A report obtained by The Baron outlines the need for more funding for orientation week activities.
Benjamin Manzer, vice-president student affairs of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) sent the document to council to request more money be spent on the frosh activities, after unexpected expenses put him over budget.
The budget, which was amended and approved at the August 24th meeting of council, allowed for $25,000 in expenses for this year’s orientation, a $5000 drop from last year.
The proposal asks for an additional $3500, and is being requested on the basis that more first year students will be coming to UNB and participating in the first year activities than was originally budgeted for.
The document states that “orientation has suffered in terms of planning and execution, with fewer funds available for use” this year.
The document also outlines a breakdown of the SRC spending of the student fees, and details that approximately 24 percent of the budget is spent on activities for students, while approximately 22 percent is spent on honorarium for executive and council.
“consider whether or not we want to be a council that focuses on our own self interest, or the interest of the whole student body”
The document further details that of the $25,000 currently budgeted, $14,000 is anticipated to come from the first year student fee, which is $40 per student, and currently budgeted at 350 students.
The remainder comes from the SRC’s general revenue, with this year’s contribution making up less than 4 percent of the total operating budget.
In the document, Manzer calls on the council to “consider whether or not we want to be a council that focuses on our own self interest, or the interest of the whole student body” referring to the increase in honoraria and decreased spending in other areas.
He goes on to state that. “If the latter, we can not do that effectively by continuing to cut the budget of the activities that matter the most to the students.”
Council is expected to meet tonight to discuss the full proposal, which can be viewed here, and it’s contents so that they can make a decision on whether or not they will fund additional expenses for orientation this year.
Honoraria a point of contention from August meeting
As part of discussion around the approval of amendments to the budget, the topic of honorarium was brought up by mature student rep, Jayme Dixon.
According to Dixon, the finance committee of last year’s council discussed capping the honorarium after noting that past and projected enrolment show a decline and that tuition was to increase.
Vice-president finance, Alex Nichols, said that discussions were had by the executive, who ultimately could not come to a conclusion on whether or not to cap the pay.
Jenna Evans, the returning vice president social, supported leaving honorarium uncapped stating that it should be up to each year’s executive to decide if they would take their full pay.
The increase in tuition this academic year led to an increase in the executive honoraria which are indexed to tuition.
While the amount of pay has increased the pay structure for the SRC remains the same, with the president paid three times tuition and fees, and the remaining executive receiving tuition plus a fixed rate, dependent on the requirements they are to fulfil over the summer.
The motion to approve the amended budget, including increases in pay, was passed unanimously by council.