Lower enrolment could mean smaller CUSA budget

The Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) could have its budget reduced in the future if the number of students enrolling at Carleton drops, according to a report at the university’s Senate meeting.

CUSA president Fahd Alhattab presented the Senate’s findings to CUSA council at its Feb. 29 meeting.

“The presentation by Duncan Watt, vice-president (finance) for the university, regarding the financial situation of the university is quite interesting and quite concerning for the health of the student union in the future,” he told other councillors.

He said Carleton will see a downward trend of student recruitment in line with population changes in Ontario.

“There are just less 18-year-olds in Ontario. Less 18-year-olds means less students at Carleton, less students at Carleton means less students paying fees which means a smaller budget for CUSA,” he said.

While Alhattab said it is not one of his immediate concerns, it is worrying for future council executives and could mean services will have to be cut. He said future members’ reputations might be tainted by cutting services and not keeping their election promises in order to balance the organization’s budget.

“One of the things you see at CUSA is every year new execs make new promises and that means new money,” he said. “We want to expand but there isn’t more money coming from anywhere, and as a matter of fact, less money is going to be coming.”

Two students were also elected by councillors for positions on the CUSA awards committee at the Feb. 29 meeting.

Craig Handy, CUSA vice-president (finance), nominated Liam Harrington, programming coordinator at the CUSA food centre, for the position.

The other student nominated was Alex Noguera, next year’s vice-president (student issues). She was nominated by CUSA’s current vice-president (student issues), Maddie Adams.

Both nominees were elected by council without debate.

It was also announced that humanities councillor Sean Illman-White has resigned from his position on CUSA. Shawn Humphrey, council chair, said he resigned due to health reasons.

Also at the meeting, Alhattab said initial consultations on a new student union building have wrapped up. He said meetings with different clubs and societies, the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) and other stakeholders from the community let them develop a list of priorities for the new building.

He said he hopes to have a building program report finished by the end of 2016.