New Printing Policy Brings Frustration

Jacob Lawson, News Writer •


Photo by Robins McIntosh


For Emory & Henry College students, printing is an essential part of student life. Most E&H students have been happy with the free printing, so the unannounced replacement of the old printers with new, multifunctional ones has come as somewhat of a shock. And the details on these new printers have been relatively sparse.

The new printers have replaced the printers in the public-access labs on all Emory & Henry campuses. Printing in black and white, students pay eight cents a page and 15 cents a page for color. Double-sided printing doubles the price for black-and-white and color printing to 16 cents and 30 cents, respectively.

Currently, the only free element of the new printing service is the ability to scan documents, which is somewhat lessened by scanners already being available to students. Each semester, E&H will allow students to print 125 black-and-white pages, which is equivalent to $10 per student. After 125 copies, further printing will be charged to student’s OneCards.

The E&H Administration believes that the printing changes are positive for the campus. The director of IT services Gabriel Dempsey sent The Whitetopper an email containing  comments from E&H’s Vice President for Business and Finance Rick Gaumer about the new printers. In the statement, Mr. Gaumer explained the reason for the change, “while somewhat financial in nature, it is really a trend nationwide to go paperless and to be more environmentally responsible in our office procedures and use of paper, toner, and electricity”.

Additionally, part of the rationale came from suggested abuses of printing. Mr. Gaumer said, “some students have misused the copying privilege in the past. They have purchased eBooks and proceed to print out the entire text; either for themselves or for other students. This is also a violation of copyright law. The college has an obligation to all of its constituents to put some action into place to stop these abuses”.

E&H employees’ views on the printing is optimistic so far. A circulation assistant in the Kelly Library Adam Alley sees some positives to the new printer set up. He says, “the printers are simple to use and, at least in the library, the instructions for printing can be found on every computer”.

Gabriel Dempsey detailed the positives like the new “Follow Me Printing which he said, “allows a student to access their print job from any lab printer, even between the Main and Marion Campuses, just by tapping their ID at the printer”.  He also spoke positively of the costs, saying “the cheaper costs for color printing is a steal, as most places I’ve been charged 50¢ or more per page, it’s nice to see that price cut as much as it is”.

Another positive that Alley saw with the new printing was that it will be good at managing material waste by helping “students to regulate what they may or may not need to print, which will save paper and also save students from having sort through and maintain order for stacks and stacks of paper”.

In contrast, the student reaction to the printing has been negative. A junior Nathan Krauss said he “liked printing more when it was free”. He feels the frustration from the student body comes from, “the transition phase with the new printers and that things will hopefully run more smoothly once the system is fully changed”.

Krauss also said that the lack of information has led to some confusion in the student body. A senior Michael LoGrande also had a similar view of the new printing changes. He said it felt, “frustrating at being charged after a certain amount of printing”.

Tatiana Grace Boelen thinks the changes to printing are “pretty ridiculous”. She remarks on a lot of confusion among students saying, “some students are saying they get their free 150 pages or so and other people were charged right off the bat”. She also feels that the school already gets so much of our money and now having to pay for printing is a bit much.

The major issues among students seems to be a lack of a fully-defined explanation for the new printers. Many students are hoping that the IT department and E&H administration will provide a fuller explanation for the printing charges to help alleviate confusion that’s currently on campus.

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