Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

The money monster: Printing at Augustana is not efficient

Jessica Ramirez

Students at Augustana are provided with a $50 credit in printing money each academic year. Depending on the student, this may or may not be sufficient, given that certain classes or extracurricular activities require more printing than others.

Rather than providing students with more than $50 in printing money, Augustana should promote a more eco-friendly route of online methods. Up to 2500 black and white pages or 833 color pages can be printed within the budget of $50, which is substantial and more than likely sufficient for the average student.

It does not seem necessary to refill this complimentary credit every semester, considering that students without extracurriculars or print-heavy classes do not usually run out. However, action does need to be taken for students who may use a lot of their printing credit or even run out due to printing heavily for extracurricular or academic reasons.

Students may have to print large numbers of posters, promotional flyers or informational handouts for their extracurriculars, draining their printing money. Whatever the reason is, students should not have to share printing for extracurriculars with printing for class.

This same idea applies to students with on-campus jobs. They can be required to print pages on top of their class printing requirements, which would cost them more in printer paper and may cause them to run out and have to pay to replenish their printing money. Like with extracurriculars, students should not have to use their printing money for anything outside of class.

If Augustana continues to have students printing for extracurriculars or on-campus jobs with their printing money, then the credit should be bigger per year or replenished each semester. While students in the OSL do have separate printing allowances, this should be true for students employed by other offices on-campus that may require a heavy amount of printing for promotional reasons.

Every professor on campus has different policies regarding print versus online methods. One side is professors who require everything to be printed, including note-taking, homework assignments and essays. Anything turned in must be a physical copy.

Another group of professors is more technologically savvy, posting readings, drop-boxes and assignments on Moodle. Nothing has to be printed unless students personally prefer or need a physical copy of a text.

Some professors lie in the middle, using printed and electronic methods for their teaching. While professors should be left to decide what is best for their classroom setting, Augustana needs to promote a greater online presence to foster a more eco-friendly environment.

Encouraging a greater electronic atmosphere to reduce the cost and use of printing paper on campus would be more environmentally friendly and create less stressful conditions for students. Oftentimes, professors require students to print assignments and bring them to class, but there is a difficult process to do so.

There are many ways to print around campus, either from the library, Find-Me queue or However, printers can be down or unresponsive at any given time, along with the unreliable Wi-Fi needed. With an annual credit of $50, Augustana students should not be running out of printing credit. Students in extracurriculars or on-campus jobs should have a separate budget and those in class should have less papers to print each semester.

Augustana needs to encourage professors to have a more eco-friendly classroom with online methods to reduce the use of paper and printing money.

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