CUS Q1 Financial Report

The CUS Finance Portfolio is proud to present CUS’ Quarter 1 Financial Report for the year 2020. As we continue to strive towards open communication, transparency, and accountability, we would like to share every quarterly report with you, through the CUS Broadcast. In this issue, we will be providing you with the major highlights for this quarter. 

GENERAL OVERVIEW

This year, we have projected revenues of $822,577.50 with projected expenses of $1,021,075.19; meaning that we will be running a $198,497.69 deficit. This deficit is directly associated with the reduction of student fees as explained below. Please refer to the attached Q1 Report in this email for more details.

FINANCIAL INITIATIVES 2020/21

Despite the impact of COVID-19 on the CUS, we are doing everything we can to continue delivering value while financially supporting students. Here are our initiatives to support you: 

Student Fee Reductions 

Despite budgets being allocated a year in advance, our VP Finance and the AMS has worked tirelessly to reduce student fees from $275.07 to $175.00 for the 2020/21 academic year. This is the maximum fee reduction we are able to responsibly sustain without negatively impacting the value and services we are providing this year and for the future of the CUS. We hope to continuously support students’ financial needs. An email has been sent about this matter already and the new amount should be reflected in your SSC as “Undergrad Society Fee”. 

This year’s student fees are continuing to support services and clubs with their operations and events. Despite events being held online, we are still incurring various expenses such as BCC Contributions, UGO Contributions, Academic Programs, Partnerships, Event Delegates, Orientations, Prizes and new virtual platforms that will keep the Sauder community connected during our time physically apart.

Questions About Student Fees: 

  1. The “BCOM Student Building Fee” was passed by referendum in 2012 to cover the $20 million mortgage that was taken out to partially finance the renovations to our Henry Angus Building. The agreement mandates each student to pay $500 to cover the mortgage. The remaining amount, variable by year ($70.34 for 2020/21), goes into a “Building Users Fund”; this is used by Sauder, with permission of the CUS, for building upgrades and maintenance (e.g. new furniture in Birmingham, new projectors in classrooms). 

    Although there are currently no opt-out options for the “BCOM Student Building Fee”, the CUS is investigating ways of subsidizing the fee for students who truly need financial support. For more information on the BCOM Student Building Fee, please visit https://cus.ca/governance/student-fees/
     
  2. Why tuition is not being reduced at UBC. Please refer to the following Statement Made by UBC.
     
  3. List of AMS fees that you may opt-out of for the academic year 2020/21. 

Commerce Undergraduate Society Diversity Award

In our second issue, titled “Stronger Together”, we mentioned the implementation of a new student award to provide direct financial support to students in the BIPOC community for the next 5 years. The CUS will be contributing $50,000 and another $50,000 will be drawn from the Sauder Endowment Fund for this project. For more information on the Commerce Undergraduate Society Diversity Award, please click here

Student Benefits Card: CUSavings

As students, we understand the pressure that finances have on students. Thus, our Corporate Relations Commission has been working diligently over the past four months to secure exclusive discounts and savings for all Sauder students. This program will be available September, together with the Flurrish app (explained below).

New Initiatives

  1. Flurrish: To stay connected with all members of our international Sauder community during the online semester, the CUS is proud to introduce Flurrish. Through this mobile application, you will be able to meet new people and stay up to date with everything going on around our school, including events, new ways to get involved, and our CUSavings program. 
     
  2. New Services and Initiatives: The CUS is always open to supporting new initiatives and services. This year, we will be welcoming CUS PrideClarify, and the New Business Review to the CUS family. Each service will have its own account in the Finance Portfolio. You can view their budgets and descriptions in the budget report or visit their social media pages for more information about each service. 

Restructuring of the Finance Portfolio 

To provide greater accuracy and transparency for the financials of each service, our CUS Financial Analysts are now responsible for leading their own portfolio of services. This grants a stronger relationship with the services and a better process to follow up with expenses and revenues. 

In addition, we have created a new financial tracking system independent from the previous 5 years, to increase accuracy, transparency, and efficiency. Each line item is accurately explained in the latter half of the report and all irrelevant and vague line items have been removed. This system is also explained in the budget report.

Thank you for reading this issue of the CUS Broadcast. We understand that there are many changes that have been put in place. Should you have any questions related to finances, please do not hesitate to contact our Vice President of the Finance Portfolio, Eric Jin Cheng at finance.general@cus.ca. If you have any other general questions, please feel free to reach out to vpexternal@cus.ca, or fill out our Online Suggestion Box
 


In case you missed our first broadcast, the CUS Broadcast was created for us to share important information with you during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the broadcast, we hope to provide greater transparency for who we are as an Undergraduate Society and the inner workings of the CUS. For more information and to read other CUS Broadcast issues, please visit us at https://cus.ca/.