Carter Brown – Staff Writer
Last spring semester the Gustavus Student Senate released a new initiative known as the “Laptop Loaner” program. This program, sponsored by the Student Senate, is a way that students can have access to technology on campus for their needs. This comes in light of the transitions most classes have been making to an online format as a response to Covid-19 and the implementation of new regulations that come with it.
Student Senate co-presidents Ben Menke and Regina Olono explain this program that was worked on in conjunction with Student Senate Technology Chair Abbie Doran.
“Because of Covid we noticed students weren’t able to meet their needs during this online period, so we started this program so everyone could have access to the technology that they need for school,” Olono said.
“Right now, you can check a laptop out for two weeks at a time and renew your rental period for another two weeks, however this is temporary, and we are hoping to make it a permanent initiative so that you can check it out for as long as a semester,” Olono said.
“With online learning becoming more common and important, we’re happy to offer this service for students. We have other services too. Besides the laptop program, we support many other projects. Just to name a few, the Gus Bus, the new compost bins, and new water fountains in residential halls are all funded by Student Senate,” Menke said.
This program is completely free for students to use. According to Doran, Gustavus Technology Services (GTS) “covers wear and tear issues or damage, especially as the laptop grows older. The only charges a student might see would come from clearly student inflicted damage, such as water damage or screen damage – but a missing keycap or an old burnt-out battery wouldn’t warrant any charges,” Doran said.
In addition to this, while the loan periods are only two weeks at a time the plan is to make them more convenient in the long-run, with the basis being centered around student needs.
“The loan periods for the program are meant to be flexible, so you can rent it for a few days while yours is being fixed by GTS, or you can rent it for the whole semester if you don’t have a functional laptop to use and you haven’t saved up enough to buy a new one yet. It really just depends on what you need as a student at that time,” Doran said.
“If students have any issues with tech on campus reach out to the tech helpline at GTS and they will help you with any issues you have with tech on campus,” Doran said.
It was also noted, however, that students who either do not have access to on campus technology resources such as computer labs or are in quarantine do have highest priority. The remaining loaner laptops will be rented out on a first come first serve basis.
You can grab a loaner laptop yourself if you are ever in need of one, by either contact the GTS technology helpline by either emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (507)-933-6111. Students may also fill out a technology request form at gustavus.edu/tech request or stop by the GTS office, which is located on the first floor of Olin hall for assistance with the program. To complete the loan, students must also sign a waiver that acknowledges that if there is any significant damage caused by the student or it is lost, the student is responsible for replacement costs.
If you have any other questions, please contact either Technology Chair Abbie Doran (email@example.com), the GTS helpline, or Student Senate co-presidents Ben Menke (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Regina Olono (email@example.com).