Enactus refurbishes computers, then donates them to students in need

Enactus Logo

Enactus Logo

Members of Enactus at Union are collecting unwanted and unneeded computers to recycle and refurbish them for students who cannot afford a new computer.

The team of students in Enactus realized that many Union students do not have access to a personal computer and, as a result, they have limited access to websites to check class assignments.

Still, the need for a computer goes beyond checking for an assignment.

Much of the work for courses must be completed on a computer and, as a result, the Enactus team has developed this project to meet these students’ needs.

Computers are donated from local individuals, businesses and organizations and then reprogrammed by the Enactus team and then given to the students in need at no cost.

“Dr. Bill Nance, the assistant dean of the McAfee School of Business, has written a script that reprograms and updates these computers,” said Matthew Street, senior business administration major and Enactus president. “Enactus members run the program on the donated computers and get them ready to be recycled.”

Nance created a script based on one that he had ran across on a technology forum for a full installation of an operating system.

“The script installs the Debian version of the Linux operating system, and it also installs a number of applications that students would need, such as Firefox Web browser, the Libra office suite, sound programs and others,” said Nance.

“The program was created initially by a member of the Linux group, and then I modified and customized it for our purposes here.”

Each computer requires an hour to be refurbished.

This process includes cleaning the computers, stripping the entire operating system of the computer and then installing the new one with the script provided by Nance.

Last year, 10 computers were donated and reprogrammed for students. Not only did the students benefit, but the environment did as well.

According to Web of Creation, an activist organization that encourages faith-based organizations to be green, if someone could build a box large enough to hold one year’s worth of obsolete computers, it would result in being 1 mile tall, six acres long, six acres wide and need to be strong enough to hold more than 1 million tons.

After Union’s students’ needs are met, Enactus will be looking for other groups in the community that could benefit from recycled computers.

Enactus, formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise, is an international non-profit organization that serves to educate the community about how market economics and businesses operate through various projects throughout the year.

Not only does the organization function to educate the community, it also provides Union students with the opportunity to grow professionally and to develop valuable leadership skills.


To find out more about Enactus’ Cyber (re)Cycling project or to donate a computer, contact Matthew Street at Matthew.Street@my.uu.edu or at (901) 361-4486.

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.