Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

GoPrint encourages printing efficiency amongst Whitman students

For the throng of first-year students, Whitman’s GoPrint printing policy seems to be a hit. Yet questions remain about it working for everyone in the long run.

“It is still a work in progress,” said Middleware Analyst Mike Osterman.

GoPrint was inaugurated at Whitman in the spring semester of 2009. Prior to that, printing was free and unrestricted. The Campus Conservation Committee proposed the policy to help students be more actively aware of their paper consumption.

“[GoPrint] is not meant to be prohibitive in any way,” Osterman said.

Last semester every student was given a $60 budget; for fall 2009 the budget has been lowered to $50, but includes free printing during the month of finals. This change occurred due to the results of a survey and several forums that occurred last semester to determine the success of GoPrint.

“We estimated that it would be sufficient for all but 10 percent at the most,” Osterman said. “We would like to see students still remain mindful of [paper] usage in the last few weeks of term.”

By the numbers, GoPrint seems to be a success, but students still are skeptical about its ‘one size fits all’ feel.

GoPrint does allow seniors writing a thesis to request an additional $15, but this is the only exception, though many other students face higher-than-average printing demands from specific classes. For example, students enrolled in a fiction-writing English course are required to print 15 copies of their pieces for class review. These students have found themselves using approximately $10 of their budget each week. Meanwhile, students primarily enrolled in science and math classes have noted that they rarely use $20 of their budget in a single semester.

“[GoPrint] needs to address the professor side of it,” said junior Katie Bates, an English major.

Some professors use online resources and textbooks while others ask students to print off large amounts of information for their classes through the CLEo program.

“I mainly use my own printer because I always worry about exceeding [through GoPrint],” Bates said.
Individualizing Go-Print to a specific major or class, however, would be hard.

“Individual budgets would be very difficult, if not impossible, to calculate, ” said Osterman in an e-mail.

Senior Ryan Finnegan, a history major, reported that a professor of his put $7 worth of required reading material on CLEo so, rather than printing, Finnegan has gotten into the habit of bringing his laptop to class to follow along with the text. This is an alternative that some students have yet to use.

Despite the complaints, GoPrint meets the needs of the majority of students. At five cents per page, students are allotted 1,000 pages per semester without accounting for the free printing during finals.

“We are more than happy to receive comments and questions about GoPrint,” said Osterman, who can be reached at [email protected].

While WCTS continues to examine GoPrint’s efficiency, students can consider what they could do to lessen their need to print.

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