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Senator proposes purchasing seniors’ book-buying site

Justin Tardiff | Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Council of Representatives focused its discussion Monday on the need to create a more affordable way for Notre Dame students to buy and sell class textbooks.

Fisher senator Sujal Pandya spoke to representatives about three possible solutions to help alleviate the financial burden textbook prices place on students. Pandya said collaborating with an online book company or creating a new Web site could solve the problem.

But Pandya believed his third solution – a proposal that would require student government to purchase an already-established, student-operated book exchange Web site – was the most feasible.

“I believe the third solution is the one we need to pursue. Student government would buy NDBay. We would buy the name identification, the 2,200 users and the success of the program,” Pandya said.

According to Pandya, the NDBay website is currently run by two seniors living off-campus, and the owners are not sure yet if they will continue running the site after graduation.

Representatives questioned Pandya about the feasibility of the project and the amount of effort required to maintain the Web site.

“I want to know the type of investment is needed on our part – like time and people, do we have the manpower? What if the system crashes?” Student Union Board manager Jimmy Flaherty asked.

Pandya assured representatives that the effort required to run the Web site would be minimal.

“The current owners told me they spend one to two hours per week facilitating the site. It will require minimum support. We already have the capacity to run it,” Pandya said.

After other members questioned the cost of the Web site and the need for continuous advertising, chief executive assistant and student body president-elect Dave Baron acknowledged that purchasing NDBay might not be the most efficient measure to take. Instead, Baron said student clubs could take on the task.

“We’ve looked into the issue a great deal. But the cost to buy it seems too much. The Entrepreneurial Club has expressed interest in creating a new Web site. That, to me, seems like a better option,” Baron said.

Student body president Adam Istvan then closed the meeting to the press to discuss the actual price of purchasing the site.