One University’s Surplus Is Another’s Treasure

By David Ford 

Old items like computers, chairs and filing cabinets find new homes twice a year during Youngstown State University’s surplus and electronics sales.

Twice a year, YSU holds a sale to sell items they no longer find useful to the public. The surplus sale takes place at the central receiving area of the E.J. Salata Complex on Rayen Avenue. The electronics sale takes place in Cushwa Hall.

According to the YSU Surplus Policy statement, property such as equipment or furnishing that is no longer needed may be declared surplus and disposed of in the best interest of the university.

Martyn Moss, the manager of building services at YSU, said that if the items are still usable, they go to him. Moss is in charge of overseeing campus surplus and collects these items throughout the year.

“Each item is tagged as surplus. That item will be available to purchase,” Moss said.

If an item goes unclaimed for nearly a year, it is usually donated or disposed of. Moss said that several items in the past have been donated to local charities. Some of the charities include Fostering Dreams and Helping Other Women Inc.

“The sale is a great place to go if you need office equipment and don’t have the budget to afford new stuff,” Moss said. “The items we collect come from all over campus that are no longer needed by the university, but are still in good shape for someone else to use.”

The items most commonly found in the YSU surplus sales include filing cabinets, chairs, desks and bookcases. According to Moss, a few old lockers from Stambaugh Stadium have been sold in the past. Typically, these surplus items range from $20 to $25.

When asked, some students at YSU were unaware of the surplus and electronic sales, but the event does attract a large number of people.

“We had people from the local news broadcast the surplus sale,” Moss said. “It has been a big event in the past. We made approximately $4,000 on the surplus sale and $13,000 on the electronics sale. All of the money from the sales goes into a restricted account back to the university.”

Danny O’Connell, director of support services at YSU, believes the university sales benefit both the university and the public.

“We’re taking these surplus items that would normally be thrown away and giving them a new purpose,” O’Connell said. “The items are very reasonably priced and the sale prevents them from just being disposed of in landfills.”

O’Connell said there is no date planned for the upcoming sale, but envisions it will take place this semester. He said printers and computers will be the item with the most availability.

Ron Cole, the YSU public information officer, said that there is a good amount of success with the annual sales.

“A lot of people show up. It’s like our own little university garage sale,” Cole said.

Cole is in charge of public advertising for the sales. Cole said he disseminates press releases for the event to notify the public when the sales will take place and what items will be available for purchase.

Outside of Cole’s office sit two chairs ready to be sold. On each chair sits the exclusive blue tag, meaning it will be heading over to the E.J. Salata Complex where it will soon find its new owner and location.

Despite the surplus sale’s success, the electronics sale proves to be more profitable for the university. Most of the items sold at the electronics sale include CPUs, monitors, keyboards, DVD players and printers. Since inkjet printers are not allowed on campus, the types of printers available to the public are limited.

“We believe this a good event for us,” O’Connell said. “We’re working on setting a sale date for this semester.”