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SGA discusses future of dorm printer initiative

Megan Loney | Thursday, April 28, 2011

At its final meeting of the semester, the Saint Mary’s College Student Government Association (SGA) discussed the progress of the dorm printer initiative that began under Chesley-Smith administration. The initiative’s future is unclear following its problematic first weeks.


The students who tend Holy Cross Hall’s front desk and monitor printer usage have reported several issues since the installation of the printer two weeks ago. The problems are attributed to miscommunications about procedures for printer support and the printer’s unforeseen popularity among students.


The Holy Cross printer was an experimental initiative undertaken by the Chesley-Smith administration to evaluate the possibility of installing printers in dorms throughout campus. The Information Technology department was not involved in the initiative. Instead, the printer’s maintenance is solely SGA’s responsibility.


One issue raised during the meeting was the confusion over the printer maintenance procedure caused by student government turnover.


“A lot of the things that were established with the printer were not our doing and now we’re just making it work,” student body president Nicole Gans said. “We didn’t set up any procedures, it was really only to sustain until the end of the school year.”


The previous administration set aside a budget and supplies based on a cost estimate of printer usage on campus from Coordinator of Student Computing Kathy Hausmann. The paper usage since the printer’s installation, however, has already surpassed the estimated amount.


Gans suggested discontinuing the dorm printer initiative for the coming school year in consideration of unexpected costs.


“This is something that we will really focus on next year,” Gans said. “If [the projected cost] is surpassed, it would be very difficult to fit that flexibility into our budget next year. Our job is to respond to student needs, but I personally think that it would be a difficult expectation of SGA and an unrealistic use of money to spend it on ink and paper for printers in every dorm.”


Chief of staff Emily Skirtich noted the popularity of the printer among students as a sign of the need for printers in the dorms.


“Since the need is so great, it may not be our responsibility to put printers in all of the dorms, but our job is to be the advocate for the student body, and this is something that students want,” Skirtich said.


Gans and student body vice president Jacqualyn Zupanic will meet with Hausmann next semester to discuss matters of technology.


“[Vice President for Student Affairs] Karen Johnson told us not to meet with Kathy until next year. They will be going over technology this summer and things are going to change,” Gans said. “When we meet in the fall, we’ll know what we need to do and they will be able to give us better answers.”