Marie Owumi –
The beginning of the semester left a lot of students baffled as there is a new printing policy which was not there before. With the new balance on PaperCut, the strange emails from IT Services, and the even stranger codes we were each assigned, Illinois College students were all asking the exact same question: Do we have to pay for printing now? Many questions were asked and many started to innovate by simply writing out their assignments or sending them to their professors without printing. Well, we can all rest easy now, as our beliefs are unfounded.
The new printing policy has been in the works for a couple of years now as a part of the Green Initiative, which is a piece of the Strategy Map of the campus. Illinois College has been trying to develop strategies to help move the school forward, from switching to LED lighting to improving the efficiency of heating and air conditioning. The Print Initiative, an even smaller piece of the Strategy Map, is setup to reduce the waste of paper that has been rampant over the last few years. As a method of making both students and staff more aware of this waste and means of curbing it, an allocation of $16.00 has been set for each student each semester which will decrease with each paper printed until there is no money left, as it has been noticed that students are more money-conscious than anything else.
The most frequently asked question so far has been: How many pages can I print for free? Well, with the going rate of $0.04 a page, students can print up to 400 one-sided pages and 533 two-sided pages on a printer, and we can also print up to 800 two-sided pages on a copier. Copiers are found only in the major labs on campus, such as those in Kirby, Schewe and Tanner. These copiers also offer special services such as stapling and hole punching. Another major area of concern with students is the printing of documents for their societies such as Greek Lettered Organizations and various clubs under their own accounts, but that matter has been resolved as well. Student organizations have also been given accounts and allocations so that personal accounts may be reserved for personal ventures.
Now, the whole printing process is not as complicated as one first makes it out to be. The PaperCut website has the needed information to comprehend and handle the entire affair. From your current balance to your transaction history, you are always kept in the loop on what is needed to be done to ensure that you do not go below zero. There is also another website that has been created for the convenience of all IC students called Horizon View. It is a map to every printer and copier on campus, simplifying the entire printing procedure as much as possible. Horizon View is also available on the Illinois College app under extras, along with Reslife Cinema and Lynda.com.
The fun part about the whole policy, according to Patrick Brown, the Chief Information Officer, is the ability to transfer money to other people. If one of your friends has used up all of their money for printing and still has more printing to be done, and you have enough money of course, you can send some printing money to them through the Transfer option of the PaperCut website. And if all else fails, you can go under zero, but you would have to pay a $5 fine.
It is possible to go into all the details of the entire printing process, but that information has been shared with us in detailed videos sent to our emails on Thursday, January 28. There were also open sessions about the new policy last semester with free pizza and donuts, but that had a poor turn out.