JCRCs and Athletic Union facing funding cuts

The provisional YUSU budget for the next academic year has been finalised by YUSU Finance Committee. The budget includes a large increase in the Union Management allocation and cuts for JCRCs, the Athletic Union and the Academic and Welfare Service.

The document, which is £86,000 larger than this year’s, will be officially accepted by the University Finance Committee on Friday, and will be ultimately signed off by the YUSU Finance Committee on Monday 2nd June.

The total allocation includes a £401,242 budget for YUSU’s Central Services. This is a £90,000 increase since last May, and accounts for 44% of the overall expenditure.

All JCRCs will see their grants from YUSU shrink following a £1,000 overall reduction to £15,000. This, however, comes after a £4,000 bonus that was given to the JCRCs following surplus in the current budget.

Burton stated: “We are confident that members are still receiving good levels of funding and that in future years, as our commercial services grow and University funding increases, we will see increases through the Union.”

The JCRC grant reduction has been offset by the promised creation of a computer suite for the use of members of all JCRCs. The suite, which will be created to remove the need for each JCRC to have its own office computer was agreed upon by JCRC Treasurers.

Derwent JCRC Chair Oliver Lester said: “[The £1,000] isn’t exactly ‘cut’ from our budget. This wasn’t some decision by YUSU, it was voted in favour by all colleges.”

Lester has reservations, though, about the suite. “My opinion is that [it] would be highly underused, as it will have similar software to computers throughout campus. I think the main problem was that our treasurers had to vote on this issue within a week of being elected,” he said.

Alcuin JCRC Chair Erik O’Connor criticised the decision. “The IT suite is to a large extent an unnecessary expense, especially as it is to be used not only by JCRCs, but by societies… I have communicated this stance sufficiently in Finance Committee, but unfortunately a majority of that committee did not agree,” O’Connor said.

Also, the AU budget has been lowered by £10,000 to £125,878, while the new Academic and Welfare allocation is £57,722, a reduction of £13,500.

Administrative costs for the AU have been included in the Central Services expenditure. The creation of a Commercial Manager to oversee YUSU’s suite of businesses has also factored in the large increase for that department.

“[The position] has been budgeted to cover itself in the first year and we are aiming to diversify our commercial portfolio in order to generate more money for our activities,” Burton said.

9 comments

  1. 28 May ’08 at 5:20 pm

    Alexios Mantzarlis

    I’d just like to point out that it’s OUTRAGEOUS that the SU waste £1,000 on making a ‘computer suite for all JCRC Members’.

    The JCRC Members I know are perfectly capable of using regular computers…

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  2. I think the idea is for the computer suite to have things like Photoshop, which is extremely expensive and actually saves money if all the JCRCs don’t have to buy copies themselves…

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  3. Well, I guess now we know one of the effects of losing the Academic and Welfare Sabbatical – a cut of almost 20% in a core service.

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  4. The GIMP is free (libre and gratis) software. OpenOffice.org is free (libre and gratis) software. What exactly is this £1000 being spent on? If it’s hardware, then what exactly is wrong with using the CompServ computing rooms?

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  5. 28 May ’08 at 7:53 pm

    Alexios Mantzarlis

    I’m ready to undercut Adobe and provide the JCRC with a copy of Photoshop at only £400.

    deal?

    – Jokes aside, how about, like J says, we spend the money on Academic and Welfare budget rather than on such ludicrous projects as a ‘Computer Suite’?

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  6. Just to clarify, the computing suite came out of the 2007-8 budget, and isn’t proposed for 2008-9.

    It was funded by both the societies equipment budget and JCRCs, in order to purchase some high-end computers and design software which isn’t available elsewhere on campus. The JCRC Treasurers sit on Finance Committee where the decision was taken.

    Hopefully this will stop JCRCs and societies relying on their members in any given year for design software, so that the playing field is levelled!

    As far as the AcWelf budget goes – bear in mind that some of this funding has been reallocated to other areas of the budget such as Central Services.

    Hope that clarifies…

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  7. It’s also worth noting that a large portion of the YUSU “Right to Choose” fund has been used for post-grads this year. As of next year, these costs will be picked up by the GSA, so part of the budget cut is actually a natural consequence of this.

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  8. The Academic and Welfare budget’s main drop is money which was put in for ‘development’ last year as a one-time cost, which included the organisational review. As that isn’t occuring again, it isn’t in the budget and hence why you’re seeing such a drop.

    That, joined with the agreement with the GSA to fund graduate right to choose costs, has meant that money has been freed up in the Academic and Welfare budget.

    Last year we saw a surplus on the budget and so different areas received additional funding, above what they would normally receive. As we haven’t seen a surplus this year, these areas have seen some reductions.

    Lets not also forget that the media budget has increased substantially!

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  9. 30 May ’08 at 3:42 pm

    Alexios Mantzarlis

    The meanders of the SU budget make for a riveting read, but the Computer Suite remains a ridiculous idea, as JCRC’s can easily and unexpensively get hold of programs to make ClubD or PlanetV posters.

    Or, if you want to go ahead and have a room with Photoshop, Quark XPress, etcetera – then let it be open to all students. Black cards aren’t enough?

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