GUSA ball loses £4000

Published

Sarah Smith

Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA) lost a total of £4135.47 through its annual ball and Blues awards reception.

The majority of the loss was due to the free tickets and drinks made available to Blues winners and half-price entry for half Blues.

The ball itself lost £1400 chiefly through unsold tickets and a desire to keep ticket prices at £35.

Newly elected GUSA President, Stephen Flavahan, told Guardian that the event is not designed to make a profit and that there were other considerations, which were not financial.

He explained: “The biggest thing for GUSA was keeping the ticket price at £35 so that it was still affordable for students. If we were a business it would be considered a profit loss but we’re not so it is considered an expenditure.

“It was a very successful event that was designed to be of high quality whilst remaining affordable. It is about honouring high sporting achievers at the University of Glasgow – we didn’t set out for it to break even.”

Flavahan claimed that, because the loss was expected, it will not have any affect on next year’s spending.

He said: “It won’t have an effect financially next year because the costing for the event was included in last year’s budget. We want to provide a good service for students and we have very good control over money.”

President of the SRC, Gavin Lee, expressed his concern at GUSA’s management and the loss generated by the event.

He told Guardian: “It is surprising that an event which generates such income can go so badly wrong: a loss of this size brings up serious questions over management and financial control. It has to be said that this represents poor value for students’ money.”

Also confirmed by Director of the Sport and Recreation Service (SRS), Julie Ommer, is the increase in cost of gym membership for next year from £35 to £40.

She said: “The new £40 membership fee was part of ongoing budget plans set in the 07/08 session, to coincide with general facility investment plans and the upgrading of changing facilities at the Stevenson Building.”

One of the most prominent aspects of Stephen Flavahan’s presidential campaign was his pledge to freeze the gym membership fee.

Speaking to Guardian, Flavahan explained that he had made it clear during his campaign that the price freeze would be something for which he would have to fight.

He said: “The reason I campaigned to keep the gym fee at £35 because I think it is in the students’ best interests that it doesn’t increase.

“For me it’s the principle of prices going up consecutively. The reason sport at Glasgow University is so good is because it is accessible and the affordable gym fee is a part of that.

“I think I made it clear during my campaign that it was always a lobbying issue. When I take office in June I will be lobbying for the decision to be changed. I can’t promise that I will be successful in my fight but I think the fact that I was elected with a mandate from the students to freeze the fee strengthens my case.”

When asked to comment on the decision to raise the cost of gym membership, Gavin Lee emphasised his belief that students would still be receiving a valuable service.

He explained: “An increase in cost must come with an increase in standards. However, one of the cheapest university gym memberships in the UK still represents fantastic value for money.”