Wardroom and Galley Financial Situation

To all members of the KSU:

During the COVID-19 pandemic and its shutdowns, our beloved student run businesses of the Wardroom and Galley each had to take out federal loans in order to remain operational. These Canada Emergency Business Account loans (CEBA) are worth $60,000 each, totalling $120,000 that the KSU and its businesses owe.

The good news:

The government will forgive $20,000 of each of those if we are able to pay the remaining $40,000 of each by December 31st 2023. This means that we only need to pay $80,000.

The bad news:

We do need to pay $80,000 by 31st December 2023.

The situation at hand:

Our current savings are as follows.
Wardroom savings—————————————$18,000
Galley savings ———————————————$10,000
KSU 22-23 grant——————————————$  9,610
KSU 23-24 grant——————————————$11,538
This brings us to $30,852 that we still need to procure.

Here’s where we need your help!

The Galley collects a levy from all of its members in order to help support its operations. We aim to provide affordable food and drink to all of our students and community, and the levy allows for us to do that. Currently the university has 921 students enrolled for its 2023-24 academic year. With the levy at $14.51 per student, that would come to a total of $13,363.
I am asking everyone to consider voting for a one-time increase to the Galley levy for the 2023-24 academic year. This would bring the levy to $17.73 per student for 2023-24. For the 2024-25 academic year and thereafter, the Galley levy would return to $14.51+CPI (inflation).
That brings us a total of $16,329 if we have 921 students.
If we use that to repay the loans, that brings the outstanding amount to $14,523 owing.
It may seem as though a $3,000 difference is not particularly significant to such large numbers, but every little bit truly makes a world of difference. Our businesses operate at a very low profit margin, and generally we consider this to be one of our greatest strengths, but we must admit that it means that we have little financial buffer for just such a situation.
The Union is currently working with its financial teams for all of its businesses to investigate additional streams of income that can be used to offset the remainder of the loans. I want to assure everyone that I feel quite confident that we have the means to cover these loans, and that the Wardroom and Galley will remain operational.
I also want to apologize on behalf of the Union as an entity for the fact that students were not made aware of these loans and the repayment plan before this time. This was a decision made by a number of figures across the previous years that has resulted in an extremely unpleasant situation for everyone. If we are to claim that these are student-run businesses and that we value our students and their role in the Wardroom and Galley, being transparent about their affairs is vital. Students should not have had to find out about these loans only in the same breath as you are being asked to help to save these businesses. I recognize that this will be a shock to many students, and represents a breach of trust. We cannot undo this or change what has been done. I want to assure everyone, however, that we are taking new measures to ensure that students have that transparency and insight to their student businesses. As such, we welcome any insight that students and alumni alike wish to share as to how we can better earn your trust and offer transparency in the future.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at fvp@ksu.ca or come by the KSU office during operating hours if you have any questions or want further information, or have feedback to share.
Yours in solidarity,
Kerri Lawrence
Vice President (Financial)