WLUSU budget leaves questions unanswered

On June 12, the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU) board of directors met to evaluate the capital expenditures budget for the coming year. Controversy has already erupted over the nature of certain spending projects designed to reach out to the student body.

The first is a series of eight new LCD screens for the Fred Nichols Campus Centre (FNCC) and the second is a smartphone application designed to make student union news easily accessible for students.

The Student Life Levy (SLL) will cover the $48,000 for the LCD screens and the $34,000 for the smartphone application.

It is important that WLUSU reach out to students to try to engage them and enhance their experience at Laurier. They should be commended for trying to utilize modern technology to achieve this goal.

With that being said, it is not clear how useful such spending projects will be in achieving that task. Setting up more televisions in the FNCC has the potential to increase communication between the union and students, but there needs to be follow-through from WLUSU to ensure useful content is broadcast.

Likewise, it is unclear how useful the student union smartphone application will be, not knowing what content will be broadcast, and also keeping in mind that only a little over 50 per cent of Laurier students actually have a smartphone. WLUSU should be cautious in using student fees from 100 per cent of students to benefit at most half of the student body, and most likely far less.

WLUSU should be commended for looking at ways to use technology to reach out to students, but as always, greater caution needs to be taken to ensure such projects are fiscally responsible and worthwhile in the long run.