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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Student Government plans to install six cellphone charging stations across campus this week.

Each station costs $3,500, totaling $21,000.

The stations can charge up to 18 devices in 15 minutes, said former Senate President Andy Mason, who co-authored the bill to fund them.

The stations will include chargers with plugs for several kinds of phones.

The Student Senate approved the bill in the fall to transfer the money for the stations.

The bill transferred $28,800 from reserved funds for the charging stations, which were estimated to cost $4,800 each. The funds come from student fees.

The leftover $7,800 will go back in the reserves, said Unite Party spokeswoman and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Christina Bonarrigo.

The stations are scheduled to be installed at Library West, the Hub, the Reitz Union, Southwest Recreation Center, Marston Library and the Student Recreation and Fitness Center.

Mason said UF will be one of the first universities nationwide to install charging stations.

“We felt it was a need useful to students,” he said.

A charging station is already in place in the UF Bookstore, but the bookstore funded that itself, Bonarrigo said.

Students Party Senator and Minority Leader Carly Wilson opposes the new stations.

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She said they are impractical and will not reach enough students to cover the cost.

“It’s a waste of students’ funds,” she said.

When senators discussed the bill, she suggested adding more electrical outlets to the major study areas on campus instead.

Twenty-year-old health science junior Dierdre Lee thinks the charging stations are a great idea.

She said her phone dies a lot, and she likes that the stations have multiple chargers.

Kasia Wallace, a 19-year-old health science sophomore, said she would probably use the new charging stations.

She said most of those locations are places where she could do something else, like study or work out, while her phone charged.

However, she questioned the cost.

“I would use it, but I think [the money] could be put toward better things,” she said.

Contact Samantha Shavell at sshavell@alligator.org.

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