AMS services see red

Down $35K, but VP Ops says profits aren’t everything

AMS services are showing a financial loss for the first time in three years, according to a list of unaudited results from 2000-2001 obtained by The Journal.

The list, which will be used to evaluate the financial status and performance of the 12 AMS services, indicates a service deficit of $35,905.

The loss is a significant reversal from 1999-2000, when AMS services turned a profit of almost $70,000. The loss did not come as a surprise to Jory Platt, vice-president (operations). Platt said he found the results encouraging, and attributed the net figure to depreciation incurred from the launch of Common Ground.

“If you take out Common Ground... yes, the services would have made money,” said Platt, who called the coffeehouse “popular beyond our wildest beliefs.” “[It’s] my feeling that the Common Ground initiative was worthwhile and I feel quite comfortable with a $35,000 loss on the... services.”

The lists indicate several services continued to experience financial difficulties last year. Alfie’s Pub incurred a debt of nearly $26,000, more than double the loss former manager Kevin Hurley anticipated this time last year.

The problems Alfie’s experienced last year were “more than any manager could have foreseen,” Platt said.

“I don’t want to point fingers, but I think that last year Alfie’s reached a point where students didn’t enjoy the atmosphere any longer,” he said.

“Alfie’s wider-than-expected loss last year is part of the reason we identified there was a problem, and we went to the students and we asked them, what do you want in a campus bar? What do you look for in bars in general?” “Students said we need to improve the atmosphere. That’s what we’re doing,” Platt said.

Not all the losses were a result of a lack of popularity. Although a recent university-conducted survey heralded Walkhome as the most popular service on campus, the nighttime escort service showed a loss of about $4,000 in 2000-2001. This is a significant drop from the $583 profit of 1999-2000.

Walkhome receives funding from two areas: $146,000 dollars from student fees, and $40,000 from the Dean of Student Affairs. Walkhome’s loss can be attributed to the student affairs contribution, which hasn’t increased since 1994, Platt said.

The AMS will continue to lobby for an increase in funding from the University, Platt said.

Also showing a significant loss is the Queen’s Entertainment Agency. Platt attributed the more than $11,000 decrease to the loss of a mandatory student fee two years ago, as well as it’s commitment to bringing in expensive acts who wouldn’t normally come to Queen’s, such as Our Lady Peace and the concerts during Frosh Week.

The Queen’s Pub and the Publishing and Copy Centre continued to make money last year, with the P&CC’s net revenue increasing nearly $7,000, which could mean a further reduction in prices for students.

Overall, Platt said he is satisfied with the services’ performance last year.

“Some of the measures this year to help services perform better hopefully will have success without taking money out of students’ pockets.” The AMS plans to implement better inventory management in some services, he said.

“We’re putting UBS on-line so there will be better accessibility for students.”

Though concerned about the losses, Platt warned against focusing solely on profits.

“Finances are important, and it's my job to be responsible for them, but I want students to remember that, to me, the quality of services we provide are what is most important,” he said.

Breakdown of AMS finances

Services2000/20011999/2000
Alfie’s Pub
Common Ground
Hoods and gowns
Queen’s Journal
Publishing & Copy Centre
Queen’s Entertainment Agency
Queen’s Pub
Queen’s Student Constables
Studio Q
Tricolour Yearbook
Used Book Store Exchange
Walkhome
Who’s Where & What’s Next

Total
-$ 25,616
-$ 41,486
$ 14,726
$ 10,122
$ 40,041
-$ 20,771
$ 14,573
-$ 7,108
-$ 10,062
$ 13,391
$ 5,475
-$ 4,320
-$ 24,870

-$ 35,905
-$ 12,285
N/A
$ 18,482
$ 22,332
$ 33,096
-$ 8,582
$ 24,565
-$ 5,706
-$ 11,871
$ 8,125
$ 12,057
$ 583
-$ 10,936

$ 69,869

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