Printing costs double

By Janelle Mathews

Lumen Editor in Chief

Three cents has doubled to $0.06, and $0.09 has doubled to $0.18 for black and white printing and color printing this year at Viterbo.  While the cost has doubled, “there’s only about a 10 percent of the Viterbo student population that this change will possibly affect,” said Sarah Bearbower, director of instructional and information technology at Viterbo.  In fact, those who will possibly be affected are “excessive printers that usually aren’t printing solely for educational purposes,” added Bearbower.

What does this increase in cost mean for students not in that 10 percent population? In 2011, students were allotted $15 when printing costs for black and white pages were $0.03 which meant that basically students had 500 pages to use for printing in a semester. Now that 500 pages is cut in half to 250 pages which is “well below what the average student uses for printing in a semester,” according to Bearbower.

The number of pages for students has been at 500 for the past five years, but after Chad Gilbeck, help desk service coordinator did some research on other schools and what they offer their students in relation to printing it was clear that things needed to change at Viterbo.  Gilbeck’s research showed that “with our paper units, we were being extremely generous with the 500 paper units and that most universities in the area are giving substantially less than that,” explained Bearbower.

“UW-L gives students less than $1 for printing which is basically enough for one syllabus for each class, and WTC gives a student $3.50 for the entire time he/she is there,” said Bearbower.

Furthermore, “we have been noticing that there has been more paper waste and things not getting picked up, and paper costs and toner costs over the past two to three years have gradually been increasing,” said Bearbower.  After all of this information was gathered, Gilbeck took the information to the Environmental Responsibility Committee who suggested cutting the paper units to 250 per full-time student.  Gilbeck then went and talked to the Student Government Association (SGA) “to let them know what was coming, and after that, it went to the cabinet which had final approval,” explained Bearbower.

The change in printing costs will be closely monitored by IIT over this first year, and if there are many concerns and problems, such as running out of pages, with the new system, it will be reevaluated and updated.

Bearbower stated that “we are not looking to hinder educational use of technology in any way, but looking what can we do to be better stewards and promote better stewardship of the services offered.”

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