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SG umbrella-sharing program to launch in the fall

Umbrellas will be available at the Marshall Student Center, Campus Recreation and the Library. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/LEDA ALVIM. 

With rainy months ahead, students will be able to stay dry through the Student Government (SG) umbrella-sharing program. 

The program will officially launch and conduct a pilot during the fall semester.

The initiative will provide umbrellas to students at no cost with designated usage periods of 48 hours. 

Xiaoran Yuan, assistant director of Academic and Business Affairs for SG, said 400 umbrellas will be distributed across three different on-campus locations: the Marshall Student Center, Campus Recreation and the Library. 

The three checkout stations were chosen based on high student traffic areas, according to Yuan. Students will be able to take umbrellas from one location and return them to any of the three by swiping their ID cards.

SG planned to start a pilot program at the beginning of the spring semester, but plans changed when the new academic logo was released.

The USF Communications and Marketing Department joined the initiative by providing an additional 200 umbrellas which will showcase the logo, Yuan said. The umbrellas with the logo will be funded by the university while the original set will be funded by SG, with a total cost of $1,234.

Last week, SG officially closed the deal with the vendor, Professional Marketing Services, to purchase the additional 200 umbrellas. 

No fee will be charged when using the umbrellas as the initiative is funded by the Activity and Service (A&S) fee. Students pay $12 per credit hour in A&S fees plus a $7 flat fee each semester. 

To guard against potential loss, a blacklist will be created to record the names of students who either didn’t return or damaged the umbrella. The students listed will not be allowed to check out umbrellas in the future, according to Yuan.

Yuan said that besides helping students staying dry during rainstorms, it would ultimately help improve academic life on campus.

“The main goal of the initiative is for students not to get soaked when going to class due to unexpected rain weather and to prevent it from interfering with their academic life,” Yuan said. “Each student will have the opportunity to rent an umbrella and arrive on time in class instead of waiting until the rain stops."