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Clubs rent DVDs free of charge

Aaron Steiner | Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Got an inkling to watch “Juno,” “Transformers” or episodes of “The Office,” but they’re not in your movie collection?

Notre Dame students can “rent” their favorite DVDs free of charge starting this week as part of a new DVD service Notre Dame Student Government is offering.

The ND DVD Club is operated out of Student Government offices on the second floor of LaFortune and for a year-long refundable five dollar security deposit, students currently have access to over 450 DVDs, organizer Joy Hwang, Student Government Residence Life Committee Chair, said.

“Bring your student ID, and a five dollar security deposit and you can join the club,” Hwang said. The one time deposit is refundable at the end of the academic year, as long as you follow the rules of the DVD club.

“They can rent movies for the rest of the year,” Hwang said.

“Unless you turn [a DVD] in late, or you don’t turn [a DVD] in, or [the DVD] is damaged, you get [the deposit] back at the end of the year,” she said. Students can also opt out of the program if they would like.

“At any point, if you want to be taken out of the club, you can get your five dollars back,” she said.

Hwang said the movies came from The Huddle, which offered a DVD rental service in previous years. Huddle Manager Jim LaBella told The Observer last February that the rental service was no longer profitable to the store.

The DVDs were given to Student Government, who originally purchased them for the DVD rental service.

“We got a little over 400 from them, and [Student Government] purchased about 50 more,” Hwang said. Most of the over 450 DVDs are not duplicates, Hwang said. She also said Student Government plans to purchase new films on a monthly basis.

Currently, a list of available movies can be viewed on the Student Government Web site.

Students can check out one DVD at a time, and regular DVDs must be returned within four days. New releases, typically films released in the past year, must be returned within two days, Hwang said. There is a late fee if students don’t return the movies on time.

Student Body Vice President Grant Schmidt said that the computer program used to track rentals can notify students via e-mail of rentals that need to be returned.

Schmidt said the new program is part of student government’s goal to increase the lines of communication between students and Student Government.

“We want to get people kind of aware of what we’re doing here, in an informal way,” Schmidt said. The program is an especially good way for students who aren’t familiar with the Student Government office to become more aware of what Student Government does.

Schmidt said of the students who had signed up throughout the day Mond-ay, “a lot of people didn’t even know where the second floor of LaFortune was.”

Hwang agreed.

“It was people who really wouldn’t usually come up to student government,” she said. “I’m hoping this will be an avenue for people to [get to know] Student Government.”