“We believe student needs come before profit.” -Elizabeth Gafford, Coordinator of WKU Research Conservation
Would you like to have your own Mac computer? Better yet, would you like to earn one rather than spend money?
The WKU Student Government Association, WKU Resource Conservation, and WKU Information Technology have partnered to create the Earn-A-Computer Program, a new program designed to provide refurbished Mac computers to students who complete community service hours.
WKU Surplus receives Apple computers regularly from the campus community. Because of their age, style, or model, these computers are no longer supported by WKU’s IT Department; however, these Apple computers often maintain ample utility and can be prepared for reuse with minimal investment.
Student workers in Surplus who prepare other electronics for recycling can prepare Apple computers for reuse in less than an hour. Additional costs associated with this program, such as chargers and keyboards, can be offset by auctioning off one or two Apple computers to the public each semester.
Currently, WKU students do not have access to many affordable options to purchase a computer. Additionally, although computer labs are abundant on the Bowling Green campus, a substantial number of WKU students live off campus and these labs are not convenient options for them. For these students, for students who must do their schoolwork late at night, and for students who just want their own computer, WKU SGA believes having a personal computer is an important tool for collegiate success.
The WKU Student Government Association is designed to address “student needs, interests, and opinions toward all aspects of university life” and “promote student well-being and involvement.” Working with WKU Resource Conservation to implement the Earn-A-Computer Program meets students’ needs by improving access to personal computers, a critical tool for academic success, and encourages student involvement through volunteer service. Upon completion of 40 hours a service learning during the academic with organizations that are the applicant’s preference, and upon successful completion of the WKU SGA Earn-A-Computer Program application (see above and below), a WKU SGA committee will review applications, select qualified students, verify hours served, and notify individuals as well as WKU Resource Conservation of their award. WKU Resource Conservation will be responsible for distributing computers to selected individuals at a date to be determined each semester by SGA.
WKU SGA defines community service as unpaid, voluntary work intended to help people in a particular area. Verification of community service will be determined by a WKU SGA committee.
Computers will be available to those who have met the 40-hours-of-service requirement and are selected by a SGA committee after a review of all submitted applications. There will be a limited number of computers available each semester. We anticipate this number averaging over 20 per semester, but it may be higher or lower. For applicants who are not selected, WKU SGA, WKU Resource Conservation, and WKU Information Technology hopes this program serves as an incentive for community involvement and is the beginning — or continuation — of a life of civic engagement.
The Power of Sustainability - A.A.S.H.E. STARS Innovation Credits
STARS Innovation Credits recognize institutions that are seeking innovative solutions to sustainability challenges and demonstrating sustainability leadership in ways that are not otherwise captured in STARS. STARS Innovation Credits are unique in that they are added to the Institution’s overall percentage score, which means it has relatively more weight than other STARS credits.
The Earn-A-Computer Program qualifies for one STARS Innovation Credit in the following ways:
— Waste Diversion - this program minimizes electronic waste and maximize the life of campus property through refurbishing and redistributing surplussed computers
— Social Equality - this program improves access to tools that provide an advantage in academic success by alleviating students of the financial hardship of purchasing a personal computer for academic use
— Community Resiliency - this program strengthens community resiliency by encouraging student engagement through service learning