Printing-cost drop a victory for environmentalists

After years of pressuring the department of Computing & Information Technology to make black and white double-sided printing more enticing to students, Geneseo Environmental Organization seems to have finally gotten a breakthrough.

GEO Vice President Sean Soper, a senior, said that the club had pressured CIT on this issue as long as he has been in the organization. He mentioned that, "some major hurdles such as incapable technology and lack of incentive delayed the process."

Up until this year, all Geneseo printing operations worked under a system called Printer Accounting System. According to Sue Chichester, director of CIT, this system became outdated and was dropped partly because it did not allow differentiation in the cost of printing. Essentially, it was impossible to allow for a double-sided print to cost less than printing two full pages.

After implementing a new system called PaperCut, CIT was able to differentiate between paper costs and work with G.E.O. As a result, students are offered an incentive for double-sided printing. Instead of paying 20 cents for two pages, students who print double-sided will pay a total of 15 cents.

However, with the new system, the cost of color printing will increase from 25 cents per color page to 30 cents. The cost of printing single-sided black and white pages is not increasing.

According to Soper, there are several reasons why students should print double-sided. Outside of the most obvious reason, which is saving money, Soper mentioned that double-sided printing will result in the destruction of fewer trees. Double-sided printing will also save the school money as it will result in a lower demand for paper, he said.

Some are skeptical about whether or not the new system will actually give students any incentive to preserve paper. Cara Gettys, a junior communicative disorder major, thought it was a good idea to be concerned about the environment, but questioned how many students would actually remember or take the time to print double-sided. Junior special education major Ashley Opacinch agreed with Gettys, adding, "it is hard to study off of pages that are printed back-to-back, so I probably wouldn't do it."

Some students are also upset about the increase in the cost of color printing. Some say they are aggravated by this since they are already paying a $30 technology fee and don't feel the need to be charged more for printing.

Junior business major Tim O'Connell expressed frustration with the increase. "I never use the school printers, and yet I have to pay a $30 fee," he said. "Now, as if that isn't enough, if I need to do any color printing I now have to pay more."

Although G.E.O. is happy with improvements thus far, they too would still like to see changes. Now, students have to click specifically on the option for double-sided printing. In the future, Soper would like to see double-sided printing set as a default when printing from ERes or Adobe Acrobat Reader.