SGA kickstarts computer bank

Story by Destinee Marking, Contributing writer

Students in need of a laptop will be able to utilize a computer bank on campus for assistance beginning Fall 2017.

Every year, the university phases out old laptops for more up-to-date technology. The Student Government Association is planning a ‘computer bank’ program, giving in-need students access to surplus laptops at little to no cost.

“The concept comes from looking at a couple different models,” said Clint Combs, former-SGA President. “Western Kentucky University has a program where you can do community service hours to get a refurbished Mac from their school, so that’s what got me thinking about developing a similar program.”

Combs initially started discussing creating a program like this with Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, last year and SGA began shaping what the program would look like this semester.

“While we may not realize it, some students on campus do not own a personal computer or laptop,” said Tori Wood, incoming president of the Student Government Association.

Individuals who do not have the financial means for items such as a laptop do not always come forward and ask for help, but Combs said he believes it is safe to assume if this program is on campus, it will be taken advantage of given the success of similar programs at other universities.

He said the goal is to make utilizing the program “as discrete as possible” so students can be comfortable utilizing the services.

“The program seems trivial to some given the amount of computers already on campus,” said Craig Lamb, chief justice of the SGA Judicial Branch. “However, many of those labs or computer banks are restricted in terms of when they can be accessed or are surged with constant popular use, such as at the library.”

Combs said this program will complement programs that already exist at Murray State, such as Racers Helping Racers, the meal bank and the professional clothing bank that is also in the works for Fall 2017.

Lamb believes all efforts by students to better lives and education for others showcases what Murray State is all about. All of these programs makeup an initiative dedicated to Racers in need.

“It’s exciting to be able to offer these programs,” Combs said. “We never want to have students that are worrying so much about finances that they can’t focus on school.”