New CUTV Tackles Old Problems

CUTV is looking for a fresh start, but many questions remain about past spending. Erin Sparks

Concordia’s undergrad-funded television station has a new name, a new board and new bylaws, but many questions remain about its financial history.

Community University Television, formerly known as Concordia University Television, held its annual general meeting on Sept. 30, where an accountant hired to audit the station’s financial standing reported on the trouble he’s having determining where money was spent in the first half of the 2012 financial year.

“There are a lot of unjustified accounting operations,” said Nermin Kobas, who has been hired to examine the station’s financial records. “There [was] really poor accounting in the beginning of last year.”

The standout discrepancy was $17,900 withdrawn from the station’s account sometime between May and July 2012—taken over the counter all at once in cash, he said.

In the first half of 2012, the station lost its entire board of directors and was in the midst of separating itself from the Concordia Student Broadcasting Corporation—which also administers funding for campus radio station CJLO—while also receiving an influx of donations during the student strike.

All of these factors are making it more difficult to track where money was spent, said Kobas, who has been working with the station’s provisional board to track down spending by its previous board before a string of resignations last year.

Once the board receives Kobas’s complete report, the station will decide how to pursue the missing $17,900 if it cannot be explained, and any other unaccounted spending. At that time they’ll also publicly post their financial statement. Once that’s done, next year’s financial statement would be able to be properly audited, said Kobas.

“We are not in the red,” said CUTV board member and former The Link contributor Emily Campbell at the Sept. 30 meeting.

Since it has separated from the CSBC, CUTV must reapply for its undergraduate fee levy, which will take place in a referendum this spring.

But if all goes according to plan, Campbell says the station will receive its undergraduate fee levy for the fall semester in the coming weeks. The station is also in talks with telecommunications company Videotron, who are looking to launch an English-language community television station.

The station also ratified its new bylaws, which were drafted with assistance from former Concordia Student Union executives Morgan Pudwell and Lex Gill. These bylaws state the station’s board is to be made up of four student members, which any undergraduate is eligible to become; three community members who must pay an annual fee of $20; and a non-voting staff member.

The new bylaws also state the board “must aim to maintain a Board composition of majority student members at all times.”

Student representatives Emily Campbell, Baghdassar Balyan, Antoine Marin and Cori Marshall were elected to the board, as were community members William Ray, Bryan Man and Justine Smith.

This board replaces the provisional board elected at a general assembly on Dec. 1, 2012 after a string of resignations left the station in legal limbo.

The station’s new bylaws passed 21 in favour, none against, with one abstention.