Student union, administration butt heads over loan

The Concordia Student Union (CSU) was unable to reach an agreement with the University about the conditions of a $500,000 loan that was needed to cover the union’s $300,000 debt.
Following the announcement of the fraud in October 2000, the CSU said it would seek a bank loan of up to $500,000 to cover the extra costs incurred by the Union. The university was to act as a guarantor for the loan.
“The university was asking for conditions that we thought were unnecessary,” said Blais, though he couldn’t give any examples. “We knew that we weren’t getting the loan by early February and I think it’s better this way.”
He argued that a bank loan would have meant high interest rates, resulting added costs in the long run. Blais negotiated payment-deferral agreements with the various creditors, and restructured the loans, so that interest-payments will be avoided.
On the question of funding for the student clubs, Blais explained that there is enough, but the exact numbers cannot be anticipated until later on this year.
“We don’t know yet what the various clubs will get because they submit their budgets by the end of September, and we’ll know how the money will be allocated then,” he added.
Clubs were put in a tight spot last year due to a shortage of money resulting from the fraud. The CSU budget for the clubs last year was $140,000.
Blais said that the CSU did face problems during last year, but he explained that he was able to reorganize the debts and balance the budget. He added he is satisfied with the way things are turning out.
Total CSU revenues in the preliminary 2001-2002 budget amount to $1,040,000.
They come mainly from membership fees, which reached $847,500 this year. Other sources of revenue include the handbook advertising, contributions from the Dean of Students and health plan fees.
The un-audited budget shows the CSU to be about $300,000 in the red, though this figure is likely to increase after the figures, including the fraud, and the deficit from the previous year have been fully assessed.
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