Homecoming in the red

SSMU’s Homecoming event is projected to lose $16,000, according to SSMU VP Finance and Operations Nick Drew.

Homekoming Bash 2010, an all-day event held Saturday, October 2, during McGill Homecoming, was expected to run a deficit. Drew said that SSMU had budgeted for that kind of loss, and that they would be able to cover whatever the deficit ends up being.

“[Homekoming] was projected to lose $16,000,” said Drew. “Funds came out of the operating budget. We had the money to cover it.”

According to an audit of last year’s SSMU financial statements, SSMU entered this year with a surplus of almost $600,000. SSMU, as a not-for-profit organization, is not meant to run a surplus, and Drew said the excess money would be put toward new events.

“[Events are] the best way to tie the community together. It had very good benefit versus cost,” said Drew. “We’re really happy [with the event] despite the financial loss.”

Drew said that since this was the Homekoming Bash’s first year, some financial losses were to be expected, but that spending for the event would be tightened up in the future as SSMU gets more experience in organizing it.

“It was a learning process,” said Drew. “It was something [SSMU President] Zach [Newburgh] really wanted to do. He really believed in it, I really believed in it. … [Homecoming] is a really great thing to have.”

Drew explained that some of the leftover supplies from the event, including food and drinks, would be reallocated to other SSMU events. Drew cited Four Floors, SSMU’s October 28 Halloween party, as one recipient of leftover Homekoming supplies.

Drew also argued that the University should have assisted SSMU in financing the event. McGill organizes its own Homecoming event every year, which is usually a major source of alumni donations for the University.

“McGill should also help us out a little bit,” said Drew. “The whole thing is meant to get alumni to spend money.”

While SSMU is still waiting on some bills for the event – including one from McGill – and therefore does not know the actual deficit, Drew was confident that the event would not go over budget.

“We tend not to overspend. We budget to have a little bit of space” to account for losses, said Drew. “We always plan for the worst-case scenario, and the budget is always conservative for that reason.”