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uStore eases club purchasing

Photo Courtesy MCT Campus Wire Service

In 2014, it’s hard to imagine having to carry around a checkbook or counting pennies. Now, with uStore, an online payment system meant for student organizations and their members, students no longer have to use out-dated forms of payment when purchasing goods and services from student organizations on campus.

According to Ashlie Baty, student organization coordinator for the Student Involvement and Leadership Center (SILC), uStore was launched so student organizations could collect various fees online.

“We live in a modern world, where credit cards are the norm,” Baty said. “We wanted to be able to provide that service to student groups if they wanted to take advantage of it.”

Many students were glad SILC provided this option for that very reason. Britton Russell, senior social sciences major, used the service to buy a t-shirt from Lambda Alpha Epsilon and was glad to have it as an

“For me, personally, I don’t like using cash,” Russell explained.

Russell added that Lambda Alpha Epsilon decided to make uStore the only avenue to purchase the item so all members could conveniently order from one place.

Money collected from online purchases is deposited immediately and directly into the organization’s account. This program is optional to join and free for organizations who choose to use the

Members of the organization should be aware, however, there might be a 3 percent fee on purchases they make. Baty explained how, in general, most credit card transactions attach this fee, but added that SILC was working to get it waived.

Lambda Alpha Epsilon treasurer Amanda Goodson, a graduate student studying criminal justice, said uStore did not send notifications of payment for membership dues until the end of each month and not after every transaction. Goodson said this made it hard to make sure new members received emails from the

“If the member signs up at the beginning of the month and we don’t realize that they’ve paid, say they haven’t turned in their application yet but they’ve paid, they won’t be getting any emails from us,” Goodson said.

Another concern raised by some students was accessibility. Russell said it was difficult to find the uStore portal.

Students, both members and officers of student organizations, can access uStore by going to SILC’s page on the Boise State website and selecting the “student organizations” dropdown.  From there, click on uStore and choose the desired organization.

Usage by groups fluctuates throughout the year, with a large amount of activity taking place during spring and fall recruitment for Greek societies. Baty said approximately seven organizations currently use uStore.

Any student organization on campus who would like more information on how to create an account should contact SILC.