[Live Blog] 31st AUCSA Budget General Assembly: As it Happens

By Miles Henderson, Saga Norrby, and Sophie Sutherland

Dear readers,

Welcome to our live coverage of the 31st AUCSA Budget General Assembly (GA) on Wednesday 17 October, held in the Academic Building’s ground floor main hall. During the GA, the 2018-2019 budget for all committees will be discussed. Below you will find a continuously updated, time-stamped summary of events.

As always, if you have comments or suggestions, feel free to comment on this post, contact us via our ‘news tips’ section, our Facebook page, or through Twitter. Now on to the GA!

12:30 – There is a line at the AUCSA GA registration desk. People are starting to filter in.

12:51 – The room is filling up. The GA will start shortly.

13:10 – Marik Westerhof welcomes the General Assembly and the GA unanimously adopts the agenda for today.

13:12 – Marik invites the Audit Commission to the stage. Laura Gerritse, Ludovica Schaerf, Leander Schagen and Twan Stegeman approach the stage. Laura thanks the work of the previous Audit Commission members of 2017-2018 and speaks of the importance of transparency and communication between all committees.

13:17 – Marik introduces the Advisory Council of 2018-2019.

13:19 – Noah Smits, from the Advisory Board of 2017-2018 comments on the progress of the three new committees from last year: RAW, SlayUC and AucMUN. Noah highlights events of last year.

13:23 – Charlotte Kroese, Treasurer of 2017-2018, comments on the resourcefulness of AUCSA committees even when faced with insufficient funds. Charlotte summarises the profit and loss of AUCSA 2017-2018.

13:28 – Marik introduces the AUCSA pillars and their importance.

13:29 – Marik comments on general GA information and the importance of being respectful and polite. Marik then introduces the voting procedures of the GA.

13:31 – Willemijn de Hoop, AUCSA Treasurer of 2018-2019, summarises AUCSA’s financial situation, the importance of the AUCSA board budget and possible unforeseen costs.

13:36 – Marik shows the brief version of the AUSCA budget. The predicted AUCSA events budget results in an approximate income of 21,000€, expenditure of 19,000€ and an approximate 2,000€ profit. It has been unanimously approved. The AUSCA other budget is expected to profit €25,000. It has been unanimously approved. The AUCSA Merchandise budget leads to a net loss of money. A student asks what AUC Merchandise aside from sweaters is made, which is answered by Willemijn. The AUC Merchandise has been unanimously approved.

13:41 – The committee budget voting starts. The committees are chosen at random.

13:42 – Solace is the first committee chosen. A student in the audience asks whether the amount of parties planned by them is too frequent which results in less people attending. A Solace board member replies. Solace requests the motion for 150€ to provide drinks to DJ’s. A student comments that other Solace cuts could be made in order for this, especially since Solace already has a net loss of money. There is further discussion and questions but Solace continues to raise their motion.

13:50 – There is a vote in the motion raised by Solace. The motion is not passed. The entire Solace budget is unanimously approved.

13:58 – Cuisine requests for 10€ extra for groceries due to a slight miscalculation. The motion has been unanimously passed. The entire Cuisine budget is unanimously accepted by the GA.

14:02 – A student questions why PubQuiz does not have an income. Nevertheless, PubQuiz’s entire budget is unanimously approved.

14:07 – Yearbook raises a motion asking for €20 extra to cover the purchase of disposable cameras. The motion is passed unanimously.

14:08 – Yearbook’s adjusted budget is passed.

14:09 – Next up Junket. Their budget is passed unanimously.

14:10 – SlayUC’s turn. They raise a motion, to change price for participation in salsa workshops from €7.50 for 5 classes to €5 for 4 classes.

14:14 – Student asks why SlayUC wants to lower price, since it’s already very cheap per class.

14:15 – SlayUC says they think more people will attend the salsa workshops if they lower the price, and they value people showing up regularly.

14:18 – The GA votes on SlayUC’s motion.

14:22 – SlayUC’s motion is passed.

14:23 – SlayUC’s adjusted budget is passed, after rent for CREA has been withdrawn from their expenditure in accordance with the passed motion, landing their expenditure on
–€8.

14:25 – InPrint’s budget is passed unanimously.

14:25 – On to Jeugdlab. Student asks why Jeugdlab’s unforeseen costs are so low, 5%. Jeugdlab replies they are reasonably sure they will not spend more than projected.

14:27 – Willemijn de Hoop adds Jeugdland, where Jeugdlab hosts its activities, covers the costs in case something breaks – which has barely ever happened.

14:27 – Jeugdlab’s budget is passed unanimously.

14:29 – Marik announces break.

14:38 – Break is over, Marik urges people to get back to their seats.

14:39 – Willemijn announces the next committee: Pangea.

14:40 – Pangea’s budget is passed unanimously.

14:40 – Time for Dormsessions.

14:41 – Dormsessions raises a motion, requesting €15 extra for each of their 4 events, for costs of cameras and videocameras.

14:42 – Student asks if they really need it, they already have a total of -€2.800 in their budget.

14:42 – Dormsessions replies it would contribute significantly to their brand.

14:43 – Student asks what their merchandise is.

14:44 – Dormsessions mentions a totebag.

14:44 – Student asks about the basis of the costs for the Dormsessions festival. Marik says that question will be dealt with after the motion.

14:45 – Dormsessions’ motion is voted on.

14:50 – Dormsessions’ motion is passed.

14:50 – Dormsessions’ adjusted budget is passed.

14:51 – Next up: Zen.

14:52 – Charlotte Kroese asks why Zen need €100 to pay a yoga teacher for merely 1 workshop.

14:52 – Zen replies that they want to invite a professional teacher for a 2h workshop – which is long, the teacher will bring equipment with her, and thus they think €100 is reasonable.

14:53 – Charlotte asks if it’s not a good idea to raise money by selling tickets to the event.

14:54 – Berend Hilberts, CAO of Zen, says that since Zen doesn’t charge for their normal events, and this is similar but more exclusive than their normal events, they wanted to keep it as accessible as possible.

14:55 – Student suggests Zen use whiteboard and markers of the AB, not buy their own, and to choose between candles and tea lights, and get cheaper blankets.

14:57 – Zen replies they have very frequent events, mostly in the dorms, which means they need many candles and their own blankets and whiteboard + markers. Cost for these items per event will be low.

14:58 – Another student says she thinks participants can bring their own blanket.

14:58 – Berend replies AUCSA wants to opt for accessibility of events, not making participants bring their own equipment. He stresses Zen’s equipment is AUCSA’s equipment, other committees can use it.

15:01 – Charlotte raises motion for Zen to ask people to pay €2 for the event with the invited professional teacher, for around 20 people – €40 extra income for Zen.

15:02 – Zen says they have already invited people to the event in question, saying it is free – it would not be nice to suddenly ask participants to pay.

15:02 – Marik says the event is not entitled to exist before the passing of this GA.

15:05 – Charlotte’s motion is voted on.

15:08 – The motion is passed.

15:08 – Student asks why €50 is needed for chai tea and tea dispenser.

15:09 – Berend replies those costs fall under Snacks, and every committee is allowed to spend maximum €10 per event on snacks. Zen hosts so many events that the cost for the tea and tea dispenser would be around €2-€3 per event.

15:10 – Student says -€569.75 is outrageous as a total balance for such a small committee, can they cut something?

15:11 – Zen replies they may have been small in the past, but they have been working very hard lately and are growing.

15:12 – Gerold Sewcharan says all committees are created equal, saying a committee is small is not a good argument. An expensive tea dispenser can be seen as a reasonable long term investment.

15:13 – Zen’s adjusted budget is passed.

15:14 – PlayUC’s turn.

15:15 – Charlotte Kroese asks PlayUC how they justify buying 8 new games this year, considering they bought around 7 new games last year.

15:16 – Replies that it is an investment not only for this year, but for coming years. PlayUC has decided to focus more on games that take shorter time to play, making their offering more accessible.

15:17 – Berend, CAO of PlayUC, adds some games were taken by members who graduated before summer, and some have also been worn out. He says just like Dormsessions need new artists for every event, PlayUC need to offer new games.

15:18 – PlayUC’s budget is passed unanimously.

15:19 – AUCafe’s budget is next up.

15:20 – AUCafe raises motion to reduce their income with €120 by increasing the contribution fee of AUCSA to their bar crew weekend with the same amount.

15:23 – Gerold Sewcharan asks why AUCafe wants to do this.

15:24 – AUCafe replies it will help them train their crew better, and build a better bond, increasing the efficiency of the bar crew which is of the benefit of everyone who goes to their events.

15:25 – Gerold asks how much training is really needed to pour drinks.

15:25 – Berend, AUCafe’s CAO, replies it’s not only about pouring drinks, but also about learning how to deal with the crowd.

15:26 – Gerold asks who will provide the training.

15:26 – AUCafe replies the AUCafe board will.

15:27 – AUCafe adds that they don’t want to ask their crew to largely pay for the weekend themselves, since that is demotivating. All crew members need to attend the weekend, AUCafe has noticed that members that have missed the weekend have performed worse in previous years.

15:30 – Student asks if AUCafe cannot make inclusion in the crew dependent on whether they can attend/afford joining the crew weekend.

15:30 – AUCafe says they have already finished the process of admitting people on the team.

15:31 – AUCafe’s motion is voted on.

15:36 – AUCafe’s motion passes, the crowd erupts in cheers.

15:37 – AUCSA board raises the budget of new committee ‘Curiosity’. There is silence and confusion. A student asks “What does Curiosity actually do?”.

15:40 – Max Burger questions Scriptus’ lack of income, asking whether they have considered introducing a payment scheme for the magazine. Scriptus responds that they prefer not to, adding that they believe in “free journalism”.

15:42 – Time for Catch, our sports committee

15:43 – The numbers appear on the projector. Net total: -2,959.00 Euros.

15:44 – Catch budget is unanimously passed.

15:45 – Art committee is next.

15:47 – Art board introduces their idea for a new project – exhibiting student artwork around the Academic Building. Art raises a motion requesting an increase of 72.50 euros to their budget for this project.

15:49 – A student questions Art’s proposal to buy frames for the project at 6 euros per frame. Adding that there are cheaper frames available. Art responds that frames are not that cheap.

15:50 – Art’s motion passes unanimously. Their new net total is now -599 euros.

15:53 – The next committee budget brought up is AUCMUN.

15:53 – Marik introduces the net total, AUCMUN has net balance of 2,803.00 euros. Marik passes questions or comments to the floor of the assembly.

15:54 – AUCMUN raises the motion of reducing membership fees – for example by introducing an ‘early bird’ fee for AUC students.

15:55 – A student questions the motion, stating that a surplus profit is positive for the whole AUCSA budget.

15:56 – AUCMUN responds by stating that since a large portion of their income is the result of external sponsorships, that lowering the fees will have a positive impact attendance without compromising the budget.

15:59 – A student questions whether raising expenditure instead of lowering membership fees may be a better alternative to improve the quality of the conference.

16:02 – A student comments that last year, AUCMUN declared there was a waiting list for their conference. Adding that this indicates that there is already a large demand for the conference at the current membership fee.

16:04 – Marik interrupts the back and forth – pushing the assembly ahead and suggesting the motion should be summarised quickly so the motion can be put to the floor. A vote commences.

16:08 – The AUCMUN motion does not pass.

16:11 – AUCMUN raises a second motion, which calls for increasing the budget by 50 euros to facilitate ‘transition costs’. The motion passes unanimously.

16:12 – AUCMUN raises another motion, which calls for increasing the budget by 600 euros to rent a photo-booth for their Gala.

16:13 – A student comments that the cost is quite high for a photo-booth and another students asks whether it would be possible to have an AUC student take photos at the event and watermark them instead of renting the photo-booth.

16:14 – AUCMUN defends their motion by stating that a photo-booth is “iconic”. A student responds “Yes, but it’s also 600 euros.”.

16:15 – A student questions whether using 600 euros of AUCSA funds to facilitate a Gala that is mostly for non-AUC attendees is justified.

16:16 – A back and forth takes place between AUCMUN and several students on the subject of alternative photo-booths that are cheaper. At first, AUCMUN defends their position, then changes their mind by amending their original motion. The motion now calls for a 500 euro increase to their budget.

16:18 – The motion is put to a vote. There is chatter on the floor. The AUCMUN board appears disappointed with the amendment.

16:21 – The motion does not pass. Marik asks whether more discussion should take place on the AUCMUN budget.

16:22 – AUCMUN, after their motion was denied, asks why the motion did not pass if there were suggestions from the floor for an increase in expenditure.

16:23 – A student poses a question to those in the assembly who voted ‘no’ on the increase in expenditure. Asking whether it is ethical to conserve profits from non-AUC attendees as a not-for-profit committee.

16:26 – A back and forth takes place between students on the floor and AUCMUN.

16:27 – Marik interrupts the exchange, asking AUCMUN if they would like to introduce another motion. No motion is raised.

16:28 – Comments on the issue continue. A sigh can be heard.

16:29 – A student calls for AUCMUN to lower their income and AUCMUN translates the suggestion into a new motion, similar to their first, in which they propose a decrease of membership fees by 5 euros. A vote commences.

16:34 – The motion passes. Marik asks whether there are more questions or comments on the issue, a student mutters  “Please no…”.

16:37 – Marik raises the question of whether the floor would like to proceed with a vote on the whole AUCSA budget. The budget passes without a vote.

16:38 – Marik announces a break.

16:52 – The assembly recommences with the Debating committee.

16:53 – Marik announces that the committee has not announced an income, with a net budget of -111 euros. The budget passes without a vote.

16:54 – Webradio is next, with a net total budget of -463.50 euros. Marik asks for comments or questions. Silence. The budget passes without a vote.

16:55 – RAW’s budget is up next. Net total: -300 euros. The budget passes without a vote.

16:56 – Hands on is next. Marik puts questions and comments up to the floor.

16:56 – A student asks where the donations for Hands on come from. Marik answers the question by stating that donations mainly come from fundraising, the expenditures subtracted, and are given to an external organisation. The budget then passes without a vote.

16:58 – SEC is up. Net budget total: -380 euros.

16:59 – SEC proposes reallocating 250 euros of sponsorships from Acquisitions to SEC. The motion passes.

17:01 – The SEC budget is approved.

17:02 – The budget for CUT is up next. Net budget: -630 euros. No income.

17:03 – A student poses a question on whether CUT can generate income by charging for tickets. CUT defends their position by stating that the absence of ticket fees is justified because it increases attendance.

17:06 – CUT introduces a motion to increase their budget for volunteer catering.

17:07 – A student vouches for the motion, stating that food for volunteers on a film project is a necessity.

17:08 – Marik pushes the assembly ahead by putting the motion to a vote. To restate, the motion proposes a 100 euro increase to the CUT budget, resulting in an expenditure of 730 euros.

17:11 – The CUT motion passes.

17:12 – A student poses a question to CUT, asking how many students attend each of their screenings? CUT responds that around 20-30 students attend each screening.

17:14 – The student continues by raising a motion to mandate CUT to charge attendees of their screenings 2 euros.

17:15 – CUT defends their position by stating that the purpose of committees is to contribute to the community, also they claim that the legality of charging attendees for screenings is an issue. A group on the floor of the assembly begin snapping their fingers. The student reiterates that there is a strong necessity to reduce their net loss and adds it is legal to charge for private screenings.

17:18 – A motion is raised by the student to charge attendees of CUT screenings. The motion is put to a vote. The student is the only person on the floor to vote for the motion – laughter erupts in the assembly.

17:21 – The motion does not pass, with an overwhelming majority voting against the motion to charge attendees.

17:21 – Marik throws comments and additional motions to the floor. A student proposes a motion to remove the allocated expenditure for snacks during screenings to compensate for the increase in budget for catering.

17:22 – Another student states their confusion at why the motion is being proposed, suggesting that the screenings are a beneficial experience. Concluding the comment with “But..why?!”. This elicits muffled laughter on the floor.

17:24 – The motion to remove the allocated expenditure is rescinded, with additional comments from the AUCSA board vouching for CUT’s budget.

17:25 – The CUT budget passes, without additional amendments.

17:26 – AIMUN budget is now being discussed in the assembly. AIMUN interjects by stating that they have already halved their budget since last year. The budget then passes without a vote.

17:27 – Now, for the much anticipated TEDxAUC budget. With an income of 18,761 euros and an expenditure of 21,481 euros – Net total: -2,620 euros.

17:28 – TEDxAUC begins by introducing the issue of hosting TEDx salon events. Marik interjects by stating that at least three of these events must take place per year due to licensing constraints from the TED organisation. TEDxAUC continues by explaining the TEDx license conditions: these events must be of a high quality to maintain their license. They propose a motion to allocate an additional 250 euros to host their third salon event of the year. Reiterating that their TEDx license will not be renewed if they do not host a third salon event.

17:33 – A student comments by stating that TEDxAUC’s budget last year contained a deficit of 1000 euros, elaborating that now that there is a higher deficit proposed there should be more transparency in the budget.

17:36 – The TEDxAUC motion passes unanimously.

17:36 – The TEDxAUC budget also passes, without a vote.

17:37 – People are beginning to filter out of the assembly.

17:38 – OnStage is the next committee to be introduced to the assembly. Net total: -836 euros.

17:39 – OnStage explains the condition of their budget and concerns about sponsorship. They propose to increase their budget allocation, the new budget would be -866 euros. The explanation continues until Marik interrupts and proposes they summarise their proposal. They summarise, Marik concludes with “That was a very long sentence.”. The motion passes and the budget passes shortly after.

17:44 – The AUCSA Acquisitions budget is raised quickly, and passes just as quickly.

17:45 – Dormfest is up next. A small “Woo!” is heard from on of the ends of the floor.

17:45 – On the projector, the huge net loss of -7,500 euros is displayed.

17:47 – The proposed budget is approved, without a vote. More people filter out.

17:47 – Diversity Commision is next, their budget passes quickly without issue.

17:48 – Foodyard is the final budget for the assembly. The budget contains no proposed incomes or expenditures. The budget passes unanimously and a large cheer erupts on the floor as the assembly nears its end.

17:50 – The Final AUCSA budget: a surplus of 8,453 euros.

17:51 – Marik: “As a formality we’re going to vote on this final total budget, I don’t really know what happens if this budget doesn’t pass”. The budget passes unanimously and a final cheer is broadcasted across the few people that remain on the floor.

17: 52 – The 31st AUCSA GA comes to an official close!

 

 

 

 

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Author: The Herring

The Independent Student Newspaper of Amsterdam University College (AUC), Updated Frequently. The Herring strives to be an objective and independent student newspaper that encourages engagement with the AUC community and the rest of Amsterdam, stimulates dialogue by offering an inclusive platform for students to express their opinions, and informs readers through extensive coverage of everything going on at and around AUC.

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