Pay-For-Print System Approved, Effective Next Year

A study of printing costs at Hunter Library and the university’s computer labs has prompted university officials to implement printing fees for students, staff and faculty members who make more than 100 copies during a school year.

Starting next year, students, staff and faculty members who exceed 100 pages during a school year will need a debit cash or CAT card to pay for copies. Additional copies will cost .10 per page.

A coin or dollar slot will be available for public visitors.

When someone chooses to print a page, the print job will be forwarded to a printing station. The machine will show the number of pages that will be printed and a box to select yes or no. If the person selects yes, they will need to swipe their cat or faculty card and the machine will deduct the amount from the card.

This change is in response to the 10-12 percent increase in the number of pages printed in the library and computer labs in the past few years, according to Frank Prochaska, associate vice chancellor of Academic Affairs.

An education and technology fee is already included in tuition that pays for 100 pages per year per student.

Five percent of this fee goes toward printing costs, but this fee is paying for only half the printing costs now, according to Prochaska.

SGA feel that since 5 percent of the E&T fee is part of the student money fee, students should have a voice in how it is used. Senators unanimously supported a modified pay-for-print structure that allows students to print 60 free copies per year. After $6.00, students will have to pay .10 for any printed pages. Any amout of money not used will be carried over to the following year’s E&T fee to configure a new amount of free pages per semester.

Prochaska said there are a number of issues involved that go beyond paper and machines.

“The printing policies in the library allow students to print whatever they want,” said Prochaska. “In the computer labs, students aren’t allowed to print things in electronic reserve. This has led to occasional confrontations.”

Those using the computer labs are not always using what they print.

“People print out pages and then don’t pick them up,” said Prochaska. “The library staff and computer lab staff puts these pages aside, but then eventually recycles them. This is a waste of paper.”

Prochaska said that people using the printers perceive printing as being free.

“Faculty is asking students to print more and more,” said Prochaska. “No one is considering the costs of printing. No one is thinking about this 10-12 percent increase.”

Prochaska said the lack of color printers on campus, except in the print shop, is another issue that needs to be addressed.

There are advantages to a pay-for-print system, Prochaska said.

All printers will be new, the library and art department will have color printers, printing policies will be the same everywhere on campus and the environment will obviously benefit.

Western will be one of eight UNC campuses that use some pay-for-print system.

“The other universities using a pay-for-print system have found that the number of pages printed dropped by about one-third,” said Prochaska. “Out of the eight schools that aren’t using pay-for-print, at least six are considering it.”