New changes to printing system causes confusion, nursing students speak out about the change



The broken printers have caused a lot of frustration among students, especially nursing majors.

Abby Arsenault, News Layout Editor

Correction: Despite the new 50-dollar limit, students will be able to renew their accounts at the IT Help Desk as before. Students do not have to pay with their own money once they surpass the 50-dollar limit.

It is a nearly impossible task to go a week as a college student and not print something. In the past, an excess of printing was not a problem, with the cost of printing included in tuition and regularly re-upped by the Help Desk free of charge.

This year, however, many students have been shocked to discover that Saint Anselm only provides 50 dollars’ worth of printing before students must add their own funds.

If a student goes to print an essay, worksheet, or another document they will now notice that their balances began the year at 50 dollars and decrease ten cents for every black and white page.

This is no different from last year, at least not until the 50 dollars run out. Now, instead of simply having the Help Desk refill the balance, students will now have to put their own money on the cards, much like the laundry service before it became free this year.

This schoolwide change to the printing system was initiated under former Chief Information Officer, Adam Albina, who is still with the college but as an assistant professor of computer science. The adjustment period of the changes is now being overseen by his replacement, Steven McDevitt. McDevitt joined Saint Anselm in August after previously working for Mount Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts. Mount Ida College infamously closed last year and was later acquired by the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

According to McDevitt, placing a limit on each student’s printing balance was done to better control and manage the amount that students print. He maintained that most colleges share a similar printing system.

The implementation of this new printing system has not been flawless. Students may have noticed in the past week that their printing balance recently reset to 50 dollars.

Some assumed this came from their Hawk bucks account, but in reality, the entire school was reset to make up for an initial error in the software that wasn’t properly accounting for faculty and staff printing. The balances will now continue to decrease with each document printed.

McDevitt said that for the majority of students, this change will not affect their printing habits at all. “If you break it down, fifty dollars’ worth of printing equals six hundred and fifty double-sided black and white pages. When calculating this number, we looked back and ninety percent of students did not surpass that.”

While ninety percent of students may have no reason to worry, the other ten percent have been very concerned. Cassandra Moran, ’19, said that the loss of renewable funds is especially hard for seniors.

“Overall,” Moran said, “I think being charged for printing is unfair. I am working on my thesis which requires that I print drafts and sources. I am also on the debate team, so I can have to print upwards of 50 pages per week. I also have to print papers and articles for my other classes, so it is going to get really expensive.”

The population that appears to be most affected by this change are the college’s nursing students. For most of the nursing classes, they are not allowed to bring their laptops, forcing them to print out multiple presentations with hundreds of slides.

“For papers, we have to print out our articles to get them approved. We need to have so many sources for each paper, so it really adds up,” Nursing major Mallory Schell ’19 explained.

“If we could use our computers for that at least, it would really help. Some teachers allow computers, but for most assignments, we have to print ourselves.”

But like most changes on campus, for every opponent, there is a proponent. Among this group are students that believe a limit will force students to cut down on unnecessary printing jobs.

Emily Maier, ’20, secretary of the College’s Green Team club, and said, “I think it’s definitely good for the environment. The resources we were using were not eco-friendly.”

Maier does concede though that “it is a little unfair from a class perspective.”

Facing these complaints, McDevitt revealed that further changes might be made: “At Mount Ida college, there was a veterinarian program that was highly demanding in terms of printing, so they were allotted high balances.”

However, this idea has not been formally introduced and may not become anything concrete.

Beyond the money balances, the printers themselves have experienced some difficulties. The printers on the main floor of the library were not functional until about a month after classes had begun.

McDevitt claimed this was due to a broken card scanner, which has since been replaced. Also, the technology department will be placing two new printers in the basement of the Student Center for students who wish to study there.

The addition of these printers will not mean the loss of the printers in Davison; those will be relocated in the lobby but will remain in the building.

Also, the school is currently trying to upgrade Wi-Fi across campus to increase capacity and decrease lag.

“Nowadays, everyone carries at least two devices, maybe more,” McDevitt said. “We are just trying to accommodate that.”

Overall, McDevitt and the rest of the technology department believe that students will grow accustomed to the changes.

“Students now are used to high school, which has become largely technology-based with the introduction of Chromebooks and Google Docs. They have to adjust to a more paper-centered world at college.”

In the meantime, students may have to become more conservative with their printing. Anyone with further questions is recommended to visit the technology help desk located on the main floor of the library.

Article updated on Oct 16, 2018.