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 Stories for April 1, 1998:

ASUC, University Agree on Bookstore

posted Apr. 1, 1998

The Associated Students of the University of California and Berkeley campus officials March 19 jointly announced a new structure to operate the student-run bookstore in an effort to return it to profitability and generate money for student activities.

Chancellor Berdahl and ASUC President Sharon Yuan both praised the agreement as a positive solution to a difficult, long-standing dispute over how best to ensure the financial viability of the essential campus service.

The new agreement, they said, will directly benefit students by guaranteeing that profits from the 28,000-square-foot store, which includes the bookstore, Cal clothing sales and a variety of other enterprises, will be returned to the ASUC to fund student activities and services.

“With this fair and far-sighted agreement we preserve Berkeley’s long and meaningful tradition of independent student government and renew an atmosphere of open and honest interaction that will serve the students and administration well into the future,” Berdahl and Yuan said in a joint statement.

The agreement calls for bringing in an independent third party to run the store, which has historically been run by the ASUC. The third party will be selected and overseen by a new ASUC Store Operations Board consisting of six student members, including ASUC officers, and five faculty and administrative staff members.

Further, a campus-run auxiliary reporting to the chancellor will manage the operations of the commercial buildings and oversee the financial activities of the bookstore operator in conjunction with the operations board.

In addition to establishing a new management and operating structure, the agreement resolves a pending legal action the university brought against the ASUC to recover more than $2 million in emergency loans the university made last year to keep the store afloat. Under the agreement, the funds will be paid back in a timely fashion through operating revenue.

The agreement also guarantees employment for at least six months for the 75 full-time ASUC store employees.

University and ASUC officials said they hope to have the new organization operating in time for the return to school in the fall, the bookstore’s busiest time of the year.

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