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URSU board update

Our bold minuteman braves boredom to bring you URSU coverage. Photo - Kyle Leitch
Our bold minuteman braves boredom to bring you URSU coverage. Photo – Kyle Leitch

Keepin’ them honest

On Sept. 29, the University of Regina Student’s Union (URSU) held a regularly mandated Board meeting. Three board members were absent.

To start the meeting, the Board approved a decision from an electronic vote held on Sept. 20. The motion approved Tomelene Gulbaek-Pearce as CRO for the upcoming by-election. Several others had been appointed to the position, but extenuating circumstances resulted in their resignation.

Next, the 2014-2015 Audit Report was presented. Due to financial mismanagement over previous years, URSU had received a note of going concern, which indicates that there is substantial doubt about the entity’s ability to continue without the threat of dissolution. In light of a financial surplus, the auditor reported that if next year also is a net surplus, the note of going concern is likely to be removed.

The audit report showed that last year URSU operated with a $128,000 surplus. When $96,000 in capital assets that were written off are taken into account, the surplus drops to $32,000.

Total URSU revenue from student fees increased by close to one million dollars (to $3.83 million). A slow summer for the Owl resulted in lower incoming revenue from the bar, but cost was decreased in several areas due to better management of both employees and resources. Once the full report is released, the Carillon will report further on the audit.

The board also reviewed financial policy during the meeting. This review addressed several concerns, such as Welcome Week coordinators acting without signing authority, and institutionalized practices that had changed over the years. Budgeted lines will not require reporting unless the cost of a transaction exceeds $10,000. The board will review the General Manager contract if contract negotiations are made, as the GM is an employee of the board, but that is the full extent of their control over contracts.

In addition, the financial policy will now see the implementation of a draft budget proposed by the outgoing Board, and then the incoming board would approve a final budget. This measure is taken to ensure there is no period when the Student Union operates without a budget in place. URSU President Devon Peters noted that in prior years executives had had no budget at the start of their mandate, and this put them at a disadvantage for planning. The policy was not voted on, but a motion will be taken up in the next meeting.

Executive reports noted that the URSU Executive met with Campus Security to try and get the doors between the Owl and Residence left open during the evenings. The reports noted that not much progress was made on that front. The Get Out and Vote campaign is in full swing, and URSU executives have been tabling in the Riddell Centre to promote the campaign for student voting.

As the meeting wrapped up, the question of letting the Carillon create recordings during URSU Board meetings was introduced. Board Chair Brad Lulik said he will rule on the issue, but informed the Board that it is within their power to overrule the Chair through a motion. In an email to the Carillon on Oct. 1, Lulik authorized the use of digital recording devices at future public URSU meetings.

About Derek Cameron