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Group examines dorm printing

Joseph McMahon | Thursday, October 30, 2008

Prompted by a number of complaints, the Student Senate discussed the need for printers in every residence hall yesterday.

“People complain about it on a regular basis,” Alumni Hall Senator Zach Reuvers said. “It always comes up during hall elections.”

Students often complain of having to wait on long lines to print at the clusters.

“I live in McGlinn and sometimes when I go to DeBartolo in the morning before classes there are really long lines,” Senate Committee on Student Outreach chair Sarah Rodts said. “I don’t always get what I need printed.”

Currenly, Lyons, Carroll, O’Neil, Lewis, Farley, Dillon, Pasquerilla West, Pangborn, Siegfried and Keenan all have printers, while students in the other 18 residence halls are forced to trek to computer clusters. Senate Committee on Oversight chair Ian Secviar said all dorms should have equal access to printers.

“Regardless of whether it reduces traffic or not, in the pursuit of fairness this is something that we should do,” he said.

Senate Committee on Technology chair Devin Fee said the University is currently pursing a new contract with an outside company for printers, but if the contract is too costly, printers in dorms could be cut.

“It is something that could get cut if the bids are too low,” Fee said. “I think they realize that it’s significant to us, but it’s something that has to be worked into the budget.”

Fee said he would seek support from the University, which has a much larger budget than the Office of Information Technology (OIT).

“I think it would be a lot easier to push this through with the University supporting than OIT supporting,” he said.

Farley senator Robyn Grant said the dorms’ needs should not detract from the clusters in the Library, the Coleman-Morse Center and LaFortune.

“I feel that you shouldn’t detract from the clusters for the dorms,” she said.

However, in a simple straw poll taken by student body vice president Grant Schmidt, there weren’t any senators against expanding printer service in dorms.

In other Senate news:

uThe Senate received a brief presentation from Rachel Novick Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Office of Sustainability. Novick, who is in charge of outreach on environmental issues, said the Office of Sustainability would by taking two different approaches to environmentalism.

The top-down approach, she said, examines major infrastructure problems, including the campus’ sprinklers.

“The main change is that [the sprinklers] will all be electronically controlled,” said Novick, which she claimed would stop leaks and prevent the sprinklers from coming on right after a rainstorm.

Novick said the bottom-up approach focuses more on individual efforts by “encouraging faculty and students to change their lifestyles a little bit.”

The bottom-up approach includes activities such as the recent dorm-wide recycling competition, which was won by Walsh Hall, who reduced their energy use by 31 percent.