The College Tribune has obtained the UCD Students’ Union Financial accounts for the Year 2018/19. The organisation’s 2019/20 budget is also included in the document released by the Union. We’ve put together the most notable figures from these documents and compared them with the 2018/19 budget.
Last year’s budget projected an “Income from Shops” of €95,000. This was surpassed with an actual income of €295,000. This 210% difference in figures comes as money was taken from the SU Shop reserves which financed the €120,000 office refurbishment for the Students’ Union.
The offices of various Sabbatical Officers have reported notable changes in this year’s budget. It is understood that the spending practices of these offices depends on the costing of each officer’s manifesto plans. The biggest difference compared to last year’s spending, is Conor Anderson’s Graduate Office Budget which has seen an increase of 290%. Coming from Former Graduate Officer Niall Torris spending €2,278 last year, Anderson is projected to spend €8,925.
University Observer costs for the year are expected to be €26,465, which equates to an average of €3,308 per issue. Note that this does not include any staff costs, such as their salary and expenses. In contrast, the College Tribune projects a yearly expenditure of €8,014, (roughly €801 per issue) representing 30.28% of the Observer’s expenses. However, it is important to note that the Observer also publish a magazine with their newspapers, which the Tribune does not, and print on a larger broadsheet newspaper.
The “College Officer Activity” sees a 360% increase on last year’s spending. It is understood that last year’s College Officers were given a similar budget but avoided high spending.
This year’s budget factors in a €25,000 “Strategy Review.” The Union’s current strategy was drawn out during the 2016/17 academic year. The current strategy, costed at approximately €15,000, was commissioned by Former Union President Conor Viscardi. The current strategy, due to conclude in May 2020, is planned to be replaced with a new four-year plan. The €25,000 is projected to be spent on funding the company “Thinkhouse” to provide research services to the Union. The remainder of the funds are due to be spent on the formulation of this strategy.
There is a projected increase in “Other Income” to €113,000. This category includes any income received from brand deals with the Union. This year’s budget shows a strong increase in this type of revenue, with the 2018/19 budget estimating just €20,000 in Other Income.
Last year’s accounts saw over €18,000 spent on “Ads & Promotions.” This year’s budget estimates just €5,000, over 70% less than their 2018/19 spending. Last year’s SU rebranding accounted for approximately €5,000 of this spending. The Union has also focussed more on digital advertising, which is much less costly than printing.
Conor Capplis (Editor) and Alex Lohier (Deputy Editor)