Staff editorial:Print wisely

There is no use in attempting to persuade GW not to implement the 7-cents-per-page printing fee in University computer labs. The fee is here to stay. Students must accept this as part of going to a school that charges every student a mandatory $225 for the use of the Health and Wellness Center, but asks for a voluntary $50 library fee.

There is no use in looking into the past. No need to talk about how a printing cap would make much more sense because it would not punish every syllabus-printing student and force them to load up on debit dollars while simultaneously charging the abusers and limiting the waste. It is futile to point out that the tuition of less than two GW students would have covered the entire $48,000 bill for all the toner and paper costs in Gelman last year.

The real issue is what this fee is going to mean for students.

Students and parents need to be aware that debit dollars are no longer an obscure way of getting mom and dad to float more money for pizza and Chinese food. Debit dollars are now a part of academia at GW for any student planning to use printers in any library or Center for Academic Technologies lab. Administrators must also be aware of debit dollars’ new importance by creating more places to add money to accounts and making sure the machines in the library are working properly, as they were not always last year.

The new technology in place as a result of the fee would be great if students did not have to pay for each side printed. The system, where every print job is assigned by name to a certain printer, and can be held until an entire computer session is finished, will create less confusion and wait time at the printer.

The system will theoretically cut down on the large amount of waste in computer labs. Students will also think twice about printing 50-page Web sites they do not really need, which was often a byproduct of the old system and a visible problem as printers were often cluttered with wasted paper.

Officials have said the fee will stay at seven cents for this year, but could not guarantee the fee will not be raised in the future. In a few years, students will not know the days when printing was a free luxury at GW and it will vanquish with the rumors that students used to get packages at their residence halls and parents were not notified of their students’ alcohol offenses.

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