VP Finance debate recap

Sole VP Finance candidate Louis Retief sat down at this year’s Great Debate to discuss topics such as AMS businesses, fee restructuring and the current fee referendum. The first debate question asked Retief what makes him different from previous VP Finances who said they would address the AMS’s net discretionary income, which has been dropping over the past few years.

Retief answered by arguing that, having served as Associate VP Finance for ten months, he is more qualified and passionate than previous VP Finances have been when entering the position.

The next question addressed Retief’s plan to evaluate the assets of AMS clubs and businesses. In particular, moderator Gordon Katic questioned why Retief only plans to examine things and why he doesn’t currently offer any critical explanations or solutions.

Retief responded by saying that it wouldn’t be reasonable for him to decide on such far reading business decisions alone, instead promising to consult with students and work with AMS management and executives in order for him to create educated decisions regarding AMS clubs and businesses

Referring to the instability and unreliability of AMS business revenues, Katic asked how Retief would do things differently “to ensure some stability in terms of business revenues.” 

Retief answered that relying on businesses would not be the best way to support the AMS. Instead Retief supported the idea of re-adjusting the AMS’s fee structure by allocating funds earned from student fees that aren’t being put to use due to restrictions, which can then be put towards the needs of students.

A question from the floor by current VP Finance Mateusz Miadlikowski asked Retief how his plan to change the fee structure fits in with the upcoming fee referendum, and which current fees he wants to allocate money from. He said that the $4.20 fee increase will not be contributing revenue but actually alleviating the AMS’s current financial issues, and that he will first have to analyze which fees are not being utilized properly before he makes any decisions.