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Printers installed in residence halls

Sarah Mervosh | Thursday, August 27, 2009

Students no longer have to trek across campus in the frigid cold or wait in long lines at Coleman-Morse. At least not to use a printer, that is.

Over the summer, printers were installed in every undergraduate residence hall on campus, Student Body President Grant Schmidt said.

“It’s a huge convenience factor,” Schmidt said. “From the student government end, the reason we did it is because people wanted them. People thought, hey, I’m running late to class. I don’t want to wait in this line in DeBartolo. I want to be able to print it off at 3 a.m. when I finish my paper.”

Not only can students send their papers or class readings to printer release stations in their dorms, they can also print their pages to the printers in other dorms.

“I can go to Knott and print off there or I can go to Welsh Fam,” Schmidt said.

In order to print from a laptop to a dorm printer, students must download a new print utility software and configure their computer to the printer called ResHalls, Senate Campus Technology Chair Walker Anderson said.

“It downloads itself. You download your install utility,”Anderson said. “If you download this, you can print to anything.”

A main concern with putting printers in every dorm is sustainability, Anderson said. In order to make printing moremore friendly to the environment, the desktops in computer labs, along with Windows laptops, now default to double-sided printing and recycling bins have been placed next to every dorm computer.

Macintosh laptops have not yet defaulted to double sided printing. Mac users must configure their computers to print double sided, Technology Enhanced Learning Spaces Manager Brian Burchett said.

“We’re working on it. We just need a little more time to do double sided printing by default,” Burchett said.

In addition to helping to make campus more sustainable, students have another incentive to print double sided – it essentially doublestheir print quota.

“Two pages printed on one sheet of paper would cost the same as one page printed on one sheet of paper,” Burchett said. “If you do double sided, you should be able to stretch [the allotted 1,000 sheets] out and double your quota. So there is a real incentive there to do double sided printing.”

Burchett said printers are also going into “sleep mode” when not being used in order to save energy.

“We are trying to use power savings on the printers to reduce energy consumption when printers are not being used,” he said.

Overall, there have only been minor technical difficulties that should be solved soon, Burchett said.

“The only problem that I have been told about is that students who are running Microsoft Vista Home Edition, if it’s the 64 bit version of the operation system, then the process to set things up is more complicated,” Burshett said.

Schmidt said the response has been positive so far from students he has talked to.

“People have been pumped,” he said. “Everyone has said it was a great resource to have in the dorms.”

Senior Maureen Bauer said she appreciated the new additions to residence halls.

“I think it’s helpful, not so much now when you can walk outside, but when it’s snowing you don’t have to walk to CoMo or DeBartalo to print,” she said. “That will be great.”