The Carillon‘s Derek Cameron met up with URSU Vice-President Operation and Finance candidate Matthew Mutschler to ask him some questions before this week’s elections.
DC: Why did you decide to run?
MM: URSU has experienced a successful year financially, in terms of outreach, and in implementing services. I want to keep the ball rolling. I want to improve services, improve finances.
DC: What are your priorities within your position?
MM: Right now, my biggest priority is to get URSU’s preliminary budget completed. We haven’t had good numbers to work with in the past. This year, we had a good budget, and the numbers are much more helpful. I want to look at putting money where it is benefiting students best. When I say that, I am referring to student sponsorships, club funding, [and] bursaries. We know now that our operation is sound, and we know the numbers we need on that end, so now we can use the rest to benefit students.
DC: What concrete goals will you pursue to ensure your priorities receive attention?
MM: My role is being a contact for campus clubs. The number of clubs is on the rise, and that’s great. With those clubs, they all require different things – funding, advice on assembling an executive, putting on events. I am the main contact for that; anytime that clubs need someone, I’m the one with the information. On the financial side, I will present budget updates to the Board. Going into next year, I have been looking at where we can afford to spend and where we cannot. I want to start looking at student needs, and to use funds to help meet them. One example might be not using the SaskTel Wi-Fi, switching to something else. As far as I know, it only works well on phones.
DC: Will you pursue changes to URSU? If so, what changes and why?
MM: I think our management team is great. Structurally we won’t have to make changes for a while. We need to let the management team do as much of the operations job as possible so that the executive is free to meet student needs; that’s a change we can make that will benefit students tremendously.
DC: What role do you see for URSU outside the university community?
MM: We are trying to have conversations with the government and the administration. We are asking questions when fees go up: why are they going up, why are students bearing the cost? We want to be at the table, wherever it is, when fees are going up.
DC: How will you ensure that students see their URSU fees working for them?
MM: Where students see the most bang for their buck is the health and dental plan. We are going to have a dentist’s office on campus. They will be able to get coverage through students care on campus. Plus, we’ve got the U-Pass coming in next year, so that is really exciting. It saves money and can reduce those using vehicles, alleviating the parking situation.