What $15.90 Gets You

Abdullah Barakat - VP Finance
Posted on: September 24, 2016

Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well and I hope you enjoyed your summer! For all the first years that just started at Waterloo, welcome to your new home!

My name is Abdullah Barakat, and I’m the Engineering Society VP Finance for the Fall 2016 term. Today, I’m here to tell you about where your money goes. As the EngSoc VP Finance, I am in charge of deciding how EngSoc allocates all the money for the term. As you may have noticed, there is a fee called ENG Student Society that appears on your Statement of Fees on Quest, which is currently $15.90. This fee is paid by every on-term undergraduate engineering student. From these fees, I am able to create the termly budget, which is then approved by the EngSoc Council at the beginning of the term.

So you may be wondering, what exactly does your $15.90 EngSoc fee get you? Well, you’ll be surprised by how much you actually do get out of the $15.90 that you spend, and how each student’s contribution has an impact on the work the Society is capable of doing. A significant amount of the fees goes towards a lot of the fixed costs associated with running the EngSoc Office, our facilities like POETS, and the basis for everything that we as the Engineering Society can do.

Part of the budget allows us to offer all of the things we have in the EngSoc Office, such as cheap report binding, printing/photocopying, staples, and board games, as well as all the supplies that are available at the students’ disposal. On top of that, we are also able to hire and pay all of our part-time/full-time staff that work very hard in order to keep things running as smoothly as they do, including our lovely business manager Mary Bland. Our staff are able to help us maintain our finances, as well as the daily operations within the EngSoc Office and the Coffee and Donut Shop (C&D).

Furthermore, we have specific funds that money is allocated to every term. These funds were created with the intention of reaching more students, as well as giving students a way of contributing to new improvements to engineering student life on campus. Each term, 15% of the student fees (with certain caps on the amount depending on the term) is allocated towards the Engineering Society Sponsorship Committee. The purpose of this committee is to sponsor various student design teams and engineering groups’ initiatives on campus in order to allow them to offer the best services possible to engineering students. Another fund we have is the Engineering Capital Improvement Fund (ECIF), which is used to allocate money towards any long term purchases that the student body believes EngSoc should invest money towards. ECIF receives 15% of student fees every Fall and Winter term, and 5% every Spring term.

Student fees also go towards initiatives that the EngSoc Executive work towards in order to further benefit the engineering students. These initiatives include the student deals program, which allows the Society to collaborate with various businesses in the area in order to provide special discounts or deals to undergraduate engineering students. Some of these include deals with Mongolian Grill, Marble Slab, Molly Bloom’s, and much more. More information on this program can be found on the EngSoc website. EngSoc also has an exam bank, which is used to provide students with the opportunity to study for their exams using past exams pertaining to their courses.

The rest of the budget goes towards funding all EngSoc events and services. This allows us to run things like Resume Critiques, Interview Skills workshops, various technical workshops, Semi-Formals, First Year Conferences, talent shows & coffeehouses, hackathons, mental health initiatives, Career Fairs, the Waterloo Engineering Competition (WEC), and so much more. We run approximately 50 – 70 events each term which try to reach out to as many students as possible. This covers everything from venue costs, to printing costs, to volunteer appreciation, to other event-related expenses. Directors, who are the people who organize and run all of our services and events, request funding each term to cover their costs, and it is up to the VP Finance to allocate money to them. All of that sums up to make our termly budget. $15.90 might not seem like a lot, but if you think about everything that the Engineering Society has to offer, it really does contribute a lot.

If you have any questions about how the EngSoc budget works, or how your student fees are used to benefit you, please feel free to come and see me in the EngSoc Office, or shoot me an email at vpfinance.a@engsoc.uwaterloo.ca. All the best in your term, and I’ll see you next time!