Samsung spreads word of recharging stations

The U will receive $17k over the next two years in exchange for the Coffman Union stations.

Katherine Lymn

University of Minnesota students lined up Thursday for free food and chair massages outside Coffman Union at an event hosted by Samsung Mobile to publicize under-the-radar recharging stations around campus. The company installed five charging stations on campus in February and sought to increase awareness of the service, Trevor Lambert , Samsung manager of corporate marketing, said. Coffman Union has stations by the Cube in the basement and by Jamba Juice on the main floor. The University is one of 20 campuses nation-wide with the stations. Two stations, each of which boasts eight outlets, are on the main concourse of TCF Bank Stadium and one more is located in Mariucci Arena. Student Unions & Activities will receive $8,500 this year and next year in exchange for the two stations within Coffman Union, SUA director Maggie Towle said, which partly covers the electricity costs. âÄúItâÄôs a great financial deal for us,âÄù she said. This revenue persuaded the SUA student Board of Governors to agree to the installations in October, Towle said. The Samsung crew has been touring campuses over the past week and a half, Lambert said, and the University was their last stop. The company chose the University for the station installations both because of its size and its proximity to the Richfield, Minn. headquarters of Best Buy , which Lambert called a âÄústrategic partnerâÄù of Samsung. Samsung offered freebies outside Coffman Union to publicize the stations Thursday. Students could recharge themselves with a relaxing rubdown and a snack and recharge their phones later. Samsung handed out chair massages, food and Vitamin Water to students who flocked at the sight of free goods. However, many who attended the event did not know about the stations or had never used one. âÄúIâÄôve used them in airports before,âÄù said first-year Krystal Voss , although she said she has not charged at a station on campus. Sophomore Megan Strain said she had not heard of the stations before the event. She said more advertising of the service could be beneficial. The event was purposefully timed to alleviate the stress the final weeks of the semester bring, Lambert said.