After a year in which OUSU made less than £5,000 from running
Entz, the student union has decided to create a position with a
salary of around £13,390 to try and boost its profits. In the past, OUSU has blamed its low profits on Oxford’s
collegiate system but recent figures from Cambridge’s
Student Union (CUSU) appear to contradict this: so far this year
CUSU has raised a £49,529 profit from entz and expect to make an
overall profit of £78,950 by the end of the academic year. In
contrast to OUSU, where the Business Manager, the VP Finance and
the President organise entz, CUSU employs a full time Entz
Manager. The proposal, which was drafted by OUSU President Helena Puig
Larrauri and VP (Finance) Rodrigo Davies, will be voted on in
OUSU Council today and both were keen to stress the benefits of
an increased income stream, an expected £50,000, from entz.
Quoting an internal Future and Finances Report that states
“attempting to further reduce costs would be detrimental to
the work that OUSU does” they claim that to continue to
provide services to students they need to increase commercial
revenues. They also argue that the only way to build up enough
funds to purchase a central student venue would be from greater
commercial profits such as from entz. However not everyone thinks the proposal will be successful;
one student at Cambridge told Cherwell that “given there are
so few clubs in Cambridge, it’s very easy for CUSU to
monopolise the market, but at least they do it well unlike
Oxford, from what I’ve heard.” There are also issues
about OUSU muscling in on the success of student-run Rock
Student. Manager Balreick Srai argued he was not worried:
“OUSU is not much of a competitor to us and never will be,
just look at their track record. They’re never going to have
the same incentive to make money that makes us work as hard as we
do, and anyway they should be trying to make entz cheaper not
squeezing more money out of the students they claim to
represent.” He called on OUSU to work with Rock Student
rather than “wasting money trying to compete”.ARCHIVE: 4th week TT 2004