Four of Trinity’s five capitated bodies record deficit in 2017/18

The accounts for each body were presented at a meeting of the Capitations Committee last week

Four of Trinity’s five capitated bodies recorded deficits in the 2017/18 academic year, Trinity News has learned. The figures emerged following a meeting of the Capitations Committee on November 22. The Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) was the only capitated body that reported a surplus, coming in at €18,819. The Capitations Committee contains representatives from each of the five capitated bodies, and is chaired by the Senior Dean, Professor John Parnell. The student contribution charge goes towards funding the capitated bodies. The five bodies that make up the Committee are the GSU, Trinity Publications, the Central Societies Committee (CSC), Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU), and Dublin University Central Athletics Club (DUCAC).

The GSU increased on their €2,643 surplus from 2016/17, while receiving €91,169 from the Capitations fund. The salaries for the two sabbatical officers cost €36,419, with €36,906 going towards running events. Another €19,317 was spent on the officers’ expenses, down from €26,858 in 2016/17. Shane Collins was President of the GSU for the past two years, from June 2016 to June 2018.

The CSC recorded a deficit of €20,027, decreasing its revenue reserves to €355,517 from €375,544. The organisation received €360,103 from the Capitations fund, up from the previous year’s €353,623. The CSC’s deficit was slightly higher than the previous year’s, which stood at €19,784.

The CSC spent a total of €148,269 on society spending last year, down from €161,842 the year before. Overall, €28,090 was given to societies for competition entry and affiliation, while a total of €29,165 was spent on travel and accommodation for societies.

Other costs of the CSC totalled €158,793, down from €169,078 in 2016/17. Administration and sundry accounted for €141,182, while society printing cost €3,053, and the annual CSC dinner cost €680. The accounts note that the organisation “remains in a very sound financial state at year’s end”.

Trinity Publications recorded a deficit of €7,316, depleting their revenue reserve from €59,314 to €51,998. Printing expenses totalled €32,843. In the report to Capitations, Chair of Publications, Emma McCarthy, said: “Trinity Publications continues to support and promote Trinity College’s independent student media and publications. We are happy to report the success of the year 2017/18.” Trinity Publications manages the recognised student publications, which include Trinity News, The Piranha, and literary journal, Icarus.

Meanwhile, DUCAC recorded a deficit for the eighth year in a row, standing at €11,519 in 2017/18. DUCAC received €360,039 from the Capitations fund, up from €333,810 in 2016/17. A total of €331,023 was spent on the sports clubs, with other organisation expenditure totalling €216,900, up from €161,858 recorded the previous year. DUCAC recorded a deficit of €4,000 in 20176/1, with Aidan Kavanagh, the Administrative Officer of DUCAC, attributing the increase in deficit this year to money owed by debtors.

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) released their accounts prior to the meeting of the Capitations committee, and recorded a deficit of €70,622 in the financial year ending June 2018. This was over four times the deficit of the previous year, which stood at €14,837, and is the third consecutive year that the SU’s accounts have been in deficit.

TCDSU President, Shane De Rís, attributed the “extraordinary deficit” to the Repeal referendum and the Take Back Trinity protests, which resulted in spending of €20,125 and €10,615 respectively. The refurbishment of the SU’s Hamilton shop also cost €17,589. In his report, De Rís states: “The recurring loss making activities of the Union will now have to be reviewed. The future of the SU, and the services it provides, are at serious risk.” The Treasurer’s report also notes that “the SU can sustain a loss making situation for one or two more years. It must use this time to get a grip on its finances. This did not happen in 2017/18.”

Total expenditure of the union amounted to €1,544,472, up from €1,478,062 in 2016/17, with total income in 2017/18 totalling €1,473,850.

Niamh Lynch

Niamh was Editor of the 65th volume of Trinity News. She is a History and Politics graduate.