CSUN expands laptop loaner inventory to fulfill over 1,700 outstanding requests

CSUN%27s+IT+Department+has+ran+out+of+loaner+hotspots+and+laptops+after+4+weeks+of+virtual+learning.+

Samantha Bravo

CSUN’s IT Department has ran out of loaner hotspots and laptops after 4 weeks of virtual learning.

Trissean McDonald, Reporter

As the fourth week of the semester approaches, the Information Technology department has run into a loaner laptop shortage and currently has a total of 1792 outstanding requests to fill according to Ryan Conlogue, the director of user support services.

The switchover from in-person to virtual learning and the on-campus computer labs’ closures have made it difficult for many students who lack access to a computer or at-home internet service, and the IT department has run into an unexpected change in demand.

Internet hotspots and Windows laptop requests have skyrocketed this semester — more than in the spring and summer sessions, according to Conlogue.

Participants of the program can borrow Windows laptops, Verizon hotspots, USB headsets and webcams. The IT department has distributed all of its inventory, which includes 400 loaner laptops, 120 WiFi hotspots, 88 headsets and 58 webcams.

The high demands and subsequent shortages prompted the IT loaner program to order additional devices to meet the current needs, Conlogue said.

“To address this student need, we are increasing our inventory of internet hotspots by 900% and Windows laptops by 250%,” Conlogue said.

The inventory expansion will add 600 laptops and 850 hotspots into student circulation.

In a statement to the Daily Sundial, Colin Donahue, CSUN’s chief financial officer said the administration will use a portion of the federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to cover IT equipment purchases and to improve software technology.

Conlogue was unable to provide a specific timeline of when students can expect laptops to be back in stock; however, he said it could be as early as next week.

“I do not have a specific date as there are many variables involved in getting the devices prepped and delivered to the bookstore so they are available to students,” Conlogue said.

In the meantime, he advises students to check their email for further communication from the IT department regarding available devices.

Students who need to borrow a device can apply at the myNorthridge portal under the “Services” tab, click on “Device Loaner Request Form” in the “Student Services” section.