COVID-19 has created struggles for all parties involved, from the loss of family members and close friends, to transitions from in-person to non-traditional and online classes.
Based on their response so far, the faculty at Southern University and A&M College understands the conflicts that many students are going through, especially in the freshmen class. To help ease their stress, Southern has offered laptops to help accommodate those students in need. “We thought it was very imperative that students had something of their own to actually be successful,” said Dr. Zackeus Johnson, Executive of University College.
However, there is still a fair share of freshmen who are unaware of their laptop privileges. Dr. Johnson has used Zoom and Outlook to notify freshmen of the availability of the laptops through the university. Freshman computer science major, Kenneth Martin Jr. confirmed their communications saying, “Yes, an Outlook email was sent out to me from Zackeus Johnson.”
Of course, many upperclassmen were not aware of the new computers since they are not freshmen, but were curious as to why they were not given the option of getting new laptops. When asked, “Why is the focus on freshmen?” Dr. Johnson stated, “They don’t have the resources. Some of them are first generation college students, some of them are coming from poverty homes, so they can’t afford laptops.”
When posed the question of whether or not she thought it was fair that only freshmen received new laptops, sophomore mass communications major Katrina Anderson said, “I think that freshmen should have more leeway; we are older. But at the same time, since one group is getting new things, it should apply to everyone.”
While this is an amazing opportunity provided by the school, it must be said that these laptops were not free. Rather, a fee for the laptops was included in the tuition for the freshmen. They will be getting the option of a Dell Latitude 3310 or a New Latitude 3310 Laptop. The laptops will be administered in Moore Hall at the help desk within a week and half. Only students that opt in to receive a laptop will get an email on when the laptops will be ready to be picked up.
For upperclassmen that would like to receive a new laptop, they must inform Dr. Zackeus Johnson or someone in the information technology building. A $600 fee will be added to the student’s account and said students will be accommodated.