UPUA to Terminate iClicker Rental Program, Sell 380 Clickers

UPDATE (1:06 p.m.): UPUA is sold out of iClickers for the time being, according to Chief of Staff Grant Brown.

After spending close to $13,000 to create an iClicker rental system over the past four years, UPUA is now liquidating the program.

Students can purchase iClickers from UPUA for $8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Tuesday to Thursday this week in 331 HUB. In order to register the clickers, students will have to pay a $6.99 fee.

The registration fee is a new policy created by the iClicker company because it was losing profit due to rental programs like that of UPUA. Chief of Staff Grant Brown, who is also an Onward State editor, said UPUA is selling the clickers because of this new fee and because the program is unsustainable unless they invest more money in it.

In addition to financial concerns, the program also had a lot of competition from similar iClicker rental plans from places like the library and the on-campus and downtown bookstores. Brown said that since UPUA’s program is no longer unique, it has declined in popularity over the past few semesters.

Former UPUA representative Elias Warren, who helped launch the project in 2011, said that he has faith that the current assembly made the best decision it could about ending the program.

“All good things must come to an end,” Warren said. “I have full faith in the decision of the leadership of UPUA to either continue it or discontinue it.”

When the rental program began during the 2011-12 school year, UPUA was criticized for spending too much money — about $6,500 — on something that would only help 215 students at a time. It took a semester for the program to kick off, but it turned out to be a success. In 2012, UPUA purchased 215 more iClickers for another $6,500. Since the program began, about 1,500 students have rented iClickers, UPUA President Anand Ganjam said.

Each semester from Spring 2012 on, UPUA rented out clickers to students for a deposit of $40 that the student would receive back after returning the clickers at the end of the semester.

The program’s intention was to alleviate the cost for students who were required to purchase iClickers to participate in a class, but were only using the expensive device a few times.

Warren said that though the program is ending, he believes it was a success and was worth the time and money put into the project.

“I think that the student reaction was positive. We were able to provide a service to them that would ultimately give them their money back. That was pretty cool, it was something that you wouldn’t see other than coming from student government,” he said.

About 380 clickers are available for purchase, and any money UPUA makes from the sales will go back into its budget.

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Mindy Szkaradnik

Mindy is a senior majoring in Print Journalism, Spanish, and Global and International Studies. She is the 12th member of her family to attend Penn State, she loves Bruce Springsteen, and her friends are always making fun of her for talking too much about study abroad. She can be reached on Twitter (@mszkarad) or via email ([email protected]).

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