Dartmouth Students Should Be Grateful for Kiewit's Free Printing Service

by Ned Holbrook | 5/4/98 5:00am

To the Editor:

Rarely am I so flabbergasted as I was when I read Amanda Molk's editorial on April 29 about Kiewit's printing policies ["Printing Policies are Inconvenient," The Dartmouth]. "Socio-economic class lines"? "Violate students' rights"? Get real.

Free printing is a service that is virtually unique to Dartmouth and yet all I ever hear is complaining. Instead of acknowledging that a useful resource is available, albeit with some restrictions, all that ever happens is griping and moaning. No other Ivy League school offers such a service; the only other school I know of that does at all is Carnegie Mellon. The fact that such a service exists at all is somewhat amazing, considering what negative publicity it receives.

Molk raises the issue of campaigning and claims that the wealthiest candidates are able to afford more campaign materials and thus more votes. What if candidates were allowed to print these materials on public printers? I certainly wouldn't want to see it. The thing is, Dartmouth maintains a set of rules known as the Computing Code. For one, this code guarantees all students a right to an equal share of computing resources. Imagine if 20 candidates for a student office jeopardized the public printing services: all this does is prevent others from using their own fair share.

Computing resources at Dartmouth are pervasive and so must be the attention paid to these resources to make sure they are always functioning. The Machine Room employees do far more that sort printouts; they keep BlitzMail running, among other things. To be honest, filing printouts only impinges on their time allotted for other duties. Top this aggravation off with hordes of unappreciative (and wasteful) students. I'm surprised we get any service at all.

Somehow I think there are more important issues to be complaining about. Quit your whining.