By Brett Smith, Staff Writer
“Why do I have to pay to print?” It’s a common refrain on-campus when an instructor requests a hard copy of a paper or other assignment. It’s perfectly reasonable for an instructor to want a physical copy of an assignment for the purpose of writing feedback on a student’s submission. However, not every student has easy access to their own personal printer. Some commuter students have their own printers in their homes. Some commuter students don’t. Some students live on-campus.
Whatever their reason for not having access to a personal printer, students without are left with having to utilize WVSU’s Drain-Jordan library for their printing needs. While a library is not a place to be avoided, and can be an invaluable resource, in order to print anything at Drain-Jordan, it costs students a flat fee by the page. According to library staff members, it costs 10 cents a page to print anything in black and white, and 5 times more, 50 cents per page, to print anything in color.
Ink, paper, printers, and printer maintenance all cost money. Ditto for the library staff’s pay. However, students pay enough in tuition and fees just to attend WVSU. Don’t forget that commuters, who make up the majority of the student body, also pay rent and mortgages, utilities, transportation expenses, etc., as well. It seems like overkill that students should have to shell out additional cash in order to merely prepare assignments for submission.
However, students have other options to print if they do not want to pay at least 10 cents a page for their assignments, such as department labs. However, these options do not have the same availability as Drain-Jordan, assuming students know how to find them. If students are going to be required to pay for printing in their university’s library, perhaps a better solution would be to add a library fee to student accounts that would allow students unlimited printing. Students may be angered at yet another fee being pressed upon them, but it could be more tolerable than paying for each assignment or fractions of assignments.
However, we’d love to hear what you think. What do you propose should be done about the printing here on campus? Answer in the comments below.