Why are there so few printers at a university?

By Staff Writer Benjamin Pfeffer.

We are in college. With being in college, comes work. With work there is normally a lot of typing. What do we do after typing, if the teacher wants a physical copy of course? We print. We print a lot.

That would mean that since the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is a university, it should have plenty of printers. Nope. It does not. Well at least not reliable ones.

Don’t get me wrong, the university does do quite a few things right in regard to printing, even though they seem to struggle with having working printers in multiple locations.
They give us plenty of money that we can use for printing. Every student gets $40 worth of “printing dollars” each semester that rollover to the spring semester, but not to the next fall.

They could very well use those for printing, which is 400 single sided black and white sheets.

The printing system itself is also very quick and efficient.

There are two ways you can print, either from a computer connected to the printer, like in the library, or the easier way if your file is not on a computer attached to a printer, by emaling your file printbw@umassd.edu and then just swiping your card on any PrintLess printer, selecting the file from your printing account, and printing.

Now, here are the bad parts about printing on campus. The first problem is that printing has got to be more accessible to students.

There are way too few printers for students, but also part of the problem is that they don’t know where they are.

The majority of students don’t know where all of the printers are. According to the printing information on the UMassD website, the black and white printing with HP printers are located in the Claire T. Carney Library, 1st floor Learning Commons, 2nd floor Scholarly Commons, computer labs 128, 225, 226, and the partner labs/classrooms Textiles 001 and LARTS 202 & 203.

The Color and B&W printing, scanning, and copying with Xerox Printers are located in: Campus Center, game room, Charlton College of Business Learning Pavilion, 2nd floor, Claire T. Carney Library, 1st floor Learning Commons, Claire T. Carney Library, 2nd floor Scholarly Commons, CVPA, ground floor lobby, Dion, 1st floor lobby, LARTS Commons, Liberal Arts, North Atrium, 1st floor, SENG, South Atrium, 1st floor, Cedar Dell West, common area, Oak Glen, 1st floor lobby, and the Woodland Commons mailbox room.
This may seem like quite a few printers, which it is, but there need to be more.
For example, I live in the Maple Ridge dorm. If I have to print something during a snowstorm, I have to walk through that storm to get to a printer. The printing locations should be in every building, and there should be multiple in some, which there already are.

Additionally, it’s very unclear what to do to send documents to most of the above printers if there’s no computer lab or instructions.

The main problem with the printers is how unreliable they are. Every printer besides the library has had recurring issues with printing, in that the printer malfunctions and cannot print.

If this happens before a class and a student needs something printed for it, they might lose points for not having it on time or being late because they have to walk all the way to the library.

Even the library’s printers are not the most reliable.

The day I’m writing this, someone from my class uploaded their assignments using myPrintCenter and they would not show up in the system when they tried to print.
Luckily the teacher understood, and he did not lose any credit, but the printer, or in this case the online print center, failing to work should never occur.

Overall, there need to be more printers and more importantly, more reliable printers so that students can continue to function as students and do their work.

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