University increases printing fee

Students will pay two cents more per page to print in most campus facilities beginning in August.

Officials cited the rising cost of printers, toner, software licenses, server support and staffing as reason for the nine-cent fee.

The charge will be implemented in labs in the Marvin Center, Gelman Library, Rome Hall and several classrooms. The Medical and Law School libraries will not be affected.

The University implemented a printing fee of seven cents per page in summer 2002, following the short-lived use of a quota system mandating a 1,250 maximum page use per student.

Prior to the quota, printing was free in University labs. Administrators instituted the initial charge because of excessive paper waste and rising costs associated with printing.

University Librarian Jack Siggins cited the “tremendous cost and burden” to replace printers and service the 24-hour computer lab as reasons for the increase. He added that the seven-cent fee was no longer sufficient to sustain the quality of the computer labs.

“(The fee) was no longer enough to maintain the quality of the labs,” Siggins said. “It wouldn’t provide the revenue to replace machines.”

Damien Gardner, library student liaison, said the recent onslaught of worm attacks and the subsequent costs to alleviate them aided the decision to raise the printing fee.

“I do understand the need for it, I just wish the need didn’t exist … it’s part of the larger funding problem of the University,” he said.

Siggins said another printing fee increase will likely occur in the future. He said the increase will probably deter students from printing until they adjust to the new price.

Siggins said he understood the need for a fee increase and “reluctantly” agreed to the decision.

“The library is losing money on this whole operation,” Siggins said.

In the library, funds from the printing fee will go toward printing- related expenses.

In other University computer lab locations, which are operated by the Center for Academic Technologies, money will go into a pool of funds for general technological upkeep, Gardner said.

CATS Director P.B. Garrett did not return a call from The Hatchet Friday. CATS runs the majority of labs on campus, including the labs in the lower level of the Marvin Center and Gelman Library.

Several students said they do not see the need for a printing fee increase when they pay more than $30,000 to attend GW.

“I think it’s ridiculous. They overcharge for everything already,” junior Emily Belknap said. “It used to be free when we were freshmen. And now professors are putting everything online.”

“I have a lot of stuff to print here (Gelman), but maybe not anymore,” junior Ann Geisler said. “I’ll probably stop printing here next year.”

But some students said the 2-cent increase is not significant.

“It wouldn’t cause me to print less, but it should be free anyway. Seven cents doesn’t really matter, it’s just that they keep squeezing us for money,” freshman Ricky Gelber said.

Siggins said the higher printing fee will be lower than other university printing fees in the area.

The University of Maryland and Georgetown, American and George Mason universities have a 10-cent printing fee, according to a CATS press release issued Thursday. Boston University charges 25 cents per page. n

Ryan Holeywell contributed to this report.


Printing fee history

Prior to Dec. 2001:
no print regulations

Dec. 2001:
printing quota

August 2002:
seven cents per page

August 2004:
nine cents per page

Other college printing fees

School Printing Fee
University of Maryland $0.10
Georgetown University $0.10
American University $0.10
George Mason University $0.10
Boston University $0.25

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