During their first general meeting of the year, the King’s Student’s Union announced a deficit and the resulting cuts to their budget.
On Sept. 29 the union executive pointed to a decline in recent enrolment as the cause of this deficit.
Enrolment for the 2016-2017 year is 933 students. This is a decrease of over 8.5 per cent from the 1019 students enrolled the year before.
Each of these students pays a fee of $218.48 per year in order to be a part of the union. With the decrease in students paying this fee, the union is experiencing just over six thousand dollars in lost revenue this year.
Sophie McCarthy, a third-year student, is concerned for what this could mean for the future of the union.
“It’s honestly scary. When the union goes into deficit, that makes it seem like we’re in big trouble,” she said.
Zoë Brimacombe, financial vice president of the union, said she was forced to make cuts to specific areas of the budget in order to keep the deficit minimal.
These cuts included all positions of the graduation committee, the sustainability commissioner, and the advocacy commissioner.
Student services including CUBE, exam-period “study snacks” and funds for use by councillors also took cuts.
“The budget is not a reflection of [the KSU’s] priorities,” stated Brimacombe during her presentation at the meeting.
Not all areas of the budget were cut.
Honoraria for the chair and chief returning officer were increased. This was a decision made in the spring.
The salary for the hospitalities coordinator was also increased in the budget. This was attributed to the salary being misrecorded in previous records.
Other areas of the budget remained unchanged. These included KSU executive honoraria, CUBE coordinator honoraria and scribe honoraria.
McCarthy found this to be somewhat questionable considering the current state of the union.
“It seems like [the KSU] cut a lot of the student services. Those services are why we give them money, not just to pay their honoraria,” she said.
When asked about executive honoraria at a council meeting on Sept. 25, Brimacombe made it clear that making cuts in this area was not something she considered. She said that she felt that executive members do not make enough for the amount of work they do within the union. They will also be taking on extra duties due to other cuts in the budget.
Brimacombe said she has aimed to present the budget in a way that students can fully understand and be comfortable with.
“This is a budget, not a bank statement,” she said.
At the fall annual general meeting the student body adopted the budget without any amendments or opposing votes.