University to give donation back to the AMS

The university has decided to credit Lev Bukhman’s $125,000 donation to the Nest toward the AMS’s $68 million loan from UBC, as opposed to UBC’s contribution to the budget.

A disagreement between the AMS and UBC Development over fundraising protocol led the AMS to contest UBC’s claim over a $125,000 donation to the construction of the Nest earlier this fall. The donation had been used to offset the university’s contribution to the building’s budget despite the donor intending that his gift be credited toward the AMS’s share.

“Although the fundraising protocol is quite clear, given the strength of feeling at AMS the University decided to credit the donation to the AMS contribution to the Nest as a gesture of goodwill,” said Richard Fisher, communications officer for UBC Development, in an email to The Ubyssey.

The donation will still go through the appropriate channels so that the donor can receive a tax receipt from the university. But as per the donor’s intentions, the sum will be credited against the students’ share of the Nest budget. The money will be invested in repaying the AMS’s loan from the UBC Endowment Fund over a period of five years, following the donation schedule. 

"I think it was a cleaner solution than I was expecting to happen, so I'm happy with it,” said AMS President Aaron Bailey, who was prepared to seek legal counsel in order to resolve the disagreement with UBC Development. “The benefit will come directly to students — it will help us with closing the books on the new SUB project.”

“It's a good recognition of the fact that the donor actually believed this money was going to support students and the AMS,” Bailey said.

This new agreement between UBC Development and the AMS is currently only verbal, but according to Bailey, the UBC Treasury will issue an addendum to the loan agreement between the AMS and the university. This will clarify the new terms of the donation in that the donation will be credited to the AMS’s loan over five years.