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October 27, 2017 8:30 pm

NUGSS in the Red

Monday, October 31, 2016 @ 1:56 PM

Prince George, B.C. –  Some major changes are coming to the way the Northern Undergraduate Student Society (NUGSS) is managed.

This in light of an audit earlier this month that revealed the UNBC student run society is $100,000 in debt.

President Arctica Cunningham admits she was “rather surprised” by the audit noting some subsequent research revealed some “very troubling financial trends.”

“And what we’ve distilled is that we have both a short-term and a long-term problem,” she says. “The short-term is the $100,000 debt which has basically been caused, to quote our auditors, by “a perfect storm of everything going wrong in one year.”

For example, bad weather leading to several NUGSS’s events being unsuccessful and losing money.  This, plus their health and dental plan costs are more than they collect in fees.

Thus, Cunningham says NUGSS has had “to cover that difference.”

“So what’s happened is we’ve been floating our services with fees that should have been put into reserve funds, or funds to plan for the future and we’ve been doing that for years. We don’t have anything to dip into at this time to cover those costs from unexpected expenditures.”

She says it’s symptomatic of a “long-term problem” of poor financial planning.

“So whenever we had surplus amounts of money from the health and dental fees, from our building fees, rather than putting them into reserve funds to plan for those times when we were providing more services than could be supported by the fees we were collecting, we just put it into our general revenue and increased the amount of services we were providing.

“So very unstable and it led to this issue where we now have to figure out how to get ourselves back on a more sustainable path.”

Unfortunately, she says that means taking some tough steps to stem all the red ink, including:

  • Cut funding to NUGSS clubs by 20%.
  • Reducing honorariums by 7.27%
  • Their general manager has taken a voluntary pay cut of 20%

Sadly, Cunningham says one long-term solution may end up in the closure of the Thirsty Moose Pub.

“It’s been open for six years now and every year we’ve lost money. Last year we lost $40,000 which is a lot considering that we have to make that up by taking it out of the student fees that we’re collecting.”

She says they hope to save it by leasing it out by next September.

“And if we’re not successful in leasing it out there is a strong possibility that we won’t be reopening because we just can’t continue losing money.”

In the meantime, Cunningham says NUGSS has some sessions planned to consult with their membership.

“They’ve been reaching out with some great ideas. They don’t want to see our services cut, they don’t want to see us struggling or see the society in jeopardy.”


I don’t know how this outfit is organized but who gets medical and dental? Are there paid employees? Now out of this supposedly brainy bunch cannot anyone balance a cheque book? Says a lot about our exalted education institution and system.

    The students at the university get medical and dental. That wasn’t obvious? They collect fees, but obviously haven’t collected enough. I definitely can’t explain how that happens.

      I’m still confused. Students who are Canadian citizens already have medical, why would they need more? Chances are too, that a lot of them are still covered by their parent’s dental plans.

      So who gets medical and dental coverage through NUGSS? And how can any university student afford dental anyways? I thought they were all in dire straits?

      People in BC only get medical until the age of 19, then they have to start to pay MSB ( which lets face it doesn’t cover dental nor most medical items ) so they came up with the medical insurance for the students. The student can be covered under their parents MSB if a full time student, till the age of 24.
      All international students will need coverage from the medical program.

      The NUGGS plan is a common plan that many employees in C are enrolled in as an employment benefit.

      MSP covers the basics. Group medical plans cover the extras. The MSP fees still have to be paid in addition to the group coverage fees.

      Reading their web site shows that there is an opt-out process, so students are automatically enrolled when they register and can opt out if they want.


      gremlins at work … ignore the “in C” in my post above.

Must be graduates from Trump University of Economics. Trump goes broke running a casino where the house always wins and this group sinks into the red running a pub that caters to UNIVERSITY STUDENTS……people who live on beer and pizza:D

Closing the Moose isn’t the answer, its losses are a small part of problem. What other part of NUGGS has any earning potential. Just raise the price of beer by a dollar and look for some sponsorship.

I sure hope the moose doesn’t close. The cafeteria up there is over priced and nasty food choice and cooking. I feel for the students forced to buy the meal plan !

Could it be they’re finally realizing there is no magical money tree out there?

If the Moose has been losing money every year for six years why is it still open? Did they have a plan to stem the losses? If so, it should have been obvious it wasn’t working after the first year or two.

Somewhat embarrassing I would say.

Easy on being so critical; these are students. Where was the auditors advice from previous years? Perhaps alumni doing well in the financial world can step up to the plate (pro bono) and help them out with some free direction and advice on how to bail themselves out now.

It took an audit to figure out they were $100k in the hole? The NUGSS should first work on a governance and oversight policy, second secure a professional accountant or bookkeeper and third hire a new general manager. If I were a student, I would be very ticked off.

Maybe an MBA student/class can help with a business plan..or at least patronize the Pub.

Another ringing endorsement of the clown college on the western rim of the bowl.

There is only one person who can get NUGSS out of this mess. Christy, please bring your checkbook to Prince George! Voting season is just around the corner.

Perhaps cut pipeline demo. travel expenses. The people that organize these college clubs really believe in the tooth fairy.
Once upon a time the UBC undergrad society invited a wacko name of Abbey Hoffman to speak…caused a major riot.

    Ummm….it was Jerry Rubin, and some students took over the faculty club for a few hours. Until the engineers threatened to throw them out.

why does this sound like a snivel and an under the breath plea for some sucker to come forward and bail them out?

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