Spend now, approve later
The University of Regina Students’ Union’s latest board meeting on Feb. 11 included a discussion of the state of URSU’s finances this year, and the debate of several motions relating to varsity sports and unapproved URSU spending.
The first motion brought to the table was the distribution of the Varsity Club Athletic Board Fund (VCAB). Varsity club sports are sports that are “not big enough to be supported by the University. Things like rugby, Frisbee, and cheer,” says President Devon Peters.
These sports are funded through a levy collected by the Students’ Union. The VCAB recommends how URSU should distribute the funding, based on need. The motion in question read that URSU would distribute the fund so that “each team receive the same percentage of their total actual need.” After a brief discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Following the VCAB motion, URSU debated two motions concerning spending from the campaigns line of the budget. The campaigns line is reserved for spending related to special events put on in cooperation with URSU, such as the Mental Wellness Week, or Welcome weeks.
In this case, the executive approved spending in the order of $4,129 for the Cougar Pump-Up Parties and $2,800 for books available at Frank Warren’s speaking event during Mental Wellness Week. However, the board must approve spending from the campaigns line.
Lynn Barber, URSU Vice-President of External Relations said, “The executive misunderstood the policy, and thought the campaigns line was already approved in the budget.”
When the executive realized that the board was required to approve the spending, both spending items were added to the meeting agenda to be approved retroactively. Both motions were passed, after a brief clarification on how the mistake was made.
Next, URSU debated two funding motions. As mentioned in the last meeting, URSU’s funding for student groups was nearly completely depleted. Matt Mutschler advised the board that money could be moved from the student club budget line to increase URSU’s ability to fund student groups.
Before the motions were addressed, the line for funding student groups had roughly $3,300 left, and the student clubs line had $4,800 left.
First, the board debated a motion to fund UR International $3,500 for their International Night. In the end, the board amended the motion to $2,500, and passed the motion.
Next, the board debated a motion to fund the Pakistani Students’ Association $4,000 for their Salam Pakistan event. After a number of amendments dealing with the amount URSU should fund the event, the board settled on $2,000 and passed the motion.
After motions, the board discussed URSU’s financial situation. Aside from The Owl having higher expenses than previously estimated, the report appeared show that URSU was at its expected position. Peters said that liquor revenue and expenses were lower than budgeted, which indicates that “The Owl is slightly underperforming the numbers that we had hoped.” He also added that profit margins on food “have improved.” Peters concluded that the problem was simply “not having enough bodies in The Owl.”