NUGSS Hits Rough Waters


The Northern Undergraduate Student Society got some stark news from their auditor KPMG that shows the organization has taken losses year over year. The historical mismanagement of funds has led to a $100,000 debt to BC Transit for the Upass. NUGSS hopes to repay this back by the end of BC Transits fiscal year however that will require strict austerity measures. Eric Depeneau (left) delivering heavy news with Duncan Malkinson (GM) to the right

VP Finance:

According to KPMG “Negative cash flows from operations in the current year and has a working capital and general fund deficiency … these conditions, along with other matters indicate the existence of material uncertainties that may cast significant doubt about UNBC Northern Undergraduate Student Societies ability to continue as an ongoing concern”.

One of the first measures NUGSS is taking is to work with the university to ensure that student fee's go up to match CPI indexing. This was approved by the student population in 2012 but was never acted on, and therefore "tens of thousands" of dollars has been lost according to NUGSS.

The student health and dental reserve fund has not be properly built up over the years. The funds that were supposed to be going into this reserve were being allocated to general revenue instead. That has been changed and for the future funds will now consistently go to this fund in order to ensure that there is a backup in place.

The Student and Conference building is another area of concern. According to NUGSS $373,341 in "Building Fees" that ensure the upkeep of the Student Centre building, have also been going to operating costs instead. NUGSS plans to pull back on the spending of "building fees" for general operation over the years in order to build up a backup fund for the buildings repairs and maintenance needs.

dsc_1689In order to meet these mounting problems the Moose and Degrees are being looked at. Both NUGSS businesses lose money and it has been stated that that must to change. The board has asked management to look into possible solutions for both organizations. Reductions in hours, raising costs of products, leasing out of space to other organizations, or possibly even the closure of the business all together are on the table.

Other changes NUGSS will be looking at:

  • The board of NUGSS is looking to cut the current boards pay by 7.27%
  • General Manager volunteered to cut pay by 20%
  • Decrease MAC funding by 20% until current obligations are met
  • Get more tenants along the top floor of NUSC
  • Current tenants, Example CFUR, Over the Edge, Pride Centre, PGPIRG, will begin to be charged
  • Will not be shouldering the financial burden of Northern Students Give Back next year
  • GM to reduce risk and cost of the Backyard BBQ next year
  • No plans for direct oversight of NUGGS is on the table

These changes are by far extensive and far reaching however according to NUGSS necessary to ensure the past years of financial mismanagement are remedied.

*Update 10/27/2016* When asked about whether the financial mismanagement in the past would prompt more oversight of NUGSS. General Manager Duncan Malkinson replied that it is the purpose of the annual general meeting to hold NUGSS accountable.

Grant Bachand - News Director, @grantbachand