3Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013
SCC running massive $63,154 deﬁcit
The 2012-13 audit reveals a massive deﬁcit and drop in cash ﬂow now affecting spending
By Ramisha Farooq
As the 2012-13 ﬁscal year comes to an end, the student campus centre (SCC) submitted an audit for ap-proval by its Board of Directors, revealing a $63,154 deﬁcit and $556,796 drop in cash ﬂow.In a conﬁdential ﬁnance report obtained by
, Stu-dent Campus Centre (SCC) general manager Mike Verticchio states that several factors, including a high amount of spending on capi-tal improvements and higher-than-expected food and labour costs, led to the deﬁcit.In turn, the higher than expect-ed spending on capital purchases caused a dramatic change in the cash ﬂow this year, leaving the SCC at a cash position of $372,939 compared to last year’s $929,735.Verticchio’s statement reads: “The cash position may look good at $372,939, but this is deceiv-ing. The student centre’s ﬁnancial statements include the accounts for the Ombudsperson’s ofﬁce and re-stricted cash of $360,013.”“This leaves the Ryerson student centre with $12,939 in available cash at April 30, 2013 which is un-acceptable,” said Verticchio.The SCC’s largest expenses were food for SCC-owned restaurants like the Oakham Cafe and general staff payroll. Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR) president Shinae Kim has said that Verticchio is to blame for the mis-management of funds leading to the drop in cash. “With a majority of board mem-bers without even a clue on how to read a ﬁnancial statement ... it is turning out to be a bad idea to leave all this money and responsi-bility in the hands of people who simply don’t know what they’re doing,” said Kim.Verticchio was recently hired to take over for long time general manager Eric Newstadt.Before taking the position, Ver-ticchio worked in several execu-tive positions within the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) and George Brown college. Kim said she believes the student centre is actually owned and op-erated by the general manger and CUPE1281, the union currently representing most SCC employees and not, in fact, the true owners of the building, the Palin Foundation.CESAR will now be requesting a forensic audit in order to locate the allegedly missing funds.“Sitting on the Student Centre Board comes with serious respon-sibility as you are overseeing entire operations of the Student Centre, including overseeing ﬁnances,” said Kim.In a statement from CESAR, Kim said she believes the solution to cash problems is to investigate who, what, when, where and how the money was spent.In order to “locate” the $556,796 a Finance Committee was formed at a recent SCC board meeting, in order to manage the ﬁnancial deﬁ-cit and the cash problem, said Kim. At the SCC Finance commit-tee meeting on Nov.19, Verticchio spoke about a referendum to in-crease the student centre levy. At an April 11 board of directors meeting, a Capital Replacement Fund and Cash Flow requirements plan was submitted stating that the Palin Foundation has never had to remove cash for the capital replace-ment fund and that the majority of the foundation’s ﬁnancial resources has been spent on such capital im-provements. Improvements have included further accessibility measures and increased building repairs. “The board of directors needs to evaluate how capital projects are implemented and should be con-cerned with the length of time that projects take to complete,” said Verticchio. The document states that there are still issues surrounding proj-ect management and coordinating with Ryerson departments still ex-ist. “We have a handle on it,” said RSU president Melissa Palermo. “We are working to put a protocol in place to scale back.”Palermo credits the loss of cash to Oakham House building repairs and increased spending in terms of subsidies. She also conﬁrmed that no single member on the board manages the funds but the task is a group responsibility. Management will be working on a new SCC budget to try and stem the loss of cash, to be submitted to the board of directors for the next meeting. The ﬁnancial statement indicates that management will also try to reduce spending by at least $100,000. However, it is un-clear as to how much can be saved by the end of the year.CESAR believes that governance structure of the SCC should now be reviewed to mitigate risks and issues and equal representation from all three stakeholders in the Student Centre Board: two reps from CESAR, RSU, and one from the university.
Students snoozing through ﬁre alarms
Fire alarms at Ryerson’s residences are not loud enough to rouse sleeping students
Toronto Fire Services respond to a ﬁre alarm on campus.
PHOTO: JACKIE HONG
By Dylan Freeman-Grist
After speaking to dozens of stu-dents living in Pitman Hall,
has found that a large number of residents are not being woken up by ﬁre alarms and drills that occur during sleeping hours.“It was pretty scary because if it was an actual ﬁre then I would have been in the building and no one would have known,” said Jackie Mckay, a ﬁrst year journal-ism student who has slept through multiple alarms in Pitman Hall this semester. There is no obligation for a land-lord to ensure tenants have vacated their rooms in the case of a ﬁre, a fact which extends to Ryerson Student Services and senior stu-dent residence advisers. They, in the case of a ﬁre, “assist when they can” but have no obligation to, ac-cording Student Housing Services. The onus, then, is on students to ensure they remove themselves from residence in case of a ﬁre, with no measures in place to pre-vent them from sleeping through drills, false alarms and quite pos-sibly ﬁres.“It’s not really fair because it’s not a choice not to leave if you don’t wake up,” said Mckay. “I think they could change the way the ﬁre alarms are done so they’re within everyone’s room, or change the system so that it is more likely everyone will get out.” While many students wake with each alarm, students in spe-ciﬁc room types, such as ones with small hallways in the corner of apartment clusters or “pods” ap-pear to be particularly susceptible to sleeping through the ﬁre alert system.“I’d be very concerned because you can’t hear it in my room, the corner rooms, you don’t hear it,” said Mckay. “I think if it’s common knowl-edge that they know which rooms you can’t hear them in they should install alarms,” said Graeme Mont-gomery, another ﬁrst-year student who slept through an alarm.The trend has been noted in a se-mester abundant with false alarms at Pitman Hall, many of which most likely originated from either technical difﬁculties or cooking ac-cidents according to Jen Gonzales, residence marketing and assign-ments coordinator. The prevalence of false alarms has given rise to another disturb-ing trend, with many students opt-ing to remain in their rooms for the duration of the drill instead of exiting the residence as per code, a move that could result in ﬁnes from Toronto Fire and Emergency Services. “I know a lot of people who sleep through theirs, or decide to sleep through theirs, or decide to not go down just because it gets so annoying,” said a student in Pit-man who chose to remain anony-mous. “Our message is very clear for all ﬁre alarms, everyone should leave a building immediately or follow building announcements if any, upon becoming aware of an alarm,” said Tanya Fermin-Poppleton, manager security and emergency services, via email.
The Student Campus Centre audit reveals a mismanagement of money.
PHOTO: CHARLES VANEGAS
This leaves the Ryer-son student centre with $12,939 in avail-able cash at April 30