Paper usage motivates examination of policy

Paper usage motivates examination of policy

by Josh BrammerStaff Writer

Since August, the campus has not only been using a lot of paper, but a whole lot of paper.

How much is a lot? Approximately 180,000 sheets.

“Now that we can monitor print volumes by individuals, it has come to our attention that around 40 students have printed in excess of 2,000 sheets of paper, another 50 students have printed in excess of 1,000 sheets and another 100 students have printed in excess of 500 sheets since this academic year started,” said Allan Appenzeller, director of information services, in a mass e-mail.

Appenzeller said the computer labs in Dunn Library and Carver Science Center have used the most paper this year.

“Dunn has been going through about two to four cases per week, and Carver has been going through about half that,” Appenzeller said.

When Information Services orders new paper, they order approximately 12 cases at a time, and each case costs approximately $32. Paper is ordered at least every month, so the costs add up quickly.

To combat all this paper usage, Information Services has installed several printers across the campus that can print double-sided pages. Both the Dunn and Carver labs have these new printers. On Jan. 31, the default settings were changed so any print job will automatically be double-sided.

If students need to print a paper for class that has to be one-sided, they can still change the settings.

“We waited to change the settings to get a feel for what the students were doing, and after last semester, it was obvious that something had to be done,” Appenzeller said.

Information Services has been brainstorming solutions to the paper problem, and they’ve been talking to other schools to see what they’ve been doing. One solution is to give students a certain number of pages free each semester, and if a student exceeds that limit, they’d be charged for the rest.

Freshman Kayla Christ, who uses her own paper in the school’s printers, thinks the system proposed by Information Services is a good idea.

“It would motivate people to be more careful when they print things, if they only had a certain number of pages for free,” Christ said.

Maggie Anderson, community advisor in Kresge Hall, said she is amazed by how much paper is used.

“I filled the printer one Sunday and came back the next day, and there wasn’t much paper left,” Anderson said.

Anderson said a lot of students print birthday fliers for their friends or take the paper to their rooms to use in their printers. She also had some advice for students.

“Use the paper wisely, and look over what you’re printing before you print it,” Anderson said. “Also, if it doesn’t print the first time, wait. There could be a paper jam. Some people just keep hitting print if it doesn’t work the first time, and then they end up with like seven copies.”

Appenzeller encourages students to use the print preview feature in their word-processing programs before printing. He also said students should be aware they can use the cancel button on the printers if they notice they’re printing more than they need.

“Our goal is not to punish students. We just want to heighten awareness of paper usage and get the waste under control,” Appenzeller said.