Printers pose problems for pupils

Changes made over the summer to on-campus printing processing have been causing technical issues for students. New notes and posters placed near the printers in the Flying Bean Café provide step-by-step instructions for the new procedure, but troubles persist.

“We’ve been having a recent spike of issues with these machines,” University Librarian Marc Truitt said. “These issues go back, essentially, to when they were installed.”

Despite the assistance of Computing Services, students continue to face problems.

“We just don’t have a solution yet,” Truitt said. “Computing Services has been by more than several times, working with the [library] access staff trying to pin this down. It’s a problem that’s been documented and reported to the reseller who has supplied the machines.”

Second-year commerce student Jacob Mallet is frustrated with the printing situation.

“I can’t print. Nothing is being submitted [through Web Print]. It’s fine 50 per cent of the time, but the other times it’s just garbage,” Mallet said of the new system.“It’s like taking something that’s broken and breaking it even more. It’s frustrating.”

In the library, where the majority of on-campus printers are housed, students are relying on librarians at the circulation desk to help them.

“With the new printers it has been taking more of the staff’s time than it used to take,” said Laura Landon, head of access services. “I can’t give you a percentage, but it’s safe to say that a large number of the questions that come to the access desk are about the printers and other technical troubleshooting.”
Even though maintenance of and technical support for the printers do not officially fall under the library’s responsibilities, Landon said she wants students to bring printer issues to the attention of the library staff.

Second-year English major Percy Miller echoed the frustrations faced by Mallet. “I’ve had way more issues with the new printers than before.”
Miller also highlighted the financial burden placed on students of using on-campus printing services. “When professors are asking you to print upwards of 50 pages, as one of mine is, you’re doing one of two things: you’re either using a lot of ink and paper on your personal printer or you’re spending a fair amount of money to print that kind of material.”

Having access to printing services is essential to many students’ academic success. In addition to physical copies of students’ work, many professors require that students be responsible for printing class notes. Expected to pay for printing, they feel entitled to functioning services.

“It’s a cause of stress,” Miller said. “There’s a pressure put on you to be a professional student, and you feel childish having to say to a professor ‘I couldn’t get the printer working’ or ‘I’m sorry, my Mountie Money ran out.’”

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