On July 25, CUSA Council unanimously passed the 2016-17 budget!
No, for real guys, it’s exciting. Your elected student representatives release the budget each year to demonstrate accountability, transparency, and fiscal responsibility.
It tells you how we’re spending your money.
Okay, yeah, we know it’s not that exciting to look at. It’s a super long spreadsheet and most of it doesn’t make sense unless you’re an accountant. But since it’s your money we’re spending, we want to make sure you know what’s in the budget. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the highlights.
Here’s what’s new:
1) Your input
This year – for the first time ever – the CUSA VP Finance held open budget review sessions so students could drop in, ask questions about the budget, and make suggestions. It’s your money and your school, so we wanted you to be part of the process.
2) A new full-time staff member
It’s important that CUSA is run by students, for students, but we also need to make sure there’s full-time staff around make sure things run efficiently and transition smoothly from year to year. This year we’ve hired a Student Services Manager who will be around for years to come to work with the service centres to improve programming and facilitate multi-year goals.
3) Frozen exec salaries
As promised, we’ve frozen exec salaries at last year’s levels instead of raising them by CPI the way they normally are each year.
4) Cuts to exec benefits
We’ve also made cuts to the exec cellphone benefit and the exec transition pay. Together with the frozen salaries, that makes a total of more than $7,000 in savings that will be put back into student services.
5) More money coming in
Last year we nearly doubled the sponsorship and grant income we brought in, from $12,000 to over $22,000. This year we expect that number to be even higher, thanks to a number of deals we’ve already made. That’s even more free money going back to students!
6) More funding for student projects
The Student Initiative Fund was wildly popular last year, so we’re making it bigger. The program provides funding for students to go to conferences, take on ambitious academic projects, and put on events in the community. This year we’re adding $2,000 to the fund so more students get to benefit.
7) Improving your student businesses
We’re anticipating bigger revenues from our businesses this year thanks to better marketing and new products like the brand new green smoothie at Rooster’s. That means more of the products you want, and more money going to back into student services.
8) BECAMPS is now BECS
After analyzing the services provided by the Bill Ellis Centre for Mature and Part-time Students (BECAMPS) in past years, we realized it would be way more efficient to deliver them through the Health and Wellness Resource Centre. Meanwhile, in response to the huge demand for bookable spaces on campus, we’re transforming the former BECAMPS space into BECS – the Bill Ellis Coworking Space – an event and meeting room for CUSA Clubs & Societies.
9) Two new scholarships
We’ve also added more support for mature and part-time students by adding two new annual scholarships of $500 just for them. Applications for all our scholarships open up in March, so keep an eye out on our website.
10) New jobs for students
We applied to a bunch of grant programs this year, which allowed us to employ even more students. Are you looking for an on campus job? We’re hiring! Check out our job postings to apply.
11) More funding for Clubs & Societies
Thanks to the referendum we passed last winter, we were able to provide $56,000 in new funding to CUSA Clubs & Societies.
12)More killer events
Get psyched, because we’ve put aside funding for the best homecoming yet, plus some new programming at Ollie’s. Beiber night, anyone?
Definitely check out the full budget to see what else we’ve changed. If you want to know more, come visit us! VP Finance David Andrews is always happy to sit down and talk numbers with students.