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Bookstore seeks student funds

by admin October 20, 2009

Bookstore seeks student funds

by admin October 20, 2009

The Concordia Co-op bookstore is one step closer to having every student pay in for its services when council approved last Wednesday the business’ application to have a 9-cent fee levy put to referendum.
“We’re so happy,” the bookstore’s manager Larissa Dutil said. “But this is only half the battle.”
Whether the Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore gets the fee levy will be decided by students during the Concordia Student Union’s November referendum.
With the bookstore in debt to several parties, Dutil said the fee levy will help the store remain competitive and, therefore, a viable option for consumers.
The manager said she would be the first to admit tumultuous finances have plagued the Co-op for several years.
But she assures the business has turned a new leaf, with the worst now behind them.
Although the bookstore’s finances appear to be on the mend, the business remains in debt to provincial and federal governments, the CSU and an “anonymous” lender.
“We don’t like being in debt, of course,” said Dutil. “We don’t like that the CSU could use it against us somehow. But it’s not like we can pay it back in a hurry, in one lump sum.”
Financial troubles began when the bookstore’s volunteer accountant failed to keep the business’ books up-to-date. Among other unpaid bills, the Co-op had not been paying taxes to the government. A new, paid accountant was hired in August 2007. But in order to pay the government and continue operating, the Co-op received two $10,000 interest-free loans; one from the CSU and one from the anonymous lender who Dutil said is known to her. The lender requested anonymity in order to avoid requests for funds from other groups.
Those loans came on top of another $25,000 loan from the CSU, received in 2004.
Dutil said the first loan was to help cover costs associated with the bookstore’s move from the basement of Reggie’s to its current location on Bishop St.
The bookstore is on payment plans with the governments, but remains $12,800 in debt to the CSU.
Sam Moyal, current CSU VP finance said he hasn’t looked at the bookstore’s file since he took office in June. The bookstore is not currently making payments on the loan, which is made of student money.
At the council meeting last Wednesday, Dutil said the fee levy would help enable the bookstore to finance a campaign to raise awareness of its existence. The student funds would also help lower prices on books and finance an updated website with inventory databases and purchasing abilities.
Dutil was hesitant to say whether the fee levy would be used to pay off the store’s debts.
“We wouldn’t be directly using the fee levy to pay off the loans,” she said. “But having the extra money would help us use different money to pay off the debt.”
The bookstore was founded in 2002, and runs independently of the university. As a non-profit Co-op it sells books below the suggested retail price. For $10 customers can become members, thereby qualifying for additional discounts and the right to participate in the Co-op.

The Concordia Co-op bookstore is one step closer to having every student pay in for its services when council approved last Wednesday the business’ application to have a 9-cent fee levy put to referendum.
“We’re so happy,” the bookstore’s manager Larissa Dutil said. “But this is only half the battle.”
Whether the Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore gets the fee levy will be decided by students during the Concordia Student Union’s November referendum.
With the bookstore in debt to several parties, Dutil said the fee levy will help the store remain competitive and, therefore, a viable option for consumers.
The manager said she would be the first to admit tumultuous finances have plagued the Co-op for several years.
But she assures the business has turned a new leaf, with the worst now behind them.
Although the bookstore’s finances appear to be on the mend, the business remains in debt to provincial and federal governments, the CSU and an “anonymous” lender.
“We don’t like being in debt, of course,” said Dutil. “We don’t like that the CSU could use it against us somehow. But it’s not like we can pay it back in a hurry, in one lump sum.”
Financial troubles began when the bookstore’s volunteer accountant failed to keep the business’ books up-to-date. Among other unpaid bills, the Co-op had not been paying taxes to the government. A new, paid accountant was hired in August 2007. But in order to pay the government and continue operating, the Co-op received two $10,000 interest-free loans; one from the CSU and one from the anonymous lender who Dutil said is known to her. The lender requested anonymity in order to avoid requests for funds from other groups.
Those loans came on top of another $25,000 loan from the CSU, received in 2004.
Dutil said the first loan was to help cover costs associated with the bookstore’s move from the basement of Reggie’s to its current location on Bishop St.
The bookstore is on payment plans with the governments, but remains $12,800 in debt to the CSU.
Sam Moyal, current CSU VP finance said he hasn’t looked at the bookstore’s file since he took office in June. The bookstore is not currently making payments on the loan, which is made of student money.
At the council meeting last Wednesday, Dutil said the fee levy would help enable the bookstore to finance a campaign to raise awareness of its existence. The student funds would also help lower prices on books and finance an updated website with inventory databases and purchasing abilities.
Dutil was hesitant to say whether the fee levy would be used to pay off the store’s debts.
“We wouldn’t be directly using the fee levy to pay off the loans,” she said. “But having the extra money would help us use different money to pay off the debt.”
The bookstore was founded in 2002, and runs independently of the university. As a non-profit Co-op it sells books below the suggested retail price. For $10 customers can become members, thereby qualifying for additional discounts and the right to participate in the Co-op.