USC Council Meeting - Taylor Lasota-6.jpg

Councillors vote during a 2016-17 meeting.

After a relatively quick one-hour discussion, the USC council has passed the organization's budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year. 

A final vote saw 97 per cent of council approve the budget ahead of the USC's annual general meeting. While there was widespread support for the budget that will see the student fee for main campus students drop by one dollar, there were some concerns brought forward.

Keaton Olsen, proxying for social science councillor Laura Rosina, proposed the most exciting motion of the evening, proposing that the Mustang Express and other late-night busing be completely defunded. He cited a lack of ridership as the key reason for his motion.

"Ten dollars to ride a bus that none of us have ever seen is a little outrageous," Olsen said, despite saying he's taken the bus once. 

USC secretary-treasurer, Isaac Jacobi, called the motion "irresponsible" and explained that because these services were passed through student referendum they could not be changed by council. 

The motion was unanimously defeated but some suggested it was a matter that could be revisited in committee for the coming council year. 

Ivey councillor David DiBrina drew attention to the honorarium payment that USC coordinators are given every year. He asked if $1,000 was appropriate compensation for these student leaders and wondered if that should be reviewed. 

Social science councillor Austin Zheng suggested that this compensation could be tied more to performance of individual coordinators. USC student programs officer Allie Adamo said that it was a matter that could be explored for next year. 

Head of the student senators Harry Orbach-Miller also raised the value of the Gazette's print publication schedule. Jacobi suggested that even with a drop in the number of copies printed, student fees would be minimally affected — if not at all. Orbach-Miller determined this was not a budgetary concern and drafted a motion to be explored later in the meeting.

Otherwise, most members of the USC council found no problem with the budget. The relative lack of discussion contrasts with last year's budget discussion which saw councillors debate late into the night for over eight hours. 

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Bradley is the digital managing editor for Volume 110 of the Gazette. This is his fourth year on the editorial board, previously working in Opinions, Sports, and Culture. He's a recent graduate with a degree in Canadian-American relations.

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