Concordians have always come together in support of one another. As we all navigate through the added challenges brought on by COVID-19, the strength and generosity of our community has never been so needed, and so appreciated.
It’s no secret that college students need computers to be successful. While shared computers are available in labs and study spaces throughout campus, in the wake of COVID-19, communal computers are not just inconvenient, they are limited.
Also because of COVID-19, the university significantly updated computer requirements to ensure a robust learning experience no matter the modality.
Limited access and increased demand created an opportunity for the Concordia community to step in and offer vital student support.
In July 2020, the university established the Digital Angel Fund, a modest fundraising effort with a goal of $7500 to provide laptops or software upgrades to students who do not have access to their own.
That goal was crushed within the first couple weeks, and as of today, the total raised soared to nearly $12,000. All of the money is earmarked for laptops or software upgrades for students.
“Many of the donors are internal,” says Katie Burton, director of the Concordia Fund. “Staff and faculty from both our campuses were the first to reach into their own pockets to help our students.”
So far two computers have been awarded. Students are required to complete an application process in order to qualify. The application process starts with an email to Dr. Elizabeth Polzin, assistant vice president of academics for student success.
“The two students I’ve interacted with already have been so gracious,” says Polzin. “They know that the laptops will help them produce the work required to earn their degree and without it, a greater burden to complete their work would exist.”
One of the first students to qualify is freshman Lucas Regnier of Kankakee, Illinois. “I’m so grateful to Concordia and the Digital Angel Fund. This opportunity will help me be academically successful because I can Zoom with my class, take notes, and print things from my own space.”
Polzin and her team have received several additional requests since the first day of school and expect to award more computers within the next couple days.
The Digital Angel Fund campaign is still accepting donations. Click here to contribute.
For more information about the computer requirements, click here.
— Lisa Liljegren is assistant vice president of strategic communications within the Office of Strategy and University Affairs.
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