Plans for surplus could include paying down Casa Loma mortgage and hiring more staff
According to an independent auditor’s report conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, The Student Association of George Brown College (SA), which publishes The Dialog, had a surplus of over $1.3 million in 2014-15.
The SA’s unrestricted fund, which funds the general operations of the organization had a $597,972 surplus.
The building fund which supports renovations and maintenance of the SA’s offices and student lounges had a surplus of $445,025.
The health care fund for the SA’s health and dental insurance that students receive had a $301,556 surplus.
The TTC fund, from the SA’s TTC discounted metropass sale service, had a modest surplus of $9,012
According to documents provided by the SA, in 2014-15 the SA was under budget by $195,666 in planned full-time and part-time staff spending.
Thomas Hadwen, SA director of operations, said there are two ways to use the surplus in order to benefit students.
The first is ensuring the SA has enough staff, as well as hiring a human resources manager to make sure there’s less liability for the SA.
The second is a plan that includes paying down the mortgage on the Casa Loma Student Centre which came up for renewal on Dec. 30. By using part of the surplus, as well as other unused contingency funds, to pay off the mortgage Hadwen said the SA will save $219,000 on future interest payments.
“This year when I created the budget for 2015-16 we took into consideration that there’s been huge surpluses year over year,” said Hadwen. “That’s why we passed a deficit budget in which we increased spending by $147,000, including $30,000 extra to our orientation. There’s been conscious effort this year to ensure that the students’ money is spent for them.”
The SA collected $341,511 more in student operating fees than projected in 2014-15. Meanwhile, revenue from operations such as events and movie tickets, clothing sales and advertising was $71,535 less than expected.
George Brown students paid a total of $380,679, or $7.88 each, to be members of the Canadian Federation of Students, a national student lobby organization. Spending on student services by the SA was $162,205 with a surplus of $38,495. Student-oriented events cost $146,689, which was three per cent over budget, and $15,100 more was spent on orientation than planned.
With files from Aliona Kuts