The University Students' Council talked budget last night, ultimately tabling discussions until their next Feb. 28 meeting.
Two motions were on the agenda: one to pass the Western University Gazette's 2019 budget and one to pass the USC's overall 2019 budget.
The USC's budget motion was postponed due to the concerns about a new marketing co-op position under the communications officer's portfolio. The marketing position would be a full-time position, in partnership with DAN Management and Organizational studies, overseeing social media and marketing interns.
Two councillors brought up that FIMS and music students would not be able to apply for the program because neither faculty allows students to take on co-op positions.
Tobi Solebo, USC president, asked to table the budget.
"I didn’t want to pass that budget and have a position that was inaccessible to those students,” Solebo said.
Council also informally discussed other tweaks to the budget. Councillors supported a funding increase for the USC's public arts fund by $5,000, adding a $200 honoraria for three standings committee chairs and increasing elections subsidies by $2,000 to account for $100 increases to SPO and facility president spending.
Council also debated moving the elections from the secretary treasurer's portfolio to the USC senior manager of advocacy and governance. One councillor was concerned the change wouldn't allow a student to oversee the elections budget. However, council voiced support for this change.
They also discussed the speaker's honoraria.
Secretary treasurer, Erin McCauley said an increase to $6,000 from $1,000 would reflect a change to the speaker's position, acting as an intern providing governance support as opposed to just facilitating meetings.
The majority of council voted to keep the speaker's $1,000 honoraria.
Mental health training for council was also brought up by a councillor. As explained, the current $5,000 allocated towards council training is not specific to mental heath training. A straw poll was held to specifically allocate money to mental health training for council members, and council voted in favour of this.
Ultimately, the motion to pass the Gazette's budget was also tabled after a councillor requested more time to review it.
Discussions will resume at the next USC meeting on Feb 28, 2018.