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By Vanessa Greco

After two months of waiting for Used Book Room cheques, students might finally be able to pick up their money just in time for the holidays.

The Used Book Room should be open on Dec. 1.

The book room, run by the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU), has been closed since late September, when hard drive failure erased records of all inventory. As employees scrambled to restore the lost data, many students grew frustrated, unable to pick up cheques for their sold items.

“This wasn’t something anyone could have planned,” said Toby Whitfield, VP finance and services.

He said he sympathizes with all students affected by the book room closure.

In early November, Whitfield sent the remaining information — six boxes of printed receipts — to a data entry company to speed things up.

As well, new software was purchased for tracking book room transactions.

Whitfield estimates the total cost of the book room server crash to be anywhere between $5,000 and $6,000.

“It’s been challenging,” he said. “But things are finally on the up and up.”

Despite RSU optimism, Loreen Needham isn’t holding her breath.

“I have no faith in that date. I’m certain it’ll be changed again,” said the part-time business management student.

“They’ve changed it so many times, why should I believe them now?”

For over two months now, Needham has been visiting the book room regularly, attempting to pick up her $168 consignment cheque. Each time, she has been instructed to return at a later date.

“This is madness. I’ve got bills to pay,” said Needham. “

Show me a ‘guaranteed opening’ sign and maybe then I’ll feel better.”

From now on, Needham will be avoiding the RSU’s Used Book Room.

Ehsan Akbarzadeh said the unexpected book room closure is forgivable but should have been handled differently.

“If I understood why this was happening then it wouldn’t be a big issue,” said the second-year student. He added there should have been more information provided about the server crash.

“I’m a student so $100 is a lot of money to me,” he said.

“That cheque alone could have handled my monthly TTC expenses.”

In addition to her monthly metropass, Roslyn Chen has extra expenses this month.

The second-year film studies student just moved into a new apartment and hoped to put her book room cheque — over $87 — towards rent and groceries.

“The people who use the book room are usually in tighter financial situations,” said Chen.

“Right now, I think many people are disappointed. We need this service.”


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