University

No end to money woes for UWinnipeg student reps

University of Winnipeg Students' Association AGM sees deficit continue to grow

The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) saw it’s deficit continue to grow after its annual general meeting last Thursday, reported campus newspaper The Uniter.

In a comment posted on The Uniter’s website, UWSA president Jason Syvixay explained that UWSA originally presented a budget for the 2011-2012 year with a projected deficit of $63 000, but that it will be amending the budget to address the concerns raised by students at the AGM. However, he  wasn’t clear on what the budget would look like.

This comes after UWSA estimated running a $167 000 deficit by the end of the 2010-2011 academic year last September, due to the costs of running a daycare for U of W staff and students on campus and restructuring UWSA staff payment by switching from honorariums to hourly wages.

Thursday’s meeting saw a motion brought forward from the U of W Aboriginal Student Council to increase their budget from $6 800 to $25 000, which was passed after over half of the 100 students in attendance voted in favour of the increase.

Several student group leaders voiced their concerns with the motion, saying it was unfair to reward that kind of increase to one student group, though others argued that the ASC has faced underfunding in the past.

Another hot button issue addressed at the AGM was the proposal to close the UWSA-run Soma Cafe, which provides healthy, fair trade food options for the U of W community. The cafe hasn’t turned a profit since it was opened three years ago, and the organization had budgeted for its closure. However, student support prevailed as those in attendance voted in favour of allocating $150 000 of UWSA funds to keep the cafe open. Students who wanted to save the cafe argued that it was a valuable meeting space and that its closure would lead to several students losing their jobs, according to The Uniter.

A controversial motion was also brought forward by president Jason Syvixay to eliminate the position of CFS liason director, who argued that the director’s work should instead be integrated into the duties of all UWSA staff. The motion was postponed as there were no longer enough people in attendance to make quorum by the time the motion was presented.