The University Observer (UO) will face a cut to their budget for the coming academic year following UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) projection of a drop in revenue of more than 30%. The student newspaper expects to reduce their print run partially as a result of this reduction in income.

Speaking to The College Tribune, a spokesperson for UCDSU stated that a predicted fall in income in excess of 30% meant that “the budget of the UO needed to be lowered this year”.

The Editor of the University Observer, Doireann de Courcy Mac Donnell stated “The budget for the University Observer for the coming year has not yet been confirmed. In line with the budgetary cut for the Students’ Union, the University Observer is expecting to take a significant hit.” 

Further, the Observer expects to reduce their print run both in response to the reduced numbers of students that will be on campus but also “in line with budgetary cuts.” In an effort to lessen their budgetary shortfall, the UO team intends to “place a great emphasis on advertising”.

All staff of the UCDSU CLG (Company Limited by Guarantee), Sabbatical Officers and the staff of the Union funded student newspaper the University Observer, will remain on the government’s ‘Employment Wage Subsidy’ scheme from September until March 2021. Union staff will not receive a reduced level of pay during this period, which may end before March should income rise to more than 70% of reported income in the 2019/20 financial year.

The University College Dublin Students’ Union explained that while they do not expect there to be a reduction in the capitation grant from UCD their other income sources will see a reduction for the coming financial year. The capitation grant is a payment given to the Union by UCD every year.

The Union expects a reduction in income from the 3 UCDSU shops on UCD’s Belfield campus, the impact of which is projected to lead to the Union’s trading subsidiary to generate no income for UCDSU CLG. The impact of this income drop, as explained in the Financial report of the Students’ Union, will be offset by “tight cost control measures” such as cancelling “non-essential expenditure”.

UCDSU also explained that there would be a reduction in paid “Ents events” this year which would further reduce the income for the Union.

Hugh Dooley – Deputy News Editor

Correction: A previous version of this article included an incorrect explanation of UCD’s Capitation Grant to the Students’ Union. This has been amended. – 12:55 pm 13/08/20.