McNeese providing free hotspots for students, faculty to use for remainder of fall semester

McNeese Hotspots

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Getting and staying connected has been a challenge for many of us since Hurricane Laura wiped out much of the communication grid.

Hundreds of hotspots are being dispersed this week at McNeese State University. Most of the students started lining up around 10 a.m., Monday to receive one of 300 hotspots being distributed by the university.

“I am about to log onto Moodle because I have not been able to log on for a couple of weeks," said Victoria Self.

The last few weeks have been some of the toughest for local college students relying on internet service to submit assignments.

“I go to work, I pack up my house, and then I go to Kinder where there’s no service," said Mary Clairetete. "I don’t have wi-fi back there and it’s been a struggle, especially with school.”

Victoria and Mary were some of the first in line Monday to get their devices. The line was wrapped nearly all the way around the recreational complex by noon.

“We got here at 10:30 a.m., I’m so glad we showed up because there were only 2 people in line at that time," said Self.

500 hotspots were handed out, 300 to students, and 200 to faculty. The AT&T hotspots are activated and will come with unlimited data for October, November, and December.

McNeese PR Director Candace Townsend said recovery has been a challenge being that students were only in class for one week prior to Hurricane Laura.

“We had to have a restart date because so many students are on financial aid and disbursement hadn’t happened yet. Many of our students, that’s what they use for living expenses during the semester," Townsend said. “We also knew internet issues were going to be an issue for faculty and students.”

Another round of 500 hotspots will be distributed later this week. The devices must be returned after the Fall semester ends. Students will need to present a current McNeese ID to pick up one of the hotspots.

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