Photo by Alexis Valtenbergs | The Information Technology Services (ITS) at HSU handed out free iPads to incoming freshman and transfer students in partnership with the CSUCCESS Initiative and Apple in front of the library on Jan. 19.

Free iPads pop up at HSU

CSUCCESS has helped provide 700 iPads to HSU students in an attempt to narrow the "digital divide"

Humboldt State University set up tents in front of the library and gave out free iPads to incoming freshman and transfer students on Jan. 19.

The iPads were provided by the California State University Connectivity Contributing to Equity and Student Success (CSUCCESS) Initiative. CSUCCESS was created by the CSU in partnership with Apple. It debuted at HSU’s campus last fall and returned this semester.

Oceanography junior and transfer student Angelina Mayo got an iPad from CSUCCESS. She just transferred from Shasta College, where she worked as a tutor while attending school. A student that she tutored during the time used an iPad to take notes.

“I think it was just an incentive, and I wanted to try it because I saw a student at Shasta College use it and help keep her organized,” Mayo said. “She was more prepared for our tutoring sessions than some of my other students because of keeping her files together.”

HSU Library Student Assistants adorned the cardboard iPad boxes with HSU stickers. Stickers that are free for the taking at the Information Technology Services desk on the first floor of the library. Mayo stuck a green ‘H’ sticker on the h-button of her keyboard.

Photo by Alexis Valtenbergs | Apple Senior Account Manager Jenni Beck (back) helps transfer student Angelina Mayo (front) set up her free iPad outside the library on Jan. 19.

“I signed up for EOPS and got ‘swag,’ that’s what they called it,” Mayo said as she typed in her HSU ID and password on her new iPad. “And amenities.”

One of the amenities that Mayo opted for was the free iPad.

The goal of the CSUCCESS Initiative is to make technology more accessible to higher education students in the CSU system, especially in the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that relegated students and faculty alike to remote Zoom classes.

“The biggest reason for that is to ensure equity and access,” Apple Higher Education Senior Account Manager Shawn Vandergriff said. “To provide the same level of technology to every student.”

According to Vandergriff, HSU has provided iPads to approximately 700 HSU students since CSUCCESS came to campus last semester. His goal is to bridge what he referred to as the ‘digital divide’ in higher education, which is often overlooked.

Eligible HSU students get to keep their free iPad throughout the duration of their academic career at HSU. Apple Care insurance will cover up to two instances of breakage, according to Vandergriff.

The CSUCCESS program is expected to return to HSU again in the fall.

“As long as we have a budget to do that, I can see it happening into the future,” HSU Customer Care IT Consultant Andy Pierce said.

To learn more about CSUCCESS at HSU, visit

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