Capitalizing on their access to key administrators, three Student Association senators are looking to make printing cheaper for students.
Sen. Charlie Rybak, U-At large, introduced the “GW Gutenberg Plan” – named after Johannes Gutenberg, who invented the first printing press with moveable type – that outlines ways to reduce printing costs at the SA Senate meeting last week.
Rybak said it only costs the school a little more than 3 cents to print, without incorporating bulk prices into the equation. The University charges students 9 cents per page to print in Gelman.
“They’re profiting off us for printing our homework,” Rybak said. “And that’s a problem.”
Rybak said the 9 cent printing price in Gelman Library is “an arbitrary number,” bringing up the cost of printing at other libraries across campus.
“It’s 7 cents in the engineering school and in the [Himmelfarb Health Sciences] med school library. The fact that those are two different prices says that it’s an arbitrary number right there,” Rybak said. “We need to find out why it was set at 9 cents in the first place and how we can make this system just.”
Rybak’s initiative aims to lower the price of printing to 4 cents per page so the University would no longer make a 6 cent profit on every page printed by a student.
“Per page, the 6 cents start to add up. That in itself is a central issue,” Rybak said.
Rybak is also proposing that GW adds 4 cent printers throughout campus, increasing printer access while decreasing the traffic in Gelman.
He wants to install printers in Thurston Hall, South Hall, Ivory Tower, International House, Duques Hall, Rome Hall and the School of Media and Public Affairs.
“It’s an academic issue and it’s a quality-of-life issue,” Rybak said. “If we make this investment now and make this fair, we can do something that will dramatically change student’s academic experience and their quality of life here.”
Rybak said Sens. Dylan Pyne, CCAS-U, and Ted Costigan, CCAS-U, have agreed to assist him. They plan to meet with administration officials to make their case, rather than proposing it as a bill to go through the SA.
“One of the reasons I ran for the SA was because I was so mad at all these bills they were passing that don’t do anything,” Rybak said. “Once we stop wasting our time on bills and plan out goals and try to reach them, that’s when we’re actually going to get stuff done and that’s what I’m trying to do here.”
Rybak said he hopes to have the printing issue resolved by the end of the year.
“With the SA turnover every year, the good work people do gets left in the dust,” Rybak said. “That’s why we’re really striving to complete this by the end of the year.”