CUEF exists and you’re encouraged to use it

Brendan Kergin, News Editor  Ω

Peter Hilton, vice provost of TRU and chair of the CUEF is hoping students will start looking at what the CUEF actually is.

CUEF stands for Comprehensive University Endowment Fund. Funded by students through ancillary fees paid with tuition, it collects about $1 million a year for a variety of projects across campus.

It was set up when TRU made the jump a few years ago from college to full university to help create more of a university culture on campus.

Currently it funds a wide variety of services, activities and events on campus including the President’s Lecture Series, the Centre for Teaching and Learning (which assists professors in improving their teaching), disability services, Supplemental Learning (a program for peer-led study sessions), orientation, the Elder in the House, aboriginal initiatives in Kamloops and Williams Lake, CIS Athletics, recreation, TRU Survivors (an annual student competition), TRU Wolfpack Baseball and entrance scholarships.

Many of these services rely on CUEF to exist as it is often a major source or the only source of funding for them.

The fund also accepts student’s applications for a variety of projects and events, such as attending a conference or holding an open event on campus. Some research grants are also awarded each year.

While the fund is often mostly used up each year, Hilton would like students to be more aware of it and the opportunities it provides.

“It’s always good for students to know that it’s there. And I think we fight all the time with communications, getting the fund out,” he said.

CUEF is run by a steering committee which recommends to the TRU Board of Governors how the money is spent.

Hilton is a member of the committee, but as CUEF’s chair, doesn’t vote.

The votes go to eight people, made up of four students, two faculty and two administrators. TRUSU VP External Jordan Harris sits on the committee.

While he sees a lot of positives with the fund, as a member of the union he also wants to make sure money from the students is going back to the students.

“The union is always watching and mandating,” said Harris.

“We want to make sure that it goes directly to student-run events and grants.”

Harris does consider the fee high and thinks while the grants are a good utilization of the money, some of the services need more base funding from the school.

“We want to have a good solid base for student services [from] TRU [administration],” he said.

“I think there should be more base funding for student services.”

Students will have an opportunity to voice their opinion on the CUEF soon as the committee is working on a survey for students.

At press time it was uncertain whether that survey will come together this spring or next September, the two periods Hilton figured were most likely.