Ubay is on its way: ASUU’s Web site could add to student groups’ limited budgets

The student government is working on a program that will generate revenue to help fund student groups.

The program is an online auction Web site the Associated Students of the University of Utah calls “Ubay.”

Through the site, students and staff will be able to bid on donated items from businesses.

Those who buy items off of Ubay can donate their money to the student group of their choice or let the money go into the general ASUU fund. The auction revenues will not be a part of the $5,000 limit ASUU places on student groups, allowing them to receive more funds, according to vice president Bobby Harrington.

Organizations such as The Muss, Sigma Gamma Chi, Muslim Student Association and the Interfraternity Council receive close to the $5,000 max every year.

Tres Zaglool, member of the IFC, sees the possible additional revenue as an answer to a problem.

“It would do wonders to the organization,” he said. “We could increase our marketing budget for recruiting, which is our biggest problem right now.”

However, Keri Johnson, director of the development board, said there is concern about copyright infringement since “Ubay” is a similar name to “eBay,” the biggest online auction site on the Internet. ASUU legal council is working on getting the name approved.

The idea for Ubay came to Zan Larsen, former director of the development board, last summer. “I dreamt it,” she said.

“Businesses do not like to donate cash,” Larsen said. “They [would] rather donate goods, because it’s cheaper to get rid of overstocked items rather than store them.”

A representative from The Pie Pizzeria said benefits to donating include free publicity and tax write-offs on donated items.

Cinemark, Chartwells, the Utah College of Massage Therapy and Southwest Airlines are some of the businesses ASUU has already contacted for possible donations. When the site is complete next fall, Larsen said the development board would work to put 1,000 donating businesses on its contact list.

“We have 350 contacts on our list right now and have been using the list to get free stuff throughout the year,” she said.

Ubay would be the first university student government online auction in the nation, according to Larsen.

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