Taking charge at MCC: Stations allow for cell phone ‘refueling’

Thanks to a grant from the Mississippi Virtual Community College, Meridian Community College students can get a charge for free – for cellphones and tablets, that is – while they’re on campus.

Two high-top charging tables and one wall-mounted unit are now in three high-traffic locations on campus: in the Quave Student Life Center, Ivy Hall and Damon Fitness Center. “It’s so cool,” said Tempest Young, 19, a freshman studying in the Business Office Technology Program, as she demonstrated using the charging table in the Quave. “I like it because you can stand at the table and charge your phone and still use the phone while you’re charging it.”

With 24 charging ports accessible at the high-top table, the table is designed just as how Young described it; creating a conversation space while recharging their mobile devices.

The mobile charging units were funded through the Mississippi Virtual Community College Innovative Learning and Design grant (MILD). The MILD grant is awarded to eLearning departments at the 15 Mississippi community colleges for technology-specific initiatives. In explaining the guidelines of the grant funds, Dr. Marie Roberts, MCC director of E-learning, said the money could be used for supplies, equipment, consultants, technical assistance, registration fees and travel.

MCC opted to purchase the charging stations – a move that would directly connect to students. “MCC eLearning applied for and received the grant as part of the department's ongoing commitment to creating and supporting and technology-rich campus culture,” Roberts said.

She added, "The stations provide students with a free place to charge their devices that are used for accessing electronic class materials, reading eBooks, submitting classroom assignments, and so much more."

Students have been flocking to the units, Roberts added. “They chat about homework or campus activities while powering up the devices used to support their educational goals,” Roberts said. The free-to-use units can charge cell phones, tablets, iPads, and more with a variety of charging adapter cords as well as wireless charging. Users are asked to remain with their device while using the charging station.

One wall-mount unit equipped with 24 charging ports and eight storage cubbies is in the lobby of the Damon Fitness Center.

Photo: MCC sophomore Joseph Rupert, 19, of Meridian, an automotive engineering major, and Tempest Young, 19, of Meridian, a freshman in the Business Office Technology Program, try out one of the new charging stations located on campus.