SU bookshop backlog leaves students waiting for cheques

UCD Students’ Union bookshop has yet to pay some students whose books were sold in the first semester.The secondhand bookshop, which is run by Education Officer, James Williamson, works on the basis that students give in their unwanted books along with the price they would like to sell them for. When their books are sold, they receive an email informing them of this occurrence and can then claim a cheque for the sale.However, this year, students have not received emails even months after their books have been sold. One student who spoke to The University Observer anonymously informed us how she found out through her SU account that one of her books had been sold in October, and yet had still not been notified.The student said that although she has been calling down to the bookshop regularly since November in order to claim her cheque, she is always told “we can’t find your cheque, we’ll send you a mail next week”.The student added that she never received any emails and was recently told that the reason why she had not received her cheque yet was because her name was on the bottom of the list. “I don’t understand how I could be at the bottom of the list if the book was sold in October,” she said. “Anyway, she didn’t give me a cheque because she didn’t have any cheque books. I still have to wait until next week.”Williamson puts this down to the great increase in sellers this year, which has created a backlog: “We had a load of books dropped down to the Student Centre this year,” he says.He also noted that sometimes students don’t write their email addresses down clearly and therefore it can be difficult to contact them if their books are sold off. He also mentioned the possibility of such emails accidently appearing in spam folders when they’re sent to a student’s email account.Williamson admits there are flaws in the SU Bookshop system, in that the emails are sent out manually and due to the large influx of books this year, combined with a necessary stock take, the bookshop’s staff find it difficult to get through the list. Plans to remedy this include setting up an automatic system so that as soon as the book is taken off the online database, the student would be sent an automatic email.