Saint Mary’s introduces ability to print from one’s own device
Jordan Cockrum | Thursday, January 17, 2019
When student body president Madeleine Corcoran and student body vice president Kathy Ogden, seniors, began their term last spring, one of their first requests to chief information officer Todd Norris was to update the printing technology at Saint Mary’s.
While Saint Mary’s has several printers on campus, the process had always been time-consuming. Students must first sign into a computer that is connected to the printer. After signing in, students would have to pull up the document, whether it be sent to themselves in an email or on Blackboard, and then sign into the PrintLimit software to send their jobs to a printer.
Corcoran said she and Ogden came up with the idea to allow students to send print jobs from their own devices as a part of their platform due to the time it would save students.
“Just the convenience of being able to print from your own device as well as the efficiency as a student when our schedules are so full already, to be able to have that opportunity we thought was really important,” Corcoran said.
In addition, the University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College had this technology already in place, so Corcoran said she and Ogden thought it was time for Saint Mary’s to catch up to the rest of the tri-campus community.
“Also, we noticed that Notre Dame and Holy Cross both already had printing from their own device as an available option so we thought we were kind of behind the curve on that and it was time for us to try and get back up to speed,” Corcoran said.
Now, students can print to the three printers in the Trumper Computer Center from any location on campus, as long as they are connected to one of the two college networks. Instructions on how to use the new printing technology can be found on ResNet’s website, under PrintLimit.
Corcoran said that her experience working with Saint Mary’s Information Technology (IT) department was positive, and the department was receptive to students’ needs.
“It was really great,” Corcoran said. “Todd [Norris] has been super-duper helpful with the entire process. We brought it to him last spring and he was very excited about the idea and didn’t even realize how much time students were spending on printing because he didn’t consider how we all use laptops.”
The project was important for Norris to work on due to the strong desire from the student body, he said.
“In my mind, if it’s something that was important to [Student Government Association], it’s important to students,” Norris said. “And they were certainly voicing that to us, and I see it as a very high priority to put what students want. … That’s why I think it’s important — because students want it. And it’s a reasonable request. It’s 2019, we ought to be able to do this. So, you know, let’s do it.”
The IT department began working on the ability to print from one’s own device during the spring of 2018, and completed it over the holiday break, Norris said.
“It took a while, you know, because it’s not the only thing that IT is doing,” Norris said. “So it’s one of those things. And any time you have a new project, one of the questions is how do you fit that into the schedule of work that you already have to do.”
In terms of finding the time to tackle this project, the biggest difficulty was for IT to have an extended period of time to test the software without students being on campus, Corcoran said.
“The biggest thing was they needed a chunk of time where students were gone,” Corcoran said.
Originally, IT planned to launch printing from one’s own device following fall break. However, the testing completed during fall break revealed more hurdles than initially expected, Norris said.
“We had to wait, and then over Christmas break, those students weren’t here at the time we needed to do the testing,” Norris said. “If we’re doing network adjustments, it’s always better to do those things at the times when students are not here. That way it doesn’t disrupt your other work.”
Norris said Corcoran and Ogden assisted him by both reminding him about the project and being patient with the IT department, as it is usually working on multiple projects at any point in time.
“Kathy and Madeleine were good advocates but they were also patient,” Norris said. “Because, you know, sometimes the WiFi goes down and we have to fix the WiFi instead of what we thought we were going to do with the printers.”
Norris said his primary goal in his position is to be responsive to the needs of students and do what he can to make the campus a better place to live.
“Students are at the heart of what we do,” Norris said. “Students are the only reason we actually should be showing up for work in a day. Because there’s nothing here except for buildings if there are no students to teach. So ultimately, I want to treat this place like your home away from home. So when those things are important, I want you to voice them.”