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ESS faculty funding arrangement still ‘unresolved’: Schulich

By Ashar Memon, May 23 2019 —

The University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering has not committed faculty funding for the Engineering Students’ Society for the upcoming 2019–20 school year, according to a spokesperson from the faculty.

“With the recent change in ESS leadership, the matter is still unresolved. With ESS at the helm on this, the faculty is waiting to hear any plans and suggestions the ESS may have on the issue of funding,” Michael Platt, a representative from Schulich, said in an email to the Gauntlet.

ESS had previously been collecting a $10-per-semester mandatory membership fee from engineering students until the U of C stopped collecting the fee in September 2018. Since ESS had already made its annual budget, Schulich provided funds for the student club to allow it to fulfill its financial commitments.

At the time of the fee change, U of C vice-provost student experience Susan Barker said the faculty funding was meant to “ease the transition.”

ESS president Robyn Graham said discussions with the faculty over funding are in their “early stages” and will continue over the summer.

“ESS appreciates the continued support from the SSE (Schulich School of Engineering) in the coming academic year as ESS transitions to a new funding model,” she said.

The comments indicate that ESS’s funding complications remain an issue as the student club heads into the next academic year.

Last year, ESS said that despite faculty funding, it was forced to make several cuts to its programming. The club started charging students for some of its services, reduced its charity events and stopped selling merchandise.

Former ESS president Jiani Deng said last year that while she was grateful for the faculty’s support, ESS should avoid relying on the faculty’s aid.

“I think at the end of the day, ESS does need to be financially independent,” Deng said.



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