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Students use 11 printers installed in dorms

Kaitlynn Riely | Wednesday, December 7, 2005

The test run of the printer program – which brought printers to five dorms last spring to determine their feasibility and necessity in dormitories – was enough to convince Carroll sophomore Josh Kempf that he no longer needed his own personal printer in his dorm room.

“They told us they would have it up and running this year, so I didn’t even bring it back,” Kempf said.

Thanks to the success of the pilot program, organized by the student senate last March, the University began the printer program in 11 dorms on campus – Carroll, Dillon, Farley, Lewis, Lyons, O’Neill, Pangborn, Pasquerilla West, Welsh Family and the lobby connecting Keenan and Stanford. Each of these dorms received one printer at the beginning of the school year.

Mark Seiler, chair of the Student Senate’s residence life committee, and senator Ben Gunty worked with Gordon Wishon, assistant vice president of the Office of Information Technologies, to get printers installed in the dorms.

“The first year for the pilot program was last academic year, and the program went well,” Seiler said. “The program indicated that the printers in the dorms were getting ample usage. This academic year a few more printers were added to dorms. As far as I know, the program continues to go well.”

OIT and the Office of Residence Life and Housing were responsible for overseeing the project, which has been successful thus far, said Pamela Lay, ResNet program support manager at OIT.

Last spring, OIT conducted a test pilot program to see if the printers would work and to see if students would use them.

The most-used printers are in Welsh Family, Lewis and Keenan-Stanford, Lay said. The Pasquerilla West and Farley printers are the least utilized. Lay believes this may be because residents either do not realize the printers are available or because they cannot connect to them.

OIT informed students about the availability of the printers through insideND early in the fall semester. In Farley, OIT has placed posters in the halls to raise awareness of the new printing option.

Use of the printer is not limited to the residents of the host dorm, Lay said. Any student on the NOMAD network can download the printing software and pick up their print job at one of the available dorms.

Some students have said they run into problems staying connected to the printer. Lay said this problem is usually seen in computers with XP Home Edition, which have more difficulty maintaining the path to the printer than the XP Professional Edition.

Sophomore Christina Ginardi said she frequently uses the printer in her dorm, Welsh Family, but she has had some problems with printing.

“Sometimes you need to reconnect with it,” she said.

Lay said there are currently no plans to expand the printer availability into other dorms.

“If anyone has a request that they want printing ability expanded, they need to talk to [the Office of Residence Life and Housing],” Lay said.

Jeffrey Shoup, director of Residence Life and Housing, said the reason Notre Dame did not originally put a printer in every dorm is because there was not funding for one in every hall.

“We tried to do it at various locations where they would be accessible, not all clumped together in one quad,” he said.

Lay said she did not know if there has been a significant drop in personal printers since the installation of printers in dorms. If there hasn’t been a drop, she said this could be due to the late notification that printers would be available in dorms this year.

“I doubt that there would have been a reduction this year,” Lay said. “However, there could be a reduction next year with the printers now available.”