UCD Students’ Union Council has approved a draft budget for the Union, projecting a net deficit of just over €25,000 for the current academic year. The SU’s projected income for the year stands at €760,000, with expenditure expected to total €785,340.
The new budget is a radical downsizing on last year’s accounts, which projected a modest surplus of €15,000 based on income of almost €1.5m. Notable shortfalls include a fall in revenue from the Union’s photocopying bureau, expected to total €25,000, in comparison to last year’s projection of €110,000. Commercial income garnered from the SU’s arrangements with Student Travelcard is also expected to drop from €45,000 last year to just €11,500 for the current academic year, a drop of 74 per cent.
Presenting the budget to Council, Students’ Union President Gary Redmond remarked that the SU had “been frivolous with its monies in the recent past. Expenditure has been high, its true value questionable, and saving has been minimal.” He added that “the practice of maintaining preferred suppliers has now ceased, with new suppliers selected for presenting better value for money”, and that “many existing suppliers that have remained with the SU are doing so at reduced rates.”
Redmond commended the Union’s officers and staff for their “willingness, without hesitation, to commit to the difficulty [the current financial climate] presents.”
Meanwhile, SU Council has elected a number of new Executive Officers to take office for the coming academic year. Auditor of the Mature Students’ Society, Martin Lawless, was elected as the SU’s Mature Students Officer, while Kevin Regan was elected International Students’ Officer after a second count. Colm Maguire was elected unopposed to the position of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) Rights Officer, while the position of Disability Rights Officer will be filled by Deirdre Breslin who also ran unopposed. The elected students assume office immediately and are entitled to sit on the Students’ Union Executive as well as being full voting members of SU Council with power to propose motions.
Outgoing Council Chair, Colin Scally, was returned unopposed as Chair for the coming year, with Edel Ní Churraoin appointed as Union Secretary.
Students’ Union Council is comprised of all class representatives, as well as reps from the campus residences and the Union’s sabbatical, executive and programme officers, and meets every fortnight during term. Council was due to meet again last night, where it was scheduled to appoint the Students’ Union’s representatives to the University’s Academic Council in advance of the latter’s meeting this Thursday.