The Trumpet

What has USM Done with Our Money? | Club Executive Questions Cancellation of Culture Vibes

What has USM Done with Our Money? | Club Executive Questions Cancellation of Culture Vibes

Photo Credit: Contributed

By: Ackeem Millen| Vice President of Finance, The Excelsior Club

Madam Editor,

The academic year is quickly coming to an end and so is the financial year of all clubs on campus. Now is the time for all Treasurers and Financial Vice Presidents to do the last checking and balancing of all financial books.

Upon reading the recent article published by Hilltop Trumpet about the cancellation of the movement’s annual Culture Vibes concert, it came to my attention that financing was one of the major factors that prevented it from happening.

With that being said my question is, “What has USM done with our money?”

On October 29, 2020, 85% of students and 95% of senators voted in favour of the presented budget for the 2020-2021 academic year. In that budget, 3,921,535.00, JMD was allocated to the departments of the United Student Movement and of that amount, 350,000 JMD was assigned to the Vice President of Student Services and Social Affairs sector.

 Additionally, budgets of some member organisations were slashed at the beginning of the academic year and there has been no “big” social or sporting event by the movement that would require similar spending to that of previous years such as “Unleash, Culture Fest/Vibes, Aqua-Venture, Sports Socials, Church and School Impacts etc. 

 Moreover, the virtual school operations and the reduction in large social and sporting events also provided another capital preservation opportunity for the movement. Therefore, when an annual social event – in a fully digital format, is being placed on the side-lines partially because of financial limitations, it reflects some level of monetary mismanagement by the movement.

We might assume that it was given to grants and assistants to students which would be really considerate of the movement, but they had already designated 4,000,000.00 JMD for that purpose and thus, it is difficult for me to think of what the movement could have possibly used the money to do and if there were financial readjustments and reallocations why wasn’t the student body made known of them? 

So again, “What has the United Student Movement done with our money?”

The views expressed in this article are solely the writer’s and not of the Hilltop Trumpet.

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