Only 23 per cent of student’s voted in IGNITE’s 2017 election, but the entire student body paid for it.
IGNITE, formerly known as the Humber Students’ Federation or HSF, budgeted $80,000 for the planning, promotion and execution of the 2017 student election, and $90,000 for the previous election in 2016. However, according to audited financial statements, the 2016 election cost just $7,990.
The difference between the budgets and costs can be seen when comparing IGNITE’s 2015-2016 budget infographic with their audited financial statements.
IGNITE budgeted $90,000 for the election in the 2015-2016 operating budget infographic.
Election expenses were $7,990 according to the 2015-2016 audited financial statement.
IGNITE’s outgoing president Ahmed Tahir explained in an email that the $7,990 listed on the financial statements “includes expenses used to directly administer the elections, not market the elections”.
“Marketing expenses related to promoting the elections are included in the ‘student marketing’ section,” said Tahir.
Expenses related to the election are broken down into different categories, such as the cost to execute the election, which includes things like renting the IT system and the software used for voting, as well as the voting booths. There are also administrative expenses which include organizing forums and debates, reimbursing candidates for their expenses, and the Chief Returning Officer’s wage, according to Tahir.
According to financial statements, which are available on Ignite’s website, the cost of Humber’s student elections has varied since 2013, when the election cost $50,557. In 2014, the election cost $37,516, and in 2015 the election cost $7,889. The financial statements are audited by B.D.O., an independent accounting firm.
Ten million dollars of IGNITE’s revenue—the vast majority—is contributed by students in the form of student fees, and health and dental plan fees. The mandatory fees for 2016-2017 are $319.58 per student.