[Live Blog] AUCSA February Budget GA

By Anna Debeye and Lisa Jesudas

Collage by Levin Stamm

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15:22 – The live blog is now closed. We hope you enjoyed following the Budget GA and wish you a great rest of your week.

15:20 – This completes the AUCSA February Budget GA!

15:19 – Voting over the Total AUCSA Budget will take place now. The total projected equity for February is -2396.70 euros. “So we’re fine,” Ebbers says, followed by an applause.

15:18 – The voting of the Group 4 total budget is underway and the total budget has passed by acclamation.

15:17 – Now, they confirm that they are raising a motion to lower the security costs from 400 euros to 200 euros. If, later on, they discover that they have no security costs, they can remove it from the budget completely at a later date. The motion has passed by acclamation.

15:16 – After further discussion, Dormsessions proposes to remove the security cost budget completely. Other Dormsessions members are audibly confused and request a moment to discuss.

15:13 – Bernard explains that he is basing his comments based on the budget solely and that, he too, likes Dormsessions. Dormsessions raises a motion to lower the security costs from 400 euros to 200 euros. Bernard asks whether this is feasible. Dormsessions says they have not discussed security with the venue yet, so they have not confirmed the budget for security yet.

15:10 – Rein Bernard points out that in light of the event starting later and the “wiggle-room” they are expecting in costs, they should consider lowering the artist fees. Dormsessions reiterates that the duration of the event has nothing to do with how much artists are paid. Moreover, they cite that they have 1500 euros for the venue, but since they have spent part of this, they have not added anything to the budget since the October Budget GA.

15:09 – Bernard asks for elaboration about the general plan for the festival. Dormsessions shares that they will use the same location as last year and similar to last year. They will start later and further details will come later. They have not decided how many acts they will have yet and are waiting for responses.

15:07 – Oliver West asks for AUCommunity to clarify the Holi event regarding external tickets and the bar. AUCommunity states that the external tickets are for non-AUC students to invite other South Asian individuals to the event. Depending on the response from the UvA, the advertisement of external tickets may be increased. Furthermore, Oerknal has agreed to illegally sell tickets at the event location. The external ticket also covers one AUC student.

15:05 – After Dormsessions discussed the motion internally, the motion has passed by acclamation.

15:03 – Eva Ebbers raises a motion to include some kind of income in light of the Dormsessions discussion. She suggests adding an income of 500 euros to cover artist costs. Ebbers further explains the specific income breakdown as it relates to ticket prices in response to a question for Bernard.

15:02 – The motion has passed by acclamation.

14:59 – A student raises a motion for ART to raise the budget for “art supplies” from 80 to 100 euros. Ebbers asks whether they have looked through the AUCSA inventory and more information about ART’s upcoming event. ART explains the event and further clarifies that they want to provide materials of quality. Another ART members adds that some of their events require different materials in the inventory, especially if the events are more creative. Furthermore, the budget going towards materials is a long-term investment.

14:56 – Camie Clarkson asks for some understanding as they do not have a venue and are looking for free, non-profit venues. They add that if they cannot hire artists, “you can pronounce Dormsessions dead”. Oliver West adds that Dormsessions can create a budget for money that may be redistributed. He also asks whether they have considered adding a budget for venue costs. Dormsessions replies that they are looking for the lowest costs possible and mentions that the income is liable to change.

14:54 – Bernard asks whether they are asking for 740-euro subsidy due to the lack of income in the budget. Dormsessions says that this budget is not final and not entirely representative of the actual costs. This has been discussed with Ebbers prior to the GA. They say they will lower the costs eventually.

14:52 – Dormsessions also explains that the May event will not have profit as the ticket sales from that event will go to the artists. They are considering an agreement where the tickets can become Dormsessions profit as they have an artist cost budget, but this is not confirmed. Bernard states that there are many costs on the budget, but there is no income and is wondering whether this is a mistake. Elsa Haffenberg clarifies that different venues have different requirements and this is still being discussed, so there is room for budget redistribution regarding the costs.

14:50 – Rein Bernard asks Dormsessions about the lack of income in an event in May. A Dormsessions spokesperson explains that the common room situation has made Dormsessions “homeless.” They don’t have a clear budget for events as they are in communication with various venues. Also, they are unsure whether it is possible to have the event.

14:48 – Nick Denis raises a motion to add a new section under income of 30 euros for PlayUC selling their older games. The motion has passed by acclamation.

14:47 – The total budget of Group 4 will now be reviewed. This includes Jeugdlab, DIVCOM, PlayUC, ART, Scriptus, Dormsessions, and AUCommunity.

14:46 – The total budget of the AUCSA Other has passed by acclamation.

14:44 – Bernard raises a motion to decrease the savings from 2500 to 2000 euros. The motion has passed by acclamation.

14:43 – Bernard explains that AUC has offered to match the finances of this plan and they offered AUC resources going towards the renovations of the common rooms. Attolico adds that the AUCSA will communicate with the committees to create the plan moving forward.

14:40 – A student asks about the budget allocation regarding the common rooms in the dorms and how this will work with DUWO agreements. Attolico specifies that three of the common rooms will be given to the AUCSA for event spaces and they are awaiting an agreement. They plan to first allocate 250 euros and then another 250 euros to make them accessible to students. Ebbers clarifies that they are considering an investment into the renovation of the common rooms. This would be to reduce costs later for other committees. This is also part of the association’s five-year plan.

14:32 – AUCSA Other is now discussed and has a budget of 33715.45 euros. A students asks what the plan is for the transitional weekend and it is answered that nothing will be rented for this weeked. Bernard asks if the current budget is break even and Attolico explains that the budget is a negative 3600 euros at the moment. Silver, PlayUC member, proposes to increase the game investments from 200 to 250 euros. They wish to use the money for extra game controllers and possibly an extra game. Bernard asks which games they wish to buy and Nick Denis explains the general costs for different types of games. Attolica asks how much money has already been spent on investments and Denis explains they spend 50 euros and have 170 euros left. Ebbers asks why the committee did not notify her on any investments made, as specified in their committee contract. She asks how many people attend their events and Denis answers 15. He also mentions they have 10 games that are consistently played at the moment. Ebbers proposes selling the games that are currently not used. The topic will be further discussed under Group 4.

14:30 – The total budget of AUCanDance has been passed by acclamation.

14:26 – The AUCanDance budget is considered first. Alizée Junco proposed a motion to add 50 euros to the budget in order to improve the set of their final performance. Silver asks what the location of the performance will be. Junco explains that it will be in PleinTheater. The location was the cheapest option and also the right size for the expected audience. The motion has been passed by acclamation.

14:22 – The total budget of Group 3 has passsed by acclamation. Block 4 starts.

14:22 – The total budget of the UCSRN team has been approved.

14:19 – Rein Bernard asks why the wrist bands costs in the UCSRN budget are currently 300 euros. Roberts explains that other committees have received wrist bands for free, so they will look into this possibility. Langedijk explains that they looked at the Dormfest budget in order to establish the costs of the wrist bands. Bernard states that the wristbands for Dormfest actually cost around 750 euros. He proposes the team gets paper wristbands for 80 euros instead of the current 300 euros wristbands. Langedijk double checks these numbers and asks for the amount to be changed to 100 euros instead of 300 euros. Bernard accepts the amendment. The motion has been passed by acclamation.

14:18 – The motion did not pass.

14:16 – The motion to remove tote bags from the UCSRN budget is being voted on.

14:11 – Rein Bernard proposes to take the UCSRN Team out of the group vote, so this can be further discussed. Bernard raises a motion to remove the income and costs of the tote bags from the budget of UCSRN, as they are unsustainable. Langedijk states that she believes AUCSA is not subsidizing. She does believe tote bags will add to the experience of the tournament and states that the income and costs are almost the same. Silver asks if people will actually buy another tote bag. Uma Classens states that the tournament wants to establish a community and tote bags allow people to show their pride regarding their participation in the tournament. Liam Roberts explains that the tote bag income is break even at the moment. Once it becomes clear who is interested in the tote bags, UCSRN can account for this and there will be no rest costs. A student explains that tote bags were not allowed to be used as merchandise by committees in previous years, so it should not be allowed this year either.

14:09 – The motion has not passed.

14:07 – Convertino raises a motion to decrease the “generations dinner” budget from 400 euros to 200 euros in the AUCSA Events budget.

14:04 – Silver asks how they plan to sell the expected number listed on the budget and how the merchandise is produced? A member of the UCSRN team specifies their plan to keep track of participants buying merchandise along with their ticket. Silver suggests keeping a consistent design to sell pre-existing merchandise stock. Bernard notes that the UCSRN also plans to sell drinks and asks whether they have the necessary permits for this. Langedijk says they are working on getting the permit. Liam Roberts says the UCSRN Team is not sure if they are allowed to sell drink yet due to discussions to be had with Oerknal.

14:02 – Rein Bernard asks about the UCSRN Team budget and for clarification on the merchandise budget. Langedijk explains that there are two forms of merchandise this year. Bernard responds that to be more sustainable, there should be tote bags. Langedijk replies that the UCSRN team has reduced merchandising overall and that it’s unlikely people would pay 11 euros for a tote bag.

13:59 – Sophie Langedijk, asks a questions about the AUCafé budget relating to a past event. Ebbers explains that this is a technical question pertaining to leftover drinks from events across AUCSA committees.

13:55 – Another student from the Dormsessions board highlights that their committee also prioritises the family bonding experience, but they only get 20 euros for their board bonding. Gulati responds to this and believes it is a very important point for the Budget GA. He shares that this AUCSA board event has been contested internally among current AUCSA board members as well. He notes that it is the power of the GA to decide any changes according to the perspectives of the student body.

13:53 – Ebbers adds that the parent board and grandparent board were operating during COVID, so boards older than the grandparent board may have relevant knowledge that is more applicable. Silver asks why the AUCSA board does not have a form of digital communication with these older boards since their knowledge is greatly appreciated. Gulati explains that they have a group chat.

13:50 – A student asks whether this the only form of communication with past AUCSA members and whether the event must be in-person. She believes there can be an online event to make this make this more accessible as well. Ringeling cites the contributions of older AUCSA boards and and that knowledge-sharing occurs in different ways. A lot of knowledge that is not written down tends to get lost.

13:45 – The group vote for Group 3 is now happening. This includes Pangea, Winter Formal, Cuisine, AUCSA Events, AUCafé, and UCSRN Team. Davide Convertino asks about the generation dinner under the AUCSA Events budget. “It’s a lot of money for a dinner,” he says. Ebbers explains that this is a dinner for the AUCSA board where past AUCSA boards are invited to meet and exchange knowledge on the AUCSA to better aid the current board in their ability to handle different situations. “It is very valuable for us as a board to gain this knowledge,” she says. Convertino would like to know how many AUCSA members (past and present) attend to consider a possible decrease in costs. Ringeling, who is planning the event, expects approximately 25-30 attendants. Therefore, the current budget will already barely cover the costs for this many participants. He highlights that the AUCSA would like to keep this running tradition as it’s a critical aspect of the AUCSA identity and it incentivises future runners for the AUCSA board.

13:44 – The motion did not pass. Someone asks to change the sponsor income from 5000 euros to 3500 euros. This motion has been passed by acclamation. The total budget of TEDx has passed.

13:42 – The motion to raise the catering budget of TEDx by 600 euros is now being voted on.

13:39 – Oliver West explains that financial support is only one of the ways in which AUCSA supports the committees. Promotion to students is another way in which the AUCSA is constantly supporting TEDx. In the past committees have left due to undervaluing the other aspects of support AUCSA can provide. Heyning appreciates the support, but replies that TEDx has already cut significant costs.

13:36 – Heyning elaborates that the subsidies are necessary to replace the money lost by the price decrease. Ebbers explains that subsidies are a safety net in case the TEDx does not receive sponsors. It does not make sense to increase the costs according to her, especially considering that TEDx may not make the additional money from sponsors. The money will then have to be taken out of unforeseen costs. “We want to give you our support, but we’re going to have to support you either way if you don’t get these sponsors.”

13:32 – Sam Ringeling explains that the AUCSA does appreciate the work of TEDx, but AUCSA will only provide subsidies if really necessary. He, therefore, asks if catering is a need or a want. A member of TedX answers that people do not show up to TedX due to it not offering enough for the price of the ticket. They do not want this to happen again and therefore location and catering are important. “There is no other option,” they explain. This option is the most plausible one according to TEDx if they wish the event to remain professional.

13:30 – Heyning answers that the venue needs to make money from catering, but if all goes wrong there is the option of getting catering at the Albert Heijn next door. Bernard proposes looking into an outside caterer. Heyning thinks it is not allowed to bring in outsider catering into the venue.

13:28 – A member of TEDx wishes to raise the budget for catering with 650 euros as a backup plan. They believe this to be fair, as they do not receive any money currently from the AUCSA. “To make this a professional event, we really need some money.” Oliver West asks how the committee will prevent going into negative numbers if they do not receive sufficient sponsors. He also asks what nicer catering would look like.

13:27 – The motion did not pass.

13:24 – The motion is now being voted on.

13:22 – Bernard asks how TEDx plans to decrease catering budget and not consider raising ticket prices. Heyning replies that TEDx would like to move forward with the current catering plan and that a 9-euro ticket price is reasonable.

13:16 – TEDx raises another motion to change another discrepancy in the budget. The motion has passed by acclamation. Tom Heyning raises a motion to raise the catering budget by 900 euros. This is to be able to afford catering needs and TEDx has already made budget cuts in their PR. Davide Convertino points out that there would be additional funds from sponsors, but Heyning clarifies that this does not work. The issue is that TEDx is not receiving any money from AUCSA for such a large event. Bernard doesn’t understand why the subsidy would go towards catering and there should, instead be a different motion. Heyning presents a current breakdown of TEDx costs, and explains that the catering cost is higher than ticket prices. Ticket prices have also been decreased from 15 euros to 9 euros.

13:12 – TEDx raises a motion to change a discrepancy in the budget of the promo tickets from 15 euros to 21 euros. Sethia responds with the expected income. The motion is passed by acclamation.

13:10 – Bernard asks to further discuss this as he is still unsure of particularities such as the municipality fund. “It is very important to be realistic with this,” he says. Divyaansh Sethia replies that there are certain ensured commitments and cites certain funds. In the case that they fail to raise enough money, TEDx plans to cut costs in other parts of the budgets.

13:06 – Alicja Silver asks for clarification on the technicalities of the total budget calculation listed on the projection. Sam Ringeling explains that there are other costs set by the AUCSA board. Another student asks if TEDx has already contacted speakers. A member of TEDx shares that they have commitments already and are awaiting further developments. Bernard asks for further explanation and it is explained that they have no commitments at the moment, but have had positive responses in the past regarding funding.

13:02 – Julia Celman asks why the theme reveal trailer is 100 euros. Florentina Hasani explains that TedX is only doing internal PR whilst in the past, they have hired professional videographers. Rein Bernard ask for clarification on the “speaker promo ticket”. Hasani says that these are tickets for family and friends to compensate for student ticket prices. She is confused as to why there are only 5 of these tickets listed in the budget. Gulati clarifies on the five tickets for externals: it’s to make external speakers happy that they have a discounted fee.

13:01 – The budget for TedX will be discussed. It has a total of 0.47 euros.

13:00 – Rein Bernard proposes to decrease the income of the Boat borrel to 798 euros to make it break even. The motion has passed by acclamation. The total budget of Junket has passed.

12:58 – The voting has been closed. The motion has passed.

12:55 – A vote has been called for the amended motion.

12:53 – Schauman agrees with Ebbers, but doesn’t think it is fair to compare Junket to Catch’s Paris trip as Junket only has two large events in the year. Ebbers makes a technical explanation that an amendment can be made to a motion. Schauman wants to amend the motion to raising the subsidy to 20 euros instead.

12:51 – Ebbers acknowledges the impact of increased gas prices and that “this is not ideal.” However, the AUCSA board does not believe that increasing the subsidy is the best allocation to reach the greatest number of people.

12:48 – Junket raises a motion to change the subsidy per person for the big city trip to Prague so that the ticket price is lowered to 125 euros. The subsidy would be raised from 15 euros to 30 euros per person. A student points out that in light of the increased gas prices, Junket should not be organising trips so far. “I don’t know if this is a hot-take,” they say. Rein Bernard asks whether Junket has received quotes on how much travel costs are. Schauman replies that they have old quotes and will receive a new quote soon for bus fairs. Junket is also looking for hostels further outside the city centre to lower the cost of accommodation.

12:42 – The next budget to be reviewed is Junket. They have a total budget of -2,666.39 euros. A student asks whether the budget breakdown is realistic. Anton Schauman explains that they are more confident in getting people to attend the Prague trip. Junket’s issue at the moment is about ticket prices. Rein Bernard asks why the boat borrel makes a profit. Schauman replies that it is probably unlikely that the boat borrel will happen and Junket is hesitant to organise such an event.

12:37 – Attolico runs through the procedure again. The Catch budget will now be discussed. The budget has a total -1572.10 euros. There are no questions regarding the budget. Catch does not have any presubmitted motions. Ebbers raises a motion: she wishes to increase the income of 50 euros as a result of events at Oerknal. Gulati asks why Catch receives money in order to host an event at Oerknal. Ebbers explains that the AUCSA has an agreement with Oerknal that gives them benefits. The budget of Catch has been passed by acclamation.

12:30 – Block 3 will commence soon. Students are slowly being checked-in to the GA. The budgets for Junket, Catch, and TEDx will be reviewed in random order.

11:20 – The budget of OnStage has passed by acclamation. The vote for Group 2 will now take place. This includes Audit, SUSCOM, Pubquiz, Zen, AUCSA Merchandise, Springboard, Solace, and Couture. The budget of Group 2 has passed by acclamation. There will now be another break until 12:30.

11:19 – The motion has passed by acclamation. The total budget of HandsOn has passed by acclamation. Next on the agenda is the budget of OnStage, which has a total -1238.92 euros.

11:17 – There is a motion to increase the budget from 100 euros to 150 euros for volunteering trips. Dhruv Gulati asks for clarification on what this money will be used for. Zaghal says that HandsOn is trying to incorporate more volunteer work into the committee and these costs will go towards travel costs.

11:16 – Attolico introduces the budget for HandsOn, which has a total -253 euros.

11:04 – The total budget of Group 1 has passed by acclamation. There will be another short break until 11:15.

11:03 – Next on the agenda is the first group vote. This includes the budget for Newscast, ERCOM, AUInvest, CUT, Yearbook, and Webradio.

11:02 – The AUCMUN agrees to the proposed amendment. The amendment passes by acclamation. The total budget of AUCMUN has passed by acclamation.

10:59 – Ebbers asks why AUC students don’t have a cheaper ticket fee compared to external attendants. Zaghal replies that this is very unfair to international students as they have to fly to Amsterdam and pay for accommodation whilst AUC students already have accommodation and don’t need to travel. Ebbers understands Zaghal’s point and suggest an amendment to keep the 55 euro income fee, but they can then receive 5000 euros for the venue per the previous motion. Zaghal asks to discuss this with her colleagues.

10:56 – Zaghal replies that AUCMUN is attractive due to its affordability in comparison to other MUN events. Moreover, she expresses that AUCMUN offers the minimal MUN experience as they do not offer accommodation or food. Therefore, decreasing the ticket fee from 55 euros to 50 euros will still keep the budget in the plus.

10:55 – Ebbers highlights that it is concerning to have the sole 50-euro fee only as that is a significant point that keeps the MUN budget in an overall surplus.

10:53 – Convertino replies that this number is based on the previous year’s AUCMUN and calculated numbers. Ebbers asks how many signups they have already received and Convertino provides the numbers.

10:52 – Ebbers raises her hand to discuss this motion. She asks where the specific number of 237 expected participants come from.

10:51 – We move on to AUCMUN’s next presubmitted motion to combine the ticket fee to 50 euros by removing early-bird ticket sales.

10:50 – The motion has not passed.

10:47 – Attolico cites technical issues for a re-vote of the motion.

10:45 – Dhruv Gulati raises his hand to vote on this motion.

10:44 – Zaghal points out that the emphasis of a rooftop location this year is in consideration of the spiking of students in the previous year’s event. Moreover, she feels that the expected attendance will be achievable without opening the event to externals.

10:42 – Berber de Lange adds a note that AUCMUN have looked for rooftop locations for 300 people, which also would cost around 5000 euros.

10:41 – Convertino replies that he acknowledges these events from last year and believes a rooftop location will provide more access in case of emergencies. Furthermore, he notes that the event will be opened up to UvA students as well.

10:39 – Ebbers raises another issue that last year’s Gala event was on a boat, which is more attractive than this year’s rooftop location. Moreover, events took place in the previous year that have “tainted the reputation” of the AUCMUN Gala event. She also suggests that the capacity be lowered to 300 due to doubts that this attendance can be met as well as due to safety concerns.

10:38 – Natal Zaghal replies that AUCMUN is confident that if they “hype the event up,” the attendance of 600 people will be feasible.

10:37 – Ebbers responds again and expresses that the AUCSA is skeptical of the expected 600 attendees to the AUCMUN events. They also don’t expect there to be enough income for 600 people.

10:36 – Davide Convertino responds by saying that they want a “fancier” location for the gala. Furthermore, he specifies that MUN attendees increase each year and, therefore, venue costs such as these will increase year after year.

10:35 – Ebbers asks the attending members of AUCMUN for a justification of the budget increase

10:34 – Pre-submitted motions are raised to increase the venue budget from 4000 euros to 5000 euros.

10:33 – The next budget is AUCMUN. There is a total surplus of 1389.48 euros.

10:32 – The Dormfest budget has no motions and moves into the voting procedure. The budget of Dormfest has passed by acclamation.

10:30 – The first block has just begun. A few more students trickled in during the break. The first budget under review is Dormfest, which will be followed by the AUCMUN budget.

10:19 – There will be a short break until 10:30. Attolico gestures to a table of snacks.

10:17 – Attolico emphasises proper etiquette and mutual respect amongst all attendees throughout the GA.

10:14 – Eva Ebbers, AUCSA treasurer, presents the current projections of the Budget GA’s. The AUCSA also highlights an investment into an event space at the dorms.

10:12 – Bartolomeo Attolico, President of the AUCSA presents the agenda for today and explains the procedure of the group vote.

10:10 – Welcome to the AUCSA February Budget GA! The AUCSA board is accompanied by a meager four student attendees.

The AUCSA February Budget GA is underway! Today at 10:00, the student community will have the opportunity to review, amend, and approve the allocation of the AUCSA budget for the next semester.

This year, the AUCSA has introduced a new procedure to streamline the Budget GA into a much shorter four-hour affair. A key change is that most budgets without a presubmitted motion will be grouped at the end of the block.

Couldn’t make it to the Budget GA? No worries, The Herring’s Live Blog will keep you updated of its happenings, starting from 10:00.

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