AMS holds annual corporate general meeting

TAPS $199,000 deficit prompts discussion regarding future of the service

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Journal file graphic

On Mar. 15, the AMS held their annual corporate general meeting to update students on the state of the corporate side of the AMS. The meeting included various presentations on budgets and risk and ended with the election of four students to the AMS Board of Directors.

Board of Directors report

On behalf of the various committees under the AMS Board of Directors, Tyler Lively and Aniqah Mair delivered presentations regarding the finances, governance and personnel of the AMS.

According to Lively, one of the key issues the Board discussed throughout the year was how the minimum wage increase would affect the AMS. He explained that by the time the minimum wage rises to $15 per hour next year, wages and salaries within the society will see an $800,000 total increase.

Going forward, Lively said the Board will oversee the implementation of cost control measures to ensure the society remains protected. Part of this involves assessing student services that are underperforming and the specific lines of business within them that are declining.

Lively said services like TAPS and The Journal can’t be expected to see a huge increase in revenue due to fundamental limitations to the services. Instead, going forward the Board will have to reassess the way these services operate — one suggestion being a shift away from solely student-run services with the introduction of professional, permanent managers.

According to Lively, hiring permanent managers for the services is being proposed “as something the Board should be looking at next year.” The Board agreed this could reduce the risks associated with frequent turnover in high-level positions.

This suggestion extends beyond the corporate side of the AMS. Lively mentioned the Board is recommending the AMS hire a permanent Human Resources staff member to tackle increased burdens that have been placed on the HR office. A permanent staff member would also allow for students to receive professional development mentoring.

Lively specifically mentioned that the Board of Directors will be closely examining TAPS to try and “understand what’s driving the dismal financial performance of the service.” Overall, the Board is focused on critically evaluating jobs and salaries in the AMS to make sure operations remain streamlined and the society remains financially stable.

Executive presentation

AMS Vice-President (Operations) Chelsea Hollidge delivered a presentation regarding the projected year-end financial results of the AMS services. Hollidge identified key variances in the projections and explained them to students.

On the government side of the AMS, the Campus Activities Commission is projecting a deficit of approximately $45,000 due to the dissolution of four of its committees in February. 

Graphic by Rebecca Frost

On the services side, TAPS projected a major deficit of $199,000. Hollidge attributed this in part to a larger societal trend of young people buying less alcohol and to a lack of attendance at The Underground. 

StuCons are expecting a $50,000 surplus mainly due to the new StuCon bursary being underused. This money will return to the AMS consolidated budget, but Vice-President (University Affairs) Palmer Lockridge says he expects the bursary will be used more in the upcoming year.

Despite a projected surplus of $25,000, Tricolour Outlet has seen a decline in their used books and bus services. As a result, they’re projected to finish the year with a deficit of $5,400. These lines of business will be closely evaluated by managerial AMS staff going forward.

The Journal is expected to run a $57,000 deficit. According to Hollidge, this is mainly due to larger trends in the journalism industry, as papers struggle to move away from print media. 

Board of Directors elections

The meeting ended with the election of four students to the AMS Board of Directors.

Jordan Nensi, Comm ’20, and Leah Bourque, Sci ’20, were elected to serve two-year terms as student directors, while Evan Goldman, Comm ’19, and Julia Kruja, Comm ’19, were elected to serve one-year terms.

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