March 5, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 81  

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Happy budget puts USC ahead in long-term plan

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff

The budget of the University Students’ Council was released during Wednesday’s council meeting and the word is: we are in the black.

USC VP-finance Rohan Belliappa said the budget eliminates the accounting deficit accumulated over the USC’s 38-year history, among other achievements.

“All student fees, which we are able to, have been frozen. It’s the most comprehensive fee freeze in the recent history of the USC,” he said, though he added several fees will rise slightly because they are beyond the USC’s control.

“I expect to see fees being reduced as early as next year,” he added, explaining the USC is now two years ahead of its long term strategic plan.

According to Belliappa, CHRW 94.9 FM and TV Western are slated to be making money next year because of several funding initiatives, such as external services for tape editing, the selling of O-Week videos, as well as a fundraising drive for CHRW.

The Wave is projected to come close to breaking even because of increased food sales from the implementation of the Meal Plan, he said, but noted that The Spoke is expected to lose $75,000 next year.

“That’s our best estimate, that’s our best guess,” said USC comptroller Karen Jackson. “We don’t know for sure,” she said of the exact amount The Spoke may lose.

“It’s not a new business; there’s still a tavern in the back,” Jackson said of the upcoming renovations to The Spoke.

The question of the availability of a more detailed budget was brought up during the meeting.

“I don’t want people to think we’re hiding something — I’d prefer not to post it on the website,” said USC general manager Mark Sellars. “The issue of competition is a fair one,” he said, noting he would not want to see competitors having access to the USC’s operations budget.

Belliappa said details of the budget would be released internally to the councillors.



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