Print Stations Appear in the Coop



Spencer Seconi

Two of the most influential forces in today’s world, the financial recession and environmentalism, have been molded into one device. Meet the new “Print Release Station,” the newest piece of technology to hit the Colgate campus. Currently, the only “Print Release Station” on campus is located in the O’Connor Campus Center (Coop), but they will soon appear next to the majority of public printers on campus, including those in Case-Geyer, Cooley and the Ho Science Center. For some, the first print job can be slightly confusing, but with one use, students realize how simple these new machines truly are. After selecting a print job on the computer, students are required to walk over to the station and either swipe their ‘Gate Card or enter a username and password. What appears is a list of all the print jobs currently being requested from that student’s account, including the number of times requested and the amount of pages per job.

Recently, Information Technology Services (ITS) announced that Colgate students had printed an astounding 1,500,000 sheets of paper in the previous semester alone, an average of 545 sheets per student. Furthermore, these calculations leave out the fact that many students have their own printers, which are obviously untraceable. Using the average calculations for the industry, 500 sheets are contained in an average 20-pound package of printing paper. Thus, Colgate students used roughly 60,000 pounds of paper, which roughly equates to 720 trees.

On top of environmental costs, the effects of the recession have called for a reigning in of the excessive student print jobs. One of the administration’s biggest concerns is addressing the fiscal issue when students, out of haste, frustration or simple mistake, print the same project twice, only to throw the extras immediately into the trash.

Many students have voiced an opinion similar to that of junior Jenna Weber, who described the new technology as “a good idea, because people would sit down, press print and wait to hear if the printer was working.” Hopefully, the new stations will help to dramatically reduce the amount and the cost of the paper being used.

This new technology is appearing in universities across the country, as schools search for ways to curb excessive costs in the face of diminishing endowments and rising enrollment fees. Many, though, have taken their efforts to the next level, deciding to charge students for each sheet of paper used.

Chief Information Technology Officer of ITS David Gregory, however, claimed that this possibility had not discussed.

“There have been no discussions about implementing any fees for printing,” said Gregory.

The administration also hopes that the results from this semester will eliminate the need to implement any quotas because they “would really like the students to be the ones to manage their own printing.” The administration certainly realizes that many students dislike reading from a monitor, or may need their essays in paper form for highlighting or note-taking. The goal of the administration, Gregory stated, was not to curb the students’ usage of print jobs such as required readings from BlackBoard, but to curb extra copies.

As a number of environmental groups on campus have pointed out, there are many ways that Colgate students can participate in the school’s green efforts. Students can write down their packaging number in a notebook, instead of printing out the entire sheet before going to the mail center. Another way is to keep better track of BlackBoard readings, or to share them with other students. Also, taking the time to run through that short two-pager before you printing it is a great way to avoid unneccessary errors. Ultimately, there are a myriad of ways in which the Colgate student can help, and the decision of the administration will ultimately come down to the activism of its own students.

The theme of curbing excesses can be seen in other parts of the campus. A sign in Frank alerts students to the fact that cafeteria workers throw away 150 pounds of food per meal.