Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism.
The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

SA, College discuss printing fees

Despite the objections of some Student Assembly members, the College may start charging students who print as little as a few hundred pages per term to GreenPrint machines in the fall, Computing Services told Assembly members last night.

According to Computing Services figures, over 30 percent of students printed more than 1,000 pages during Winter term, while 56 percent printed less than 250. That term, 1.4 million sheets were output at GreenPrint, with an individual student printing out a whopping 5,160 pages. Such wastage -- amounting to a 20 percent rise in the volume of printed paper -- must be addressed by Fall term at the latest, the College said.

The most likely plan involves a quota system that would charge students' discretionary accounts once they printed more than a given number of pages. The revised system would include a counter to allow students to see how much they had printed.

Still, some Assembly members said they opposed any form of charging students, for fear of penalizing the academics of those students who cannot afford to print class materials.

More and more professors are using the Blackboard web site and other online forums to distribute readings instead of handing them out in class, they said, which ultimately would pass the costs on to students when they print out the materials.

If the goal is to reduce printer usage and thus paper waste, though, "any form of quota would make people more careful," summer Assembly president Julia Hildreth '05 said.

Assembly members came to an informal consensus that the best course of action would be to create a quota high enough that few students would pass it in normal use.

"Dartmouth has the most liberal policy out there" when it comes to public printing, Computing Services representative Rita Murdoch said. Most other schools charge for each page printed, making Dartmouth's policy of free printing unique.

She noted the difficulty of ensuring that students abide by the academic-only requirement for printing, adding that all users in the Darmouth Name Directory -- anyone with a BlitzMail account -- are currently allowed to print to GreenPrint, even if not associated with an academic grouping.

Members of the Green Key Society Murdoch spoke with in the spring said that a significant portion of student printing was not for academics, she said.

Murdoch said she would take Assembly recommendations and questions back to her department to further elaborate the plan.

In related news, the Assembly gave $2,000 to the Taste of Tubestock barbecue to be held on Webster Avenue on July 18, the day before the annual student-run river festival.

The Taste of Tubestock street carnival, proposed initially by Assembly summer treasurer Ralph Davies '05, will ideally include representatives from all student organizations and affinity houses. Under his plan, each organization would purchase and prepare food for the event.

Davies said he has spoken with representatives of the police and fire departments and will receive permission to close Webster Ave. by today.

The $2,000 budget, larger than that given to other similar events, will go towards the purchase of food and potentially towards the hiring of police officers to monitor the cookout. Davies said he has not yet worked out the details with the police.

To date, the College Republicans, the Young Democrats and the Vegetarian Alliance have all committed to participate. Hildreth charged Davies with gathering a complete list of participants by next Tuesday's meeting.

Davies said he chose the weekend of Tubestock since it would be a "healthy complement" to "the weekend when everyone's just excited about Summer term." He also said that he wanted to set a precedent for large gatherings of student organizations.

The early part of the Assembly meeting was held outside on the Senior Fence on the Green, which the College will soon relocate to the corner of Main Street and Wheelock Street. Assembly members speculated that the move was to prevent foot traffic from cutting across that corner of the Green and killing the grass there.