Student government assembly discusses bringing smart lockers to campus

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Student representative Jordan Cope and guests pitch the prospective peice legislation, A.R.8, to student government yesterday evening. If passed, A.R.8 would bring smart lockers to various locations around campus for student use. 

Photo Credit: Mateo Macias | Daily Texan Staff

Student leaders discussed a resolution to install smart lockers — lockers that can be rented and accessed through an app to store or pick up items — on campus at the assembly meeting Tuesday. 

These lockers would be placed in buildings around campus that receive deliveries. The smart lockers can be accessed through an app 24/7 and would be available at no additional cost to the University, said Richard Zhu, founder and CTO of ZipcodeXpress, an Austin-based smart locker technology company.

Smart lockers would be available for $3 a month for students, and 25% of all revenues raised would be returned to the University, according to the legislation.

Law school representative Jordan Cope, who authored the resolution, said ZipcodeXpress lockers have been installed at the University of Washington with positive results.

“Smart lockers ultimately reduce the odds of human error and mismanagement, which loses packages,” Cope said. “Economically, it makes so much sense to have them.”

 

Cope said some of the lockers would be refrigerated for food or grocery deliveries, and ZipcodeXpress would install the lockers at UT for free.

“It’s very apparent that such technology would not only be more affordable, but would be more innovative,” Cope said. 

Natural sciences representative Grayson Pike said he was concerned about the feasibility of the smart lockers but said if the lockers failed the cost would not fall on the University.

“My only concern is that … sometimes these (young startups) can bite off more than they can chew and botch the execution a little bit,” Pike said. “I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if they tried installing them and suffered some bugs.”

Pike said the lockers will give students more options to store items. 

“A lot of people would be able to leave lunches, especially in the refrigerated lockers,” Pike said.

The resolution was tabled to be discussed in committees and voted on at another assembly meeting. Kerry Mackenzie, ethics and oversight committee chair, said all of the legislation from last week is still pending in committee. Because the assembly only has four meetings left this year, they are focused on training new representatives.

“We’re now starting to think about new representative orientation, training the new representatives on how to write legislation and use parliamentary procedure,” said Mackenzie, who was acting speaker of the assembly at the meeting.