Adapted version of GoPrint to continue next year

Maggie Allen

With the close of the inaugural year of the printing system GoPrint, many students’ initial concerns have been alleviated. Whitman College Technological Services (WCTS), in conjunction with the Campus Conservation Committee, are beginning to make plans for next year, taking students’ opinions into consideration.

A survey concerning GoPrint was sent out to students a few weeks ago, and WCTS is currently finishing reviewing the preliminary survey results.  

According to the results, the vast majority of students feel that the $60 free printing credit is sufficient for both themselves and other students, and that the system is successful in saving resources and preventing accidental print jobs.  

“I think people have become accustomed to GoPrint,” Osterman said. “A lot of the initial concerns about the free credit amount being insufficient have gone away now that people have experienced how far it gets them.”  

First-year Lizzy Schiller agreed that it is a helpful resource. “I think it makes people more aware,” she said.  

 Many professors also believe that GoPrint is a useful system that saves students’ money.  

“I use CLEO for readings that I would have put on reserve,” said Associate Professor of Politics Jeanne Morefield. “Most of these readings are very old, out of print, and in the public domain. I expect students to print so that we all have the same text in class. I do this rather than having them spend exorbitant amounts of money on out-of-print books or collection of essays where we only use some of the materials.”

However, some still express concerns about the system.  

According to the results of the survey so far, students’ main concern is that the free credit amount is one size fits all. Variables indicated were the reading load of a particular class, the reading load of particular majors or divisions, such as the social sciences, or whether or not the student is writing a thesis.  

A common sub-theme of the reading load concern is that students are sometimes provided an electronic copy of a document but are required to bring a printed version to class.  

The second major complaint concerns the GoPrint software itself. Some students are concerned about the slow printing jobs in the queue, being charged for releasing a print job when the printer is not working, finding out how to be refunded, and being charged an extra page when printing to one of the library printers.  

Possible plans for this system may include lowering the allotted budget. This was discussed at the first printing forum in March and was also a question on the survey. This is being considered by not only WCTS, but also by the Campus Conservation Committee and the President’s Council.  

“We will also be working over the summer to address issues with the functionality of the GoPrint software, as well as looking at ways to make it easier to request a refund for a printing error,” Osterman said.  

Some faculty members, such as English and Core professor Margo Scribner, would rather not use printers at all.  

“I think that asking to print is really a waste,” Scribner said. “I wish we could use electronic sources and not print out at all, but [GoPrint] is a good system. It all evens out since some people use more [paper] than other people.”  

The final, more detailed results of the survey will be presented and discussed at the second printing forum, which will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6 in Olin 157.  

“The entire campus community is welcome and encouraged to attend,” Osterman said.