My Experience: I’m a member of the Canadian Armed Forces and have managed budgets of up to $100,000. I’ve previously been the Treasurer for two student societies at Dalhousie: the Italian Society and Wellness at Weldon. Finally, I’m just wrapping up a year as your Vice President – Finance.
All of this has taught me skills I can put to use for the benefit of our students. I understand the importance of fiscal accountability and transparency. I know how to collaborate with others to draft and approve budgets. I’m familiar with how our society runs, and the relationship it has with other organizations, such as the Dalhousie Student Union.
My Accomplishments: I’ve been proud of my accomplishments during my term as Vice President – Finance. My goal was to increase the transparency, accessibility, and efficacy of our finances.
Transparency – You should know where your money is going. The Society’s budget, general ledger, and bank reconciliations are now available on the LSS website. These are updates bi-monthly to ensure you can stay informed on how money is being used. Every Society transaction is now accompanied by a record and receipts. These are organized and available to back up the data in the Society’s budget.
Accessibility – Students should easily be able to access funding. I’ve redesigned the templates for LSS funding requests. These should more clearly highlight what is required for each type of grant, making it easier for the request to get approved. I also redesigned how the budget and general ledger look. This makes it easier to see where money has been allocated and spent.
Efficacy – We should be getting the best value for our money. I’ve worked hard with our Budget Committee to ensure we are moving resources to where they are most needed. I’ve also reinvested the security we have against the Society’s credit card. While before it was earning about $2 a year in interest, I moved it into a GIC. This will result in a $500 payout in fall 2021.
My Goals: If re-elected, my goal is to accomplish the following:
- Revise the Society’s financial policies and regulations. In addition to needing some cleaning up, they lack detail in some critical areas. I want to ensure that the LSS remains a transparent and accountable organization.
- Restructure our finances. Funding is one of the most frustrating things for students, societies, and even myself. We get our disbursement from the DSU each semester, but only after we pass an audit. This means we often wait until April to actually get our money for the year. As a result, I can’t fund our grants. I plan to explore options so that the disbursement money is funding our next fiscal year, not the one just past.
- Research a fee increase. Just hear me out on this one! The grant for the Burchell Award runs out in 2021. With a $2-$4 increase in fees per year, we could ensure the continuation of this award for the graduating class.