By SHYAN MURPHY
In college, many students run into the problem of not having the proper equipment for a specific project, whether it be for a class assignment or out of personal interest. The University of Mary Washington offers rentals for various pieces of digital equipment such as audio recorders, video cameras, DSLR cameras, GoPros, video game consoles, laptops, microphones and many other items.
All of these pieces of equipment are available for rental from the Hurley Convergence Center front desk. The Info Desk hours are from Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. According to students who have rented items from the HCC front desk, the process is a fairly easy and simple one to follow.
Senior Andrew Steele, a history major, talked about the process of “filling out a generic agreement that was kept on file and filling out a short form for whatever specific equipment you want. When you return the equipment it’s signed back in.”
Filling out all of the paperwork and agreeing to the terms as well as conditions established by the HCC staff is only a small price to pay for the ability to rent such high quality and useful equipment. Along with the rental process, time allotted for rentals is yet another aspect to take into account.
Since there are so many different pieces of equipment, there are also different rental limits placed for each item. In regards to the rental time allotted, “some things are expected to be returned within a few hours or by the last shift at the front counter, others you can rent for days at a time,” Steele said.
In conjunction with the different allotments of time given by a regular equipment renter, Cartland Berge, HCC Building Manager mentioned specific time frames by noting that “most of the equipment is loaned out for 3 days. Equipment can be renewed as long as no one else has requested it through the library website.”
The ability to go online and reserve certain items and know ahead of time what pieces of equipment are out of stock is an extremely innovative way for students to be prepared for renting the specific equipment in which they desire.
“Some small things, like headphones, markers, and phone and laptop chargers, which are meant to be used just in the building are three hour loan,” Berge said.
Though there are varying time limits on renting certain pieces of equipment, students are not bothered by any of the limits placed on these items.
“I’ve never needed to check something out for more than a day or two at a time so I haven’t run into any issues,” said junior Lesya Amane, an interdisciplinary studies major. Similar to Amane, many other students do not have projects, which extend past the time allotted to rent the equipment they need.
Steele shared that with the amount of time given for rentals the time slots have worked well for students. On the other hand, renting can be a hassle or just an annoyance by having to fill out paperwork. “Sometimes it’s a pain to fill out the paperwork and try to find a working or charged camera [but still] it’s a fairly simple process,” Amane said.
Even gaming consoles are available for rental. During First-Year Student Orientation, students were offered time in the evening to play video games in the Digital Auditorium on consoles such as the Xbox One and Wii U. Games to go along with these consoles are also available for checkout, but seems to be a less-often used resource.
Even with the slight grievances involved with this simple task, the benefits seem to far outweigh any negative aspects of the rental process. Given that there are so many pieces of equipment available for rent following a fairly stress free rental process, students should take advantage of such a great opportunity when in need.