Southwestern College (SWC) distributed 200 computers on Saturday hoping to give their students peace of mind as classes have now shifted to distance learning.
“The college is making that technology (laptops) available to students who can’t get it on their own so that they can continue their higher education and hopefully have a minimal interruption because of this pandemic and go on to fulfill their career dreams,” said SWC Board Vice President Tim Nader.
The college moved to distance learning on March 16.
An email was sent to all 20,000 students who enrolled in the spring semester asking them to fill out a form to request a computer. Preference was given to students who didn’t have access to technology at home, said Sofia Robitaille, Executive Director of the Southwestern College Foundation.
The Southwestern College Foundation worked with Computers2Kids San Diego and secured a combination of 200 donated laptops and desktop computers, Robitaille said.
“I am a film major and I needed a laptop to edit my school work because the one I had broke,” said Malinda Valdez, a Film Major who applied to get a computer.
The laptops were given while practicing social distancing. Students were scheduled to come on campus in 15-minute increments and were asked to stay in their cars as volunteers loaded the computers in their cars.
The laptops will be free for the students to keep, but the college hopes that in the future when these students pay it forward.
"It's on the honor system. We are asking students if they feel they don't need the computer anymore, to pay it forward and give the computer to another student who might have that need," Robitaille said.
This is the first wave of computer distribution, the college helped purchase another 230 computers they hope to distribute in the coming weeks.