This past Thursday, March 27, Millersville’s Student Senate held a meeting that started off business as usual, but it was clear that with the large amount of students in attendance that there was an important issue to be discussed. In case you missed the e-mails sent out from Student Senate Vice President, Parth Patel, at this particular meeting there was to be a discussion about the new paper limit that will be in effect starting the 2014-2015 semester. This meeting was of significance to Millersville’s students because it would allow for them to have their voices heard and have questions answered about said limit.
Veronica Longnecker, from IT, and Roger Bruszewski, vice president of finance and administration, were at the meeting to present the idea to Senate and the students. Longnecker and Bruszewski provided two possible ideas for the paper limit. The one idea is to offer 250 pages a semester, with the possibility of a roll-over into the next semester. The second is a 300-page limit with no roll-over. Included in both of these plans would be a .05 cent charge for additional pages printed. So if you were to print a page double-sided, this would take two pages out of your allotted limit, due to the cost of ink. However, they are open to other numbers and ideas for the paper limit. One proposed idea came from Student Senate that suggested a 500-page limit, with a .25-cent charge for each page printed after the limit. Then each semester after, there would be a 50-page and .05 cent decrease, until it would reach a 300-page limit, with a .05 cent charge. This idea would be a way of weaning students off from printing the amount they are allotted currently.
Many students in attendance were quick at the chance to ask their questions and voice their concerns. One of the biggest worries were from students who are in majors that involve a lot of printing, such as Education majors (more specifically those students who are or will be student teaching and need to print out activities for their classes), English majors, and various science majors who print out pages for their weekly labs. When asked if there would be a discount for student’s who are in the process of student teaching, Longnecker and Bruszewski responded, ‘no,’ but this whole limit idea is still in the works and nothing is set in stone, so there is a possibility for exceptions for student teachers and student organizations. Another concern was for students with learning disabilities who need to print out their assigned readings. Bruszewski responded that, “accommodations could be made” for these students; as long as they had the proper documentation proving that they needed to print.
A popular suggestion from the audience was to force professors to utilize Desire2Learn, or D2L, along with well educating those who don’t know how to use it effectively, so students could avoid printing. Bruszewski and Longnecker agreed with this and stated that the faculty will also be affected by the printing limit, so it will be beneficial for them to know the ins and outs of D2L.
The opinions of this page limit are varied. Some students are outraged and feel that they put enough money into their education and that they shouldn’t have to spend extra money on printing when it is a necessity for their classes. On the other hand, there are students who are accepting of the limit due to the fact that they do not print often, so a paper limit will make little to no difference. Many students at the meeting were curious as to why it was happening now. Bruszewski stated, “This actually should have started three years ago.” Over the course of three years there has been an increase in paper usage from 1.4 million to 1.9 million.
Throughout the meeting the biggest question was, is this paper limit due to a financial impact? “This is more of an environmental effort,” said Bruszewski. Longnecker backed him up by saying that this is a start to a campus-wide sustainability effort. This impact will also affect professors and other faculty in the amount that they are allowed to print.