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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 5. May 24, 1951

Stud. Ass. Fee Rise — Twelve and Six and why — Building Fund May Also Suffer

Stud. Ass. Fee Rise

Twelve and Six and why

Building Fund May Also Suffer

For some years the financial position of the Association has been in a fairly uneasy state. Shortly after the war the student roll was 2400 and there were reserves accumulated from the war years. Since then the roll has dropped to 2050 and costs have soared terrifically. The only increased money available has been from the bringing of the Training College fee up to the same as that for other students. This does not produce much more than £40 or £50. The reserves were spent shortly after the war on various items and it has only been close and detailed budgeting that has kept us going. The deficit has been wiped out in the ordinary account although we are committed to more fixed expenditure.

Two years ago the Association in General Meeting recognised the danger and asked for the Executive to investigate whether the fees should be raised, but the Executive reported against a raising of the fee. However, the present Executive, faced with a current money shortage and the sureness that worse will come for future Executives; has been considering the matter.

Finance Committee Recommends

Its Finance Committee investigated the problem and emerged with two recommendations, one of which the Executive adopted in full and the other in a slightly modified form. These ideas will be placed before a General Meeting to be held in the Gym on Wednesday, May 30, at 8 p.m. The purpose of this article is to urge you to be there and to place before you in advance the reasons for the proposals. It is not intended to be a detailed examination of all the pros and cons but rather a general summary. The matter will be fully debated and all questions frankly answered at the General Meeting.

The first proposal seeks to divert part of an appropriation fixed in the Constitution to our General Fund for a period of three years. The appropriation is that at present paid to the Building Fund. At the moment 4/- per head of membership plus at least £100 is paid annually to the Building Fund. As we have now collected a large amount towards the building and as we have urgent need of money which cannot reasonably be met out of any raising of the fee, the idea is to divert the 4/- per head for three years. This will provide a sum of just over £1200. What will it be used for?

In the first place of recent years the finances of the Cafeteria have been our No. 1 headache, at least until a private contractor took over. In the first two terms of 1950 a very large sum of money was lost in running the cafeteria. At present the cafeteria's liquid position is in deficit to the tune of about £800. The off set is equipment rapidly depreciating. Executive feels that if the Association is to be financially stable this deficit should be liquidated as the assets cannot be realised and do not represent anything like the amount of the deficit anyway.

In addition to this the money available for grants in the current year is only about £750 when £950 appears to be the reasonable minimum. As a result the only money for grants this year so far has been to [unclear: cover] club essential administration. Therefore £200 is needed to make up the difference". On top of all this we are the hosts for faster tournament next year and the extra expense entailed cannot be all borne by next year's accounts even if the present fee is raised.

The second financial proposal is to raise the fee to £2/5/-. Now the fee was last raised to £1/12/6 in 1945 and before that to £1/7/6 in 1938. All things considered the Association probably offers all its members the best £2/5/- worth available in Wellington. It must be remembered that payment of this fee entitles all members to free membership of all student clubs. This has for years been held a sound principle as it tends to obviate cliques in the more expensive sports. However it carries with it for the Association the burden of paying all normal club expenditure.

The finance committee and Executive consider that £4700 is needed to finance the Association in a proper fashion for a year at today's cost. The biggest single item in that is £1000 for grants. This is caused by the need to meet huge costs for equipment and in some cases, essential affiliation fees. Further to that is the desire to restore some of the cuts made in recent years, particularly to cultural club grants. With a student roll of 2100 £2/5/- is called for.

Exec's own Barrow?

Administration is another big cost, but must be met to run our affairs efficiently. We are forced to pay reasonably competitive wages, and they are rising. It should be noted that last year our Accountant proposed a reduction of £50 in his salary as his duties were less since the Cafeteria was taken over by an outside firm.

Three years ago travelling subsidies were cancelled for teams in an effort to stem the tide of difficulty. This has put some clubs in a difficult position and it appears reasonable that these subsidies should be restored.

Tournaments are a big expense and it is estimated that over a cycle of two years when we have one at home and three away, we need £350 per year to finance them. NZUSA is proposing to raise its affiliation fee, but this will only cost another £45. In addition, in general all costs are steadily rising.

This then without too much financial and accounting hocus-pocus is the story. If the proposals are not agreed to, then the only alternative is cutting down on many items. The fee increase would operate from 1952. Please consider the matter and come to the meeting prepared to vote on sound and informed lines after hearing the discussion. Apart from a proportion of the £200 extra for this year's sports, the current Executive will not have this money to spend, so don't think it is pushing its own barrow.

There will be some other constitutional matters to discuss too, mainly concerned with making our Constitution consistent throughout. One however, will deal with the important matter of Fencing Blues. Be sure to attend!