Student Government announces updates to overnight infirmary fees and printing
Dartmouth Student Government advocated for the elimination of overnight infirmary fees and oversaw increases in student’s termly printing allowance from $60 to $75.
Campus-wide emails on Sept. 5 and Sept. 7 announced changes to printing on campus and the elimination of overnight infirmary fees, respectively. As of Sept. 8, Dartmouth no longer imposes fees for overnight stays related to intoxication or other health-related issues, Kotz wrote in his email. In addition, students now receive $75 — up from $60 — for their termly printing allowance increase, coinciding with the introduction of a new printing system.
Elimination of overnight infirmary fees
According to DSG vice president Kiara Ortiz ’24, students who needed help or wanted to help their friends were “scared to call” Safety and Security for fear of being “Good Sammed,” and having to pay any associated overnight stay fees, which varied on a case-by-case basis. DSG President Jessica Chiriboga ’24 added that cost was often a “barrier” to getting support, especially for intoxicated students or those dealing with a mental health crisis.
“Students are then put in really difficult positions,” Chiriboga said. “Either as someone who’s going through a difficult situation, or someone who is [hesitant to reach] out to help a friend or a loved one, [students] are not comfortable reaching out for support because of the financial burdens.”
Chiriboga said that the process of eliminating infirmary fees started in Feburary 2023, when members of DSG and the Student and Presidential Committee on Sexual Assault got “[the elimination of infirmary fees] on the radar.”
“We helped agenda-set and advocated for it, but I assume that it was more of a higher level decision,” Chiriboga said. “Student Government obviously has a variety of impacts, and we were glad to be involved at the very end, affirming that it was a good priority.”
Chiriboga emphasized the relationship between the elimination of the overnight infirmary fees and the College’s commitment to mental health, due to their “under-recognized” connection.
“Some mental health challenges can be exacerbated by drug use or drinking alcohol,” she said. “Just to have [overnight stays] as an option will have ripple effects.”
Increased printing accessibility on campus
At the same time, DSG pushed for substantial changes to printing, adopting a printing system used by the Thayer School of Engineering. According to DSG chief of staff Anthony Fosu ’24, the new system, PaperCut Deploy, is much more “efficient” and “user friendly,” incorporating a mobile app. He added that the cost reductions will help reduce the financial burden for students.
“Students who were wanting to print on campus would often use up their limits, especially for majors that had a lot of reading — such as government, economics, sociology, classics, English, social science and humanities students — which constitute a lot of Dartmouth students,” Fosu said. “We wanted to improve accessibility and lower whatever financial barrier there could be in ensuring that more students could print more pages.”
Fosu noted that expected “challenges” with the update have resulted in “an information gap.” To help make the transition seamless, he said that College Information, Technology, and Consulting has tried to “push out information” — through DartHub announcements, email and DSG communication channels — as quickly as possible, deployed QR codes around campus with information about the changes and provided drop-in hours for service support.
“While we recognize that these methods may not be sufficient to reach everyone, we’re doing our best to try to reach everyone, especially through increasing the amount of in-person support,” Fosu said.
According to Fosu, the new policies follow “sweeping changes” introduced to GreenPrint starting in 2021, when Dartmouth increased the printing allowance from $20 to $60 a term. DSG’s partnership with ITC has also resulted in the introduction of WiFi on the Green and the campus-wide access to Canva, he added.
“All of these changes just represent a strong and growing partnership with ITC and reflects DSG’s hope to continue to work with College offices and departments to improve the student experience wherever possible,” Fosu said.
Ultimately, Fosu emphasized the need of students to continue to voice their concerns and suggest improvements to campus life.
“[Student] feedback is incredibly needed, helpful and appreciated,” Fosu said.