The reduction went into effect at the start of the semester. Students were previously allotted 500 pages per semester to be used at the printers in the Mary Kintz Bevevino Library and the computer labs located throughout campus. If a student did not use the allotted pages within the semester, the remainder rolled over to the following semester. This allowed students to reserve paper for major projects.
The new plan, called “‘saving sheets,” allows 300 pages per semester with no rollover. Students can purchase additional pages at a rate of 100 pages for $3, which will remain on students’ accounts until used.
Kayla Zechman, a junior Nursing major, said many health science majors had problems with the previous 500 page allotment due to the large quantity of PowerPoint presentations they are required to print.
Zechman used 185 of her 300 pages during the first week of classes, leaving her with 115 pages left for the semester. She said she will soon have to print pre-planning sheets for clinicals, and the sheets are 11 pages each. That’s in addition to her 100-slide PowerPoint presentations.
Zechman plans to buy at least 300 pages at a cost of $9.
“It doesn’t sound like a lot but when you add up the raised price for a parking permit, this, and then all the extra charges we have on our bills, every dollar you add on makes it worse for us,” Zechman said.
According to the parent FAQ’s page on the MU website, the decision to reduce the number of pages is an effort to become a more ecologically sound campus. “By making everyone more conscious of paper consumption we hope to minimize waste and promote conservation,” states the website.
“I think they are trying to limit it because some majors don’t have to print as much so they would not use their pages and then that would be seen as a waste,” Zechman said. ”I don’t understand that, if you don’t print then those pages aren’t being wasted.”
She feels that if this decision is a reaction to waste, officials could have educated students about conservation and asked that students double-check their printing needs and recycle.
According to the printing FAQ sheet found under the student services tab on E-MU in the technology links box, officials made this decision because the previous printing policy was abused.
“Saving sheets was implemented to help reduce excessive printing on campus. Previously, because printing was considered to be free, little effort was apparent to reduce wastefulness. Hundreds of thousands of printed pages were ignored, never picked up and had to be recycled. After conducting research Misericordia University decided to offer a fixed amount of free printing, then charge for all sheets that exceed that amount,” reads the FAQ page.
Last year public printing resulted in 1.4 million sheets of paper, or 2, 800 reams.
The saving sheets effort has six goals: to reduce waste printing, improve the management of printer services, increase network efficiency, recover printing costs, and encourage faculty to use the print shop for large handout print jobs.
Zechman agrees that conservation is important, but she suggests that officials should monitor printing and recalibrate the printing limit based on the average number of pages used. She also thinks that officials might consider adjusting the students allotment based on major.
“While a communications major may only use 300, a nursing major easily uses 800,” Zechman said. “So why not make it based off of the individual?”
The Misericordia FAQ page gives students several suggestions for reducing printing quantity, including emailing information, downloading to a USB drive, pre-reading and only printing necessary pages, and writing down information the old fashioned way—on a notepad.