Every year the freshers handbook is posted to nearly 2,500 freshers in the UK, with further copies made available to international students on their arrival. This year 5,000 freshers are expected in total.
Despite this high circulation and a captive audience, advertisers have shown little interest in taking space in the handbook, preferring freshers' fair or Felix instead. On top of this, one of the major historic advertisers has chosen not to run an advert this year, due to their treatment by the previous Felix editor.
As an added bonus, the delayed Union budget and miscommunication last year resulted in the current Felix Editor, Andy Sykes, not knowing what his budget was until it was too late.
The net result is a shortfall of over £3,000 on the original budget, despite Sykes taking steps to replace the major advertiser and successfully reducing the cost of the handbook.
The original budget relied heavily on advertising to make up the difference, but without that source of income it has been left to the Union to cover most of the cost.
Ways to prevent a similar problem occuring in the future are currently being explored.
PDF versions of the freshers' handbook and clubs and societies A-Z are available from the Union website,90,ICUNS.html.