DSU VP Finance and Operations Candidate: Liam Finnegan

Financial literacy workshops and long-term planning

written by Chelsea McMillen
March 9, 2018 3:19 pm
Editor’ Note: This interview has been edited and formatted for style and clarity

Name: Liam Finnegan

Major, Year: Fourth year, BSc Economics


What position are you running for, and what responsibilities correspond with it?

I am running for VP of Finance & Operations. The VPFO is responsible for creating the DSU budgeting and managing the finances of the DSU. The VPFO must also create quarterly financial reports while also performing audits of levied societies.


Why are you running in this election?

I am running because I feel the DSU’s finances are not transparent enough. Currently, the budget is lacking details on what costs even are. Cost categories such as Operations, Accounts, Technical, etc. are vague and have no detailed explanation of what they are and what they include. This creates a large barrier for students interested, but with little financial knowledge.

I also find the lack of long-term financial planning frustrating. How can an organization of any kind, that has steady cash inflows not plan for the future? Just as any company, the DSU should be implementing data-driven budget plans. This is the only way to actually see change on campus for students, otherwise the DSU will be caught in a turnover of Executives trap.


What are your goals if you are elected?

I would create the long-term financial plan I mentioned earlier. We need this, we deserve this. The DSU is responsible for millions of dollars’ worth of assets. I want to ensure each dollar is planned properly and is allocated properly.

I would also seek to create financial literacy workshops across campuses throughout the school year. I want to ensure students graduate with more than a degree from Dal. Finances are a tough topic for our generation. A large portion has not been given the information or tools to manage their personal finances. This includes budgeting, taxes, investing, loan payments, debt problems, and much more. These workshops would be broken up into different demographics on campus: First years, Fourth years/those graduating and professional students. This is because different age groups have different questions.

My last point on this is, I would consult with organizations on campus like Dalhousie Indigenous Student Centre and International Student Centre to see if these individual groups of students would desire their own workshops. 

Lastly, I want the Dalhousie administration to release both terms’ fees at the same time. Students need the full details of their expenses in order to budget accordingly. This will hopefully ensure less students are struggling to finance their Winter term.


What is something interesting about you?

I have fought my way through administrative problems before.

While studying at a Catholic secondary school in Whitehorse, YT I was informed students were barred from using terms such as gay, lesbian, transgender, etc. In addition, gay-straight alliances were banned.

This infuriated me.

So, I fought against the Catholic Church and my school’s administration. I was very lucky to have had the support of my teachers and classmates and the community of Whitehorse. Using the public press, CBC, The National Post, local newspapers, and other national news providers, I was able to defeat this horrible law in my school and provide a safe place for LGBTQ+ students in my high school.

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