ASUS aims for cost-effective approach in new Marketing Strategic Plan

President Darrean Baga highlights multiple ways to save money with newly approved programs

Vice President Brian MacKay (left) and ASUS President Darrean Baga (right) in front of their offices on University Ave.
Credit: 
Supplied by Darrean Baga

"Big", "hairy" and "audacious"; listed in a bold red font, the three descriptors preface the major goals of the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) Marketing Strategic Plan for 2016-17.

On Sept. 30, as the first month of the academic year drew to a close, President Darrean Baga and Vice President Brian MacKay released their strategic plan.

Speaking to The Journal, Baga elaborated on the pair’s plans, beginning with the expansion of financial aid for student participation in ASUS events. “Our first step was to streamline and simplify the bursary application process by incorporating an application into our new website,” he said.

According to him, the form for financial aid application is currently live on their website, and has already been used “countless times” for jacket and peer tutoring bursaries.

Issues of finances have been impeding on ASUS activities for a couple years, Baga, ArtSci ’17 said, noting that in the past any surplus from the previous operating budgets fail to carry forward to the next year as ASUS doesn’t have any surplus allocation strategy — something that Baga is working hard to rectify during his term.

Once the society pays increased attention to their finances, Baga hopes that ASUS will have the opportunity to improve some of their more notable and noteworthy events throughout the year.

Such events include their day camps during the summer months, as well as their various events for Arts and Science students throughout Orientation Week, in the first days of September.

“ASUS Orientation, repeatedly, has been a success” he said. “This year however, we focused more on the management of cash flows, in order to ensure the proper safe-keeping of student dollars.”

As well, they plan to cut costs to the organization with the lowest faculty society fee on campus, by obtaining funding from the Summer Work Experience Program for their summer camp directors. The largest operating costs for ASUS are currently salaries.

With all the funds that ASUS is planning to save, Baga also hopes to spend a little bit in order to give back to his faculty through the proposed redesigning of the ASUS Red Room in Kingston Hall.

“The Red Room was once a place where students could walk in and use at their leisure, on top of being able to book it for meetings,” he told The Journal. “We want to bring it back to what it once was, while making it an even more attractive space for studying and for taking breaks in between classes.”

True to his stance on saving as much money as possible, Baga called it a “lost opportunity” to restrict the use of the Red Room for a select few. “If student dollars are going towards the room, it should be open to all students.”

Other portions of the Strategic Plan are condensed versions of the team’s platform, including the creation of an online undergraduate research hub and advocating for student access to grades prior to exams.

Sibling society engagement will be another focal point, along with the ASUS digital presence to reinvigorate their brand — beginning with the summer redesign of the ASUS website.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.