ATMs Keep CUSACorp Afloat

Student Union’s Profit-Making Arm Makes Thousands Off ATM Transactions

  • In 2008, CUSACorp invested in two ATMs on the second floor of Concordia’s Hall building. Photo Riley Sparks

The only thing keeping the Concordia Student Union’s profit-making arm in the black are fees from on-campus ATM transactions.

In 2008, former CSU VP Finance Andre Leroy approved a proposal for the student union to invest in two Frisco ATMs on the second floor of Concordia’s Hall building.

CUSACorp, a CSU-owned corporation that leases space to Java U and owns Reggie’s bar, has since been collecting 50 cents on every transaction fee charged by the cash dispensers.

“[CUSACorp] brings in about $800 every two to three months [from the ATM transactions],” confirmed CSU VP Finance Zhuo Ling.

CUSACorp accumulated a $3,000 deficit during the 2008-2009 financial year. By the end of the 2009-2010 financial year, Ling estimates that the CSU-owned corporation will post profits upwards of $4,500. With those estimates, CUSACorp’s reversal of fortune could largely be attributed to ATM transaction fees.

The extent to which the CSU’s elected officials are aware of CUSACorp’s partnership with Frisco remains unclear.

The Link contacted six of the student union’s councillors and none of them had heard of the agreement.

“As a CSU Councillor, I was not privy to any of that information,” said Aaron Green, who is also the president of the Arts and Science Federation of Associations.

“The CSU is supposed to represent students, right? This is a shocking revelation; I had no idea that CUSACorp operates in that fashion.
I don’t know who sits on the board of CUSACorp but I hope they are held accountable at the next CSU Council meeting.”

Councillor Terry Seminara said she plans on raising the issue at the next council meeting.

“[Council] should be aware of anything that has to do with student money,” she said.

CSU Councillor Lex Gill was also unaware of CUSACorp’s profitable ATM venture.
“Council should be aware of how CUSACorp raises money,” said Gill. “The communication between CUSACorp and council has to improve.”

Councillors Melanie Hotchkiss, Joel Suss and Taylor Knott also said they had never been informed of the ATM partnership.
“I’m not surprised that council doesn’t know about the ATMs,” said former CSU President Amine Dabchy. “A lot of them are new and missed the first council meeting. The CSU Executive or CUSACorp aren’t trying to hide anything. This isn’t a money-making venture. CUSACorp just tries to break even.

“By October or November, [Ling] will make a presentation detailing CUSACorp’s operations.”

All of the councillors contacted by The Link were experienced student politicians, which begs the question: If they didn’t know, who
does?

This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 06, published September 21, 2010.

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