's earlier development of a full-time communication officer.
There was no debate on the budget at last night's meeting.
The budget will be debated and voted upon at the USC's annual general meeting next Wednesday.