More printers, better maintenance

For myself, wēpa printers have been one of the most problematic things on campus and can be fixed without much work.

The printing situation wasn’t that bad my first semester. I didn’t need to print often, and when I did there weren’t problems. Some of my friends also had their own printers, so when I needed something printed in a short amount of time I just asked them and it was no problem.

Earlier this semester, I was printing an essay an hour before the class in which it was due. I printed my essay, stapled it and turned it in in class after looking at only the front page, a reasonable check for any printer malfunction.

About four days later I received an email from my professor with the subject “urgent.” I was slightly surprised because I had no idea what the email could concern.Then I read it and my professor said “I should have noticed this before, but I see now that you did not actually give me an essay in class. Your copy has two pages of text and then five blank pages. So please send me the full version, ASAP.” Luckily for me, he was understanding and didn’t dock my grade for the lateness of my paper.

The printers around campus could be fixed easily. It would be simple to service the printers more frequently or have an easy way to put in a request for printer maintenance. The printers should also have a refund system or a way for students to get another copy of correct material. I understand this might be more difficult, but I think it could be done.

Another solution to this problem would be to simply have more wēpa printers. Our tuition isn’t by any means cheap, and I think the university could afford to have a few more printers. I think the printers should be more abundant not only in the locations they are in now, but also better spread out. There are only three on the Main Quad, when there are six locations on Mather Quad and the Peter B. Lewis Building combined. The printers may be in higher demand for those places because of Tinkham Veale University Center and the Thwing Center, but the Main Quad should still have more printers.

The current locations with single printers should contain multiples. I’ve had trouble with waiting on other people and with unusable printers. A few times I’ve gone to a location to print something and gotten stuck behind people printing 20-30 sheets. More than once I’ve also had to go to a different location because the only printer at the location I was at wasn’t working. These are easy problems to fix, in my opinion, and I think the university needs to make these changes.

Brian Eckert is a first-year student.