The Chronicle’s View: Will the good times roll?

Zan Larsen in ASUU has come up with a fantastic new way to generate income for student groups.

For many companies, donating overstocked items (and getting tax benefits) is more profitable than paying for storage. Larsen has suggested setting up an online auction through the U to sell donated items to students. Money generated from the sales will then be given to student groups.

Local businesses, students, staff, faculty, alumni-anybody-can donate items to be purchased through the new service, which is planned to be cleverly called “Ubay.”

This sounds like a great idea. As far as we know, there’s nothing like it at any other university. It is a totally unique, very creative idea with huge potential to benefit students.

As of right now, LoveSac has signed up and Chartwells said it would donate something. Some movie tickets will probably be thrown in by local theaters. There are still some legal hoops to jump through before a huge outreach campaign can be launched to get local business involved.

Everyone cross your fingers and light some candles, this idea has real potential.

However, the problem with potential is it means great stuff hasn’t happened yet. Thomas Edison had thousands of ideas for a light bulb that didn’t work out. Leonardo DaVinci had dozens of great ideas for flying machines.

A lot of work is required to realize a great idea. It’s really easy to let promises be silently forgotten during regime changes. Unfortunately, ASUU has a lot of experience with that.

Recycling bins haven’t shown up yet. The Hook Up cards didn’t impress anyone. Now that idea has been incorporated by expanded usage of the UCard, which also has a lot of potential, but requires a lot of time to see results.

To make Ubay happen, next year’s administration will need to fully back it and make it a priority. The success will need to be solid enough to make it part of ASUU’s institutional memory so future officers will keep it going.

Let’s all clap and cheer and hope for the best with Larsen’s great idea, but also exhort ASUU to carry this through. It’s not enough to just think of great ways to serve students. Nothing decreases confidence in ASUU like great promises that get forgotten, like fixing the water fountain in front of the Student Services Building.