Understanding the overwhelming nature of college tuition and fees, the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center offers free technology to all APSU students to rent for an entire semester at a time.
The purpose behind such a program is to provide students access to technology resources, such as Macbooks and TI-83 graphing calculators, to support their academic progression and completion to graduate.
“So many students are already paying so much,” Director of the WNDAACC Marcelius Braxton said. “We don’t want the price of a calculator to stand in between a student not coming to school.”
While supplies are limited, the process to rent technology from the center is straightforward. Students are required to fill out forms provided, bring a copy of their schedule and allow the WNDAACC staff to make a copy of their student ID to add to check-out documentation.
“This will be my second year renting a laptop from [the WNDAACC],” junior nursing major Ashley Douglas said. “It’s way more convenient than walking to the library all the time, since I don’t have a laptop of my own.”
Located in Clement 120, The WNDAACC has been hosting such a program for the past several years on campus to the point where students are now expecting and depending on the event.
Each year attendance increases with the center providing technological support to hundreds of students. With such pressures, and the simultaneous growing Clarksville, Tennessee campus, the center relies on donations, namely from APSU’s very own I.T. department.
“I.T. is constantly rotating technology to keep with the times,” Braxton said. “A two-year-old computer that may not work for them anymore works fine for students.”
The center hopes to keep the positive word of mouth spreading to the point where every student on campus is aware and ready for the tech drive.
“I wish we could help every student,” Braxton said. “Seeing a few students walking out satisfied and stress-free however, keeps us going and growing.”
The technology drive is not the only event the WNDAACC hosts. In fact, they host over 40 events throughout the semester. Each one backed by the intention of providing a safe and relaxing environment for all students and the inclusion of food.
“I learned about [the WNDAACC] through many friends,” junior criminal justice major Tyler Lu said. “I think what they do here is great and thoughtful.”
The WNDAACC in the recent years have grown exponentially, reaching a larger audience of students through positive word of mouth.
Students are encouraged to visit despite having no affiliation with the program.
“We don’t want students to feel obligated to do anything but enjoy themselves here,” Braxton said. “We have a pretty useful open-door policy.”
With a computer lab, lounge and library along with a selection of games, movies, free popcorn, water and soda, the WNDAACC wants every student of every background to feel welcomed. Last school year, the center saw over 5,600 student visits.
“[Students] are thankful, I am thankful, we are thankful,” Braxton said. “We want to lift a weight from their shoulders. [Students] pay enough for their education, and this program is one small way for us to give back.”