Congress Weekly

BUDGET REPORT: Congress Weekly – July 13th, 2020

Written by Si Wen Shen
Edited by Bhromor Rahman

Congress members are working hard to organize our next semester at school. Some subjects of discussion this meeting were the budget for Fall 2020, the Welcome Back Event, some MSU merchandise and social justice campaigns.

Budget Fall 2020
Referring to the last two semesters, Emanuel has released the budget for Fall 2020. After collecting the student fees of Winter 2020, Congress will have a whopping $49,710. Leaving a $3000 cushion for unforeseen events, there is a $46,710 working budget.

However, there were previously $20 in student tuition fees allocated to Congress, and as per the results of last year’s referendum, this amount has increased to $25, further increasing the working budget, making more activities available.

Here’s the breakdown of the budget:

DISCLAIMER: Those are the numbers we received from Congress, so if the numbers do not add up (taking rounding up into account), feel free to ask VP Finance Emanuel Curto.

Budget details:
-Club Grants:  Identical to Fall 2019, clubs will be allocated a total of $22,630. As COVID-19 restrictions will likely hinder many club activities, the grant budget will remain the same despite having a larger budget. Also, Congress would like to encourage clubs to finance their activities using their own fundraising money, especially since many have built up a significant amount due to the pandemic related cancellations. 

-End of Semester Party: The End of Semester Party will be allocated $12,720. 

Online activities: With most activities likely being online, Congress will be organizing many online contests, allocating a budget of $450.  

-New Initiatives: Congress has decided to allocate $300 for free emergency medical expenses, in case of accidents on campus. Congress would also like to use $500 to fund some student projects with social impacts using $50 microgrants. Said projects should not already be funded by any clubs. 

-Surplus: Taking into account some miscellaneous expenses, Emanuel expects a budget surplus of around $7,300, and with the new addition in students fees, that number will be bigger. Congress is considering what kinds of other activities can be organized for the benefit of the student body, and are also reconsidering the amount of money allocated to Congress from school fees.

Welcome Back Event
The Event is expected to be held sometime in the week of August 24th. In order for the shipping to arrive in time, the merchandise and gifts for the Welcome Back Event will be ordered this week. There will be three gifts for the students. There will be a scavenger hunt, mainly meant to familiarize first year students to the campus, but second years can also have fun with some friends. Sign up will be in groups, with a limit of groups for every time period to avoid crowding. Of course, the scavenger hunt is optional. If students don’t want to participate, they can sit down and have a picnic with friends. As per previous years, there will be food handed out at the event. In light of the dangers of COVID-19, Congress will be using pre-packaged food and will collaborate with the school cafeteria and food vendors, who are well acquainted with the restrictions and countermeasures. Some other activities were also proposed and will be discussed later on.

MSU merchandise
Congress plans to make some new MSU hoodies, maybe have the students’ programs printed on them. There will likely be an online contest for the design of the hoodies. They wish for every student to have one, to foster a sense of belonging to Marianopolis, so while Congress can’t give them out for free, they will be selling them at the exact same price as the provider (no profit), and if the price needs to be rounded, it will be rounded down. 

Congress members will also have their own hoodies with a distinct color to be easily recognizable if any students ever need their help. Of course, they will be buying the hoodies with their own money. 

Social Justice Committee
Tristan only really needs about three members for the committee during the summer, so he’ll be doing interviews with each of the applicants. However, since activities will be more frequent during the school year proper, he will need more members during fall, so applicants will always be welcome to apply again then. In order to get on with the Anti-Racism Campaign, Tristan needs the SJC to be decided as soon as possible, so the interviews and results should be done within this week. 

Joint #BlackLivesMatter statement
Congress has a joint statement ready with the school administration about the Black Lives Matter movement, and they would like to post it soon. As a joint statement must be posted with the consent of all sides, Congress is waiting for the administration to “give the green light”, but the administration has not responded yet, therefore the post is still pending.

This week’s meeting addressed a lot of important issues, but students, new and old, still have looming questions concerning tuition, Join-a-club day and having to be present on campus. Read next week’s issue to stay up to date!

Si Wen Shen

Si Wen ''Shiya'' Shen is MWR's Editor emeritus of MariNews and one of the most important student journalists of our generation. She covered critical and controversial events that unfolded in the Student Union under her mandate. She was also the President of the Literature club which involved everything anime and pioneered the successful Archive-of-a-Shut-in column. She is currently a 1L Law student at Université de Montréal Faculté de Droit.

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