A costly dilemma we all must face

Drew Becker
Staff Writer

I have become more and more dumbfounded by all of the noise being made about a lowered printing limit on campus. Over my four years on campus, I can say this is probably one of the least alarming policy changes implemented. I find myself wondering: are students fed up with changes? Are they unaware of the fairness?

The proposal that the Millersville University administration seemed to favor was a 300-page limit and 5? per page thereafter; this is at least what they hinted around at the meeting on March 27th. The plan that is now a reality, a 500-page limit then 25? per page thereafter, that was proposed by Student Senate was simply imbecilic.

A charge of 5? per page, over an implemented 300-page limit, would become cheaper for students once a 550-page threshold is reached. Thankfully, for future students, they will reach this rate eventually, but many students, in the short-term, will be left paying high fees if they surpass 550 pages.

Some students may print more than 300 pages but fewer than 550, which would make the new fee scale optimal, but for heavy users this fee scale will cost a fortune. One who uses campus printing often would have paid just $35 for their first 1000 pages, and $50 thereafter per thousand pages. The Student Senate’s victorious compromise will cost students $125 for their first 1000 pages and $250 thereafter per thousand pages.

Printing Price Chart

I understand that few use printers to print this much, but those who are involved in large clubs know printing flyers will be quite costly. Clubs will most likely, or so I would hope, reimburse students, but this will make advertising much costlier for organizations. Furthermore, certain majors, such as education and English majors, can require well over 100 pages printed per week.

I do agree that more fees are unfortunate, but throughout my time at Millersville University I have also found too many that simply abused this policy. I have witnessed multiple students printing out 100s of non-school related fliers, entire books, and one slide per page PowerPoint presentations. Although I understand some majors require a lot of printouts, this will simply have to be a cost budgeted by those students.

Unfortunately, Student Senate’s proposal will make it that much more expensive for students who print a lot, so a personal printer may be the best option. If the original proposal by the administration would have stayed in place, using campus printers would still be the most cost effective. Now students must wait a full two years for this pricing model.

I have found one thing quite humorous in this entire debate, however: the school seems to be using the environment as a callus, rather than the financial impact, as to why a printing limit will be put in place. I think if the school truly wanted to prove their point they would put their money where their mouth is and donate all of the fee revenue towards either an on campus environmental non-profit/project.

Assuming that there is at least some financial reasoning behind a printing limit as students we must ask ourselves: do we want to pay upfront in fees? I think the answer for most is no. Some would probably prefer a limit near 100 pages, with at least a 5? fee thereafter. Students who decide to print on campus should pay their share, and not affect students who decide to print conservatively, or at home, by requiring an increase in fees each semester.

Unfortunately, Student Senate’s proposal has become reality, and it will take years until their doltish and brash proposal will arrive to the university’s preferred 300-page limit with a .05? per page fee, which will save heavy users significant amounts.

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