By Joe Ip, Staff Writer

 

Since 1941, UBC Commerce students have contributed to an accumulation of surplus in student fees as a result of fiscally responsible governance. For decades, this surplus has been stagnant, often bogged down by bureaucratic measures that prevented the CUS from capitalizing on their predecessors’ legacy. Ex-CUS President Jack Leung and the Board of Directors were battling in the trenches of AMS politics to establish the world’s largest undergraduate-led endowment fund. Set to be managed by the UBC Investment Management Trust, the endowment returns generated from an astounding quarter-million dollar fund are designed to protect the alumni’s legacy from inflation and to deliver more student services and programs. Specifically, the endowment returns would be enough to finance an additional Commerce club, an extra day of Business Week, subsidies for two more students to external conferences, an extra Sauder Yoga, and an additional Social Committee, among many other possibilities.

Unfortunately, all of these potential benefits to Sauder are threatened by the AMS Council’s decision to veto the endowment fund contract. Ex-AMS VP Finance Tristan Miller, the key opponent of the motion, has publically denounced the wording of the contract.

“It, in my opinion, was a weak contract,” said Miller. According to Miller, the proposed contract allowed for the remote possibility that UBC may use the funds outside of Commerce students’ interests.

Ex-CUS President Jack Leung disagrees with Miller’s assessment of the contract. “I appreciate his intentions to ensure that the interests of BCom students are protected, but I disagree with Tristan’s comments [regarding the strength of the contract]. His comments are inaccurate.”

The CUS has currently halted action until September; although proponents of the endowment fund remain optimistic for AMS approval, Leung believes that further delays may prevent the endowment fund from benefiting commerce students for the 2013-2014 academic year.