PrintSense, a printing tracking program, may quickly become the newest grievance for students at the College. The program, aimed at reducing printing abuses and exercising better environmental practices, may alleviate increases in computing access fees while wasting less paper.
According to Frank Nardozza, assistant director of Access Technology in the office of Information Technology (IT), last year alone, the College went through 23 tons of paper solely in computer laboratories. This year, a 10 percent increase in print volume has already been seen.
"The goal of the PrintSense program is to promote responsible printing," Nardozza said. "We all need to consider the environmental impact that we are imposing on the community whether we are faculty, staff or students."
The program, which could be implemented as early as Spring 2005, would allot a quota of 400 pages per student per semester. The program would track the number of pages each student prints on the College computer system. Students who use all of their allotted prints would be billed five cents for every additional page printed.
Based on student printing statistics from 2003-04, the average number of pages printed per semester was 353. While 71 percent of students never printed over 400 pages in a semester, according to Nardozza, 18 percent of students were printing between 600 and 23,777 pages.
Nardozza's presentation of this proposed plan at the Oct. 13 Student Government Association meeting has been met with mixed reactions from students.
"I think it's an effective way to reduce paper wastage in the computer labs," Roy Taborda, sophomore biology major said. "Students just don't consider it, and it's a shame ... 400 pages a semester is definitely a good amount."
Sophomore English and philosophy major Laura Descioli disagrees, pointing out that this semester for one class alone she was required to print at least 200 pages. "They should make the number of pages higher or ask professors what the number of pages they require is," Descioli said.
Nardozza said the requirements for printing by professors is an issue IT is looking into.
Chris Anastasia, freshman biology major, thinks it is unfair to put this added expense on the students. He suggests that professors print the necessary articles and distribute it to the students themselves.
Commuters at the College have also questioned how the program would impact them. Commuter Joshua Hare, senior history secondary education major, said he often uses the laboratories to do a large amount of printing for research.
"I compare the fee for using too much paper to the late charges of an overdue library book," Hare said. "It's not going to empty my wallet, but it is just a nuisance I don't feel like dealing with."
Nardozza said students who do not live on campus would not be harmed by the change as the fee for additional pages is so low.
"I think if we can eliminate abuse and print responsibly we can head off increases in IT fees," Nardozza said. "Also it would not be fair to (the) 82 percent who are printing within reason to pay for what a small percentage of users are doing."