Device share program to benefit students

Donating gently used technology that is not needed anymore can greatly help a member of the Marshall University community, according to Marshall faculty and staff. An idea contrived through the collaboration of the Student Government Association and the IT Department, the device share program can be a resource to make sure students in need of technology are still able to be the best students possible. 

“Our student government leaders Stephanie Rogner and Anna Williams worked with IT and came up with the idea of a device share program,” said Michell Biggs, assistant dean of advocacy and support at Marshall. “This way, students who might not own a laptop or other useful device can use one from IT for a semester or possibly a school year, depending on the need.”

IT and SGA representatives concluded that a donation drive was a good way to help with supplying some of the devices that students may need to complete their classes and be an overall successful student.

Items such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices will be accepted at drop-off locations including the IT help desk located on the first floor of Drinko, as well as the Student Affairs Office located on the second floor of the Memorial Student Center.

Much of a college student’s success is dependent on technology, Jody Perry, executive director of technology services at Marshall, said.

“We have a lot of students who are not able to purchase technology, or they come to college without a laptop. This can be for many different reasons,” Perry said. “Whether it’s that financial aid was late, they didn’t have the financial means, or a laptop broke down. It can leave the student in a difficult place, especially if the library does not have any more machines available in the checkout pool.”

With a need now established, IT and SGA can now move forward with the device share initiative that can benefit IT by decreasing their outward workload as well as providing students with resources. 

“We would love to do this device share program for as long as we can,” Biggs said. “Every year, we have new students that might need some type of equipment.”

The items that students turn in do not have any strict requirements, but it is asked that they turn in items that are gently used with minimal damage and screen cracks. Members of the IT Department will then work to refurbish the items for students to checkout.

“If a student doesn’t have access to technology, I don’t think they can succeed,” Perry said. “That’s why we’ve always had computer labs on campus and the checkout program. It’s been fulfilling working with SGA because they understand the student need greater than anyone else, and any opportunity where I can help is a great one, because that’s what we’re here for.”

Olayinka Bamiro can be reached at [email protected]