11:51 AM, April 27
Dear Fellow Arts Students,
Although my term as VP Finance does not end until May 31, I have decided that now’s the time for my final blog post. Kateryn’s term starts in four days, on for the next month we will act as co-VP Finances.
It was a strong year for the AUS. A timeline of some of the highlights is as follows:
- Frosh of the Living Dead sold out and earned a profit (roughly $13,000);
- Graduate and Professional Schools Fair saw increased participation from academic institutions;
- New events such as AUS Film Series and Crafternoons heightened our offerings of social, cultural, and fine arts activities;
- Work Your B.A saw strong collaboration between AUS and Career Planning Services, gave Arts students a glimpse of the opportunities that await after graduation, and went on to win the SSMU award for Best Academic Event;
- Snax took initiative in sustainability, switching to biodegradable coffee cups and local organic food suppliers;
- Our VP Internal secured new office space for AUS departmental associations;
- AUS obtained its first audited financial statements since 2008;
- Our VP Academic and Arts Senators helped inspire the creation of an Indigenous Studies minor.
As far as the VP Finance portfolio goes, I am proud of the work I have done. Besides my work leading up to the AUS obtaining financial statements, the changes I made to our accounting practices should have a positive effect on the quality of our record keeping while cutting bookkeeping expenses.
Changing our fiscal year end from March 31 to April 30 was my greatest success. Because this date is in line with the academic year, transition from one executive to the next will be more natural, and our audit will be much less complicated. In addition, I changed our GST /QST reporting periods from quarterly to annual, which makes much more sense for an organization of our type.
The biggest change I hope to see next year involves our budgeting strategy. My term was marked by a rather large operating surplus–estimated at $50,000 (including Frosh, but not including other expenses incurred last summer prior to the academic year).
In one sense, I do not regret the fact that AUS made a profit this year, but as a non-profit organization, we should not run this large a profit each year. The AUS already has a great set of offerings (the bullet list above is just a sample), but we have room to offer more. My recommendation to the future executives is to assess where the gaps are, which groups of students we do not cater to, and create programs which benefit them.
The Faculty of Arts is marked by great size and diversity. Our students study in many different fields, have a wide range of interests both academic and personal, and come from all walks of life. Let’s embrace it and create something beautiful.
That ends my soapbox, and my VP Finance blog. From now on, you will hear from and communicate with Kateryn concerning AUS financial matters. As for me, I look forward to my term as Finance Coordinator with the Philosophy Students’ Association.
Thank you to everyone who was involved with the AUS this year, whether you were a regular at Bar des Arts or a fellow executive working within a few meters of me. It is you who makes this job worthwhile. It is you who makes this experience meaningful, and I hope that in some way I added meaning to your time at McGill.
Wishing you all the best,
and a great summer,
and the greatest success in your future endeavors,