September 24, 2020 Student government launches new laptop loan program
By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities
RICHLAND, Wash. – Up to 50 students can now check-out laptops through Washington State University Tri-Cities as part of a new laptop loan program launched by the Associated Students of WSU Tri-Cities, the campus’ student government.
ASWSUTC saw a need for technology support for students this summer and voted to dedicate $9,700 of funds toward purchasing 20 new laptops that students can check-out free of cost for use throughout their educational experience at WSU Tri-Cities.
Additionally, Cadwell recently donated 30 laptops to WSU Tri-Cities for student use, some of which will be awarded to students for permanent ownership and the others will be rented out through the ASWSUTC program. The Cadwell laptops are all previously used, but have been refurbished and have new hard drives.
“In the 21st century, having a reliable computer is necessary to succeed in higher education, whether you are taking classes in-person, hybrid, or online,” ASWSUTC President Robin Kovis said. “ASWSUTC decided to jump start this program because we know the demand for reliable technology surged with the virtual shift.”
Kovis said ASWSUTC will be working with the Office of Advancement to ensure that the program continues well into the future.
“We hope that this new program will help to close some of the equity gaps within higher education,” he said. “More than anything, the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted some of the deep economic inequalities our country still faces today … Our campus community is not immune to these financial hardships. Many students and family members who support students have experienced the brunt of this economic slowdown during the pandemic. We felt it is our duty as student leaders to cushion that impact in any way we could.”
The ASWSUTC laptop loan program is being offered to WSU Tri-Cities students in addition to a separate WSU systemwide program offered at no cost to students through the WSU Provost’s office that allows students to apply to check-out a Chromebook or Wi-Fi HotSpot.
Kovis said they are excited that Cadwell donated additional laptops, as it means that even more students will have access to technology, even beyond COVID-19.
“Generous donations like this from individuals and businesses within our community are ultimately what will ensure the long-term success of our laptop program,” he said. “Because of Cadwell’s donation, the reach of the laptop rental program is now much greater.”
Students can apply to check-out a laptop through the “ASWSUTC Technology Access Equity Program” application located on the WSU Tri-Cities Student Support Services website at tricities.wsu.edu/current-students/support.
Those interested in giving to the ASWSUTC laptop loan program should contact Laura Sanchez, WSU Tri-Cities director of campus student support services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robin Kovis, Associated Students of WSU Tri-Cities president, email@example.com
Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities assistant director of marketing and communication, 619-403-3617, firstname.lastname@example.org