Students can rent laptops for free in the Student Union beginning April 4, a project brought on by Mia Baybayan, student organization senator and student life committee chair.
There are 12 laptops in the machine – six Dell PCs and six MacBook Pros – available for students to use freely, so long as they don’t have any business holds on their accounts. To check out a laptop, students must swipe their valid Chapman ID card.
The computers charge while in the kiosk, meaning they should keep a full battery for the entire rental time of four hours. When signing out a laptop, students will be prompted with an agreement that holds them accountable for any loss or damage to the laptop, as well as a $25 per hour late fee.
The laptop kiosk was planned to be implemented at the start of interterm, but was not installed until last week because it took longer than expected to decide on which machine to go with, Baybayan said.
“The project kind of disappeared when senate’s term ended last year so I picked it up again last semester,” Baybayan said. “When I initially brought it up with senate this year, they were a little hesitant about funding such a large project, especially the biggest project of the semester.”
Student government funded $29,700 of the project, said Johnny Demshki, student government’s director of finance. Information Systems and Technology funded the remaining $20,000 and will cover the annual service fee and fix any issues with the computers and kiosk, said Mike Keyser, assistant director of the Student Union.
The project was originally proposed to cost between $30,000 and $40,000. The kiosk itself ended up costing about $30,000 and the additional purchase of each laptop made the total cost about $50,000, Keyser said.
“I think that everyone sees this as a service that students can really benefit from. A lot of students have their own laptops, so it’s not necessarily supposed to provide an ongoing laptop service, but a lot of times people want to leave their laptops at home,” Keyser said. “There’s a convenience piece to that, or the fact that these are really new. They might even be nicer than some laptops that a student has.”
Shaden Beltran, an undeclared freshman, believes the kiosk is beneficial for students.
“If we are paying for something and it’s going to go toward something that we are going to benefit out of, that’s definitely got to be less of a concern as to where our money is going,” Beltran said.
Not all students agree. Madison Schumacher, a sophomore integrated educational studies major, said that due to the large cost, the kiosk was an unnecessary expenditure.
“A lot of people carry around their own laptops here, and we have all the computers in the library and stuff,” Schumacher said. “I think it would make more sense for them to invest in maybe more computer chargers, because I know that a lot of people don’t carry around their chargers and stuff like that.”
The Student Union does have computer chargers available for students to check out using their student IDs.
The laptops can be used anywhere on campus including the Marion Knott Studios, the dorms and classrooms, as long as they are returned on time.
“You can just walk up to the kiosk as you are walking through AF (Argyros Forum) and rent a laptop. I (fore)see a lot of students utilizing this service I guess because a lot of us don’t really like to talk about the need for a laptop,” Baybayan said. “I think in the future we are going to end up getting more laptops or going to a bigger kiosk in the coming years.”