The University announced on Thursday plans to eliminate the mobile computing refresh program which promised new school-provided Lenovo laptops for students after their sophomore year. The program provided full-time students two laptops over the course of eight semesters at $275 per semester.
There had previously been discussions about eliminating the program entirely. The change comes after a February poll by The Setonian which showed that 56 percent of students disliked a ‘bring your own laptop’ program.
The adjusted program will provide students with laptops for their freshman and sophomore years, which they will own after their second year. Students will pay the technology fee for the first two years, and students will not receive a refresh laptop in their junior year, according to an email sent to students by the Department of Information Technology.
The decision to adjust mobile computing is now being framed as one to help save students money during the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus.
“Rising juniors and seniors will own their laptops immediately and realize the fee savings of more than $1,000 over their final two years,” University spokesperson Laurie Pine said in a press release. “This is the newest step in Seton Hall’s ongoing fiscal response to help students navigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.”
A slowed pace of technological advancement is also being cited as a reason for adjusting the program.
“First, there is little benefit to students in receiving new laptops after only two years, as the pace of hardware technology has slowed in recent years,” Chief Information Officer Stephen Landry said in the email sent to the University community. “The newest models by Lenovo and other vendors provide nearly identical specs and speeds compared to the models our students already use.”
The university is extending the warranty for all Lenovo laptops through senior year for all full-time undergraduate students at no additional cost, according to Pine.
Students whose majors previously would have granted them Mac laptops will have the option of receiving their refresh and continuing the fee.
“This decision was made in collaboration with the College of Communication and the Arts,” said Pine. “It allows the student to make the decision based on their personal circumstances.”
Former SGA president Rishi Shah, who campaigned heavily during his term to eliminate the mobile computing program, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Daniel O’Connor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @itsDanOConnor