a cyclone craigslist might be coming soon

Zach Clemens

Iowa State students might soon have a website where they can buy, sell or exchange goods with fellow Cyclones. This website has been dubbed CySwap, and would be developed by Iowa State’s Information Technology Services (ITS).

“We don’t really have an online interface for students to exchange goods between people,” said Dan Breitbarth, ISU’s student body president.

Breitbarth likened it to Craigslist, or a Facebook buy/sell/trade page but more secure, with individuals only dealing with fellow students, and more organized with aspects like a search feature.

The cost for ITS developing the website would be $20,300, which is a couple thousand dollars lower than estimates by third party companies, said Andrew Nguyen, a sophomore in computer science, and Student Government’s director of information technology.

“We thought why not have [ITS] do it, they’re in house and it makes sense to give them the money so it will stay in ISU’s system,” Nguyen said.

The $20,300 would be just for the development of the website, with a recurring charge each year. Nguyen said the absolute high-end of the recurring charge would be $2000 per year, but that is the worst-case scenario each year and would likely be less than that.

At the last Student Government meeting of 2015, senators voted on a bill that would have funded the development of CySwap. However, it was not approved by a vote of 22-10.

Sen. George Weston, a graduate student in sociology, who voted against the funding, felt the timing of the bill was off. He had originally heard of the idea for the site in August, but no mention of the site had been made until that last meeting, in which the authors of the bill waived a second reading of the bill.

“I don’t understand why the bill was introduced at the very last meeting, there was no excuse for this not to be brought to us the week before,” Weston said.

He went on to say that if the bill gets reintroduced next semester, it will give him time to talk with his constituents and gauge their support of funding CySwap.

“There is still a lot of questions that need to be asked, in terms of liability and security issues, but there was not enough time [because of the end of the semester] to be answered,” Weston said.

Weston said he would definitely be open to approving funding if the proper time is allotted for him to get the opinions of the students he represents.

President Breitbarth said there is a plan to introduce a new bill the first meeting back from winter break, and if funding is approved, CySwap would be available for use by the summer.