St. Thomas has implemented changes to its print management programming to encourage responsible printing on campus.
This summer, the university changed several of its public printers to automatically default to duplex printing, which prints paper double-sided and initiated the Quota Roll Over program, which allows unused prints to carry over each semester.
Sophomore Mark Painter is enthusiastic about the improvements.
“I love it. I think it’s a great idea,” Painter said. “I’ve always liked having my paper printed on both sides. I think it’s nice; in addition to being better for the environment, saving paper and cutting costs.”
Information Resources and Technologies initiated the program in response to student feedback from a printing survey published in February. The program allows a maximum of 1,200 black-and-white pages or $120 worth of printing costs to carry over each semester.
Sophomore Nicole Galloway said she uses the library printers at least two to three times a week and thinks the changes will be beneficial.
“I think it’s great that we have double-sided printing and a Quota Roll Over program,” Galloway said. “We have so many classes that want us to print homework, articles or solutions, so I think these changes will definitely save paper and costs.”
Jennifer Haas, director of information resources and technologies’ client services, said that the results of the survey showed that there was a high interest in duplex printing. It also came to her surprise that many students wanted to have a printing quota.
“Students really do want to be encouraged to print responsibly, but there are a chunk of students who need to print over the 400 page limit per semester,” Haas said. “The hope was to allow some flexibility in the quota for those particular students.”
Senior Paul Lucke said the program allows the university to use resources wisely.
“I think it is important to be as efficient with our resources as we can be,” Lucke said. “I will get the same amount of information printed off, and I will be able to do it in more of an efficient way. I think this is a win-win situation for the students as well as the administration.”
The results of the survey also showed that 59 percent of students print material when professors encourage the printing, while 24 percent print class materials for their own convenience.
Jennifer McGuire, associate professor of the geology department, thinks there also needs to be an effort to encourage responsible printing on the faculty’s side as well.
“I think as a professor myself, I struggle with making decisions as to which things to print and which things to make available electronically for students,” McGuire said. “Faculty tries to make things as accessible to students as possible and traditionally that meant print. I think more and more, people are spending time reading on screens so that receiving things electronically is no longer a big barrier to today’s students.”
Anna Tu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.