Teddy Hall JCR has been forced to raise its JCR levies after unexpectedly running out of money.
Accounts circulated to all students show that despite having nearly £2000 in the bank at the start of Trinity term, by the end of term, Teddy Hall will have just £6.08 in its coffers.
In an email to the JCR, President Charlie Wilson said: “This will be a short email, and to the point. The JCR has run out of money, because we have been consistently spending more than we have coming in, and have no reserves.”
In a GM on Sunday, students voted to raise levies from £24 to £30 a year to cover the shortfall.
Teddy Hall student Tom Pope said he was unsurprised the JCR had run into difficulties, as the JCR had been spending “foolishly”.
“We’ve been chronically overspending for years. Last year we spent £500 to fly a footballer over for cuppers. It was a bit extravagant.
“I don’t regret it, despite losing the game, but it’s the kind of spending we won’t be able to afford in the next few years,” said Pope.
The JCR Treasurer and President are now urging students not to spend more than £200 at a single meeting. But Pope thought putting such a cap in place was unfair.
“When you propose a motion, you have no idea how much others will be asking for at that meeting,” Pope said.
JCR President Wilson said the financial difficulties came about despite a “significant reduction in spending” in Trinity term.
But Wilson said: “Now that the fees have been increased, the future is a lot brighter for the JCR’s finances.”
Wilson blamed the JCR’s financial woes on long-term mismanagement.
“It is not so much that we’ve had unusual expenditure, as that we’ve been routinely spending more than our income, probably for some years,” Wilson said.
“A lack of institutional memory affects everything we do. It is a combination of this and a lack of rigorous oversight that led to us unwittingly spending more than our income.”
Although the motion to raise levies passed with little opposition, students were then concerned about how the JCR should spend its money.
Teddy Hall student Vicky Fryer said students were worried about spending money once they realised that levies had to go up.
“There was a lot of debate – I walked out after about two hours,” said Fryer.
But Fryer said she was happy to pay more to the JCR “if they honestly need the money”. Students will still be able to opt-out of JCR fees.
Many students we spoke to said that before Wilson’s email, they were unaware that money was running low.
Fryer said she thought it was difficult for the committee, as positions change yearly.
“When people come in they just get handed situations that they have to sort out. It’s a bit of a problem.”