UCD Students’ Union Campaigns and Communications Officer Paddy Guiney has launched his planned for bike package scheme and laptop repair service, after a number of delays and setbacks. Both aim to reduce the cost of these essentials for students.The bike deal, run in conjunction with Belfield Bike Shop, is offering students a new bike for €175. For that, the student gets the use of the bike for a semester and gets half of that cost returned to them at the end of the year. For an additional €20, a light and lock are included.
Guiney says the scheme is going “brilliantly”, with 40 bikes sold since the beginning of the semester. He expects demand for new bikes to drop off during the semester, and intends to counteract this by selling bike and car repair kits. There is the possibility of also introducing a second hand bike scheme if targets are met with the package deal.
Guiney hopes to begin advertising acceptance of second hand bikes around weeks four or five. The Students’ Union will sell the bikes on behalf of students for a 10% cut of the profit.
If these schemes prove a success, he plans to implement a bike rental scheme for September 2013, similar to those seen in the UK, operating on a fixed price of €50 per semester. There will be further negotiations with Michael Rafter of UCD Buildings and Services on incorporating bikes that have been abandoned on campus into the scheme, which would be a “bonus” for Guiney.
Guiney has also joined forces with Netsoc to start a laptop repair service. Students pay €30 plus the cost of any hardware, if it is needed, which “is a lot cheaper than anything on the high street” according to Guiney. They will ensure any hardware needed is the “cheapest, most affordable” available. There is a “no fix, no charge” policy also. Half of the weekly intake will go to the Students’ Union, while the other half will be commission for the NetSoc members carrying out the repairs.
For software issues, three to five working days are required for repairs, while hardware problems will take five to ten. Students will be notified of the problem with their laptop once it is determined, and again when their laptop is ready for collection. The service operates from the James Joyce Library Tunnel.
Long term, Guiney would eventually like to see a move into the sale of laptops at a reduced rate for students in UCD, and to also use the service to help Computer Science students to gain some practical experience.
Guiney is “delighted” with these launches and hopes they will remain for the foreseeable future.