by Amanda McCann, staff writer

From Apr. 2-9, all current PPSC students can vote on the newly proposed technology fee that will go into effect for the 2024–25 school year.  

Earlier this month, an email was sent out to the student body regarding the new fee, which will ultimately be to update current computers around campus, as well as supply in-need students with subsidized laptops.  

“A lot of equipment we have is aging,” says Enrique Romo, PPSC’s Vice President of Student Experience. “The life of technology is anywhere from 3-5 years, so we are making sure that we are providing students with the resources they need,” he says.  

The Student Government Association is currently working out the finer details of the subsidized laptops’ eligibility. 

“Subsidized computers are those that are sold at a reduced price or with financial assistance provided by an organization,” says Romo. “[SGA] could explore different rates for Pell [Grant] eligible students versus non-Pell eligible.”  

The fee will also go towards updating software in classrooms, which will benefit students and professors.  

“Funds [from the fee] will also be used to update just things all around campus. Professors will have an easier time teaching their classes because their machines will reliably work. We can also stay up to date with the rest of the colleges,” says SGA President, Wesley Montgomery.  

“Something we noticed while we were writing the fee is that almost every other community college and university has a fee like this, and we [PPSC] just never got around to having one,” he says.  

If approved, the $4.85 fee will be applied per credit hour to a student’s tuition bill beginning July 1, 2024.  

According to Montgomery, the estimated revenue from the first semester of fee collection is around $1.2 million, which he says will be plenty to service all students in need of a laptop as well as to continue software upgrades as time goes on.  

Montgomery also says that he has been working on rolling out three new scholarships for students that would help cover the fee.  

“I’ve worked very closely on [these new scholarships] because they should hit every student, and they should give you more than enough to pay for [the fee] along with any other classes,” he says. “If you qualify for this laptop program to begin with, then you should qualify for at least one of those scholarships.”  

 To vote, students can scan the QR code located on posters around campus, as well as through the Google Form that will be sent to your student email.  

“And if you don’t have a computer of your own or a phone of your own, you could sign in to any computer on campus, which are free to use for anyone,” says Montgomery.  

Voting beings Tuesday, Apr. 2 and will close the following Tuesday, Apr. 9.