Students' Technology Fees Supporting COVID-19 Relief
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically amplified the critical role that technology plays in the student experience. Students need access to technology to support and engage in the online learning environment, and an increasingly online community environment. The digital divide that impacts UCB students predates COVID-19, and thus a coordinated institutional response that ensures equitable access to technology resources is necessary long-term. However, in an effort to meet the emergency needs created by COVID-19's health and economic impacts, as well as to meet needs exacerbated by COVID-19, starting in March 2020, the Student Technology Fund began the following three-pronged response.
- First, the STF funded, and together with the Chief Technology Officer and other campus partners, mobilized STF's Technology Access Program as a short-term emergency response to students' need for laptops and WiFi hotspots during COVID-19.
- Second, the STF and other campus partners developed this portal to help students navigate a centralized process of applying for cash relief for technology, housing, and food needs.
- Third, in response to a COVID-19 relief proposal it solicited from the Office of the Chancellor, STF granted $717K in emergency funding to the University to deploy ZoomPro licensing for all students from May 2020 through June 2021 and the new Student Technology Equity Program (STEP) for the 2020-2021 academic year. STEP is staffed by STF, and funded in majority by campus and in minority by STF.