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Introduction of UPrint system brings complaints

GREEN LIGHT: UM has committed to a green university. One of the efforts towards conservation is the new UPrint system, which aims to reduce wasted paper by forcing students to more closely monitor how much they print. Photo by: Chelsea Matiash // Hurricane Staff

For University of Miami students, staying up late printing out the final pages of a last-minute essay will cost more than just a night of sleep. This semester, UPrint, a printing system implemented last September in the Otto G. Richter library, has introduced a new printing fee. One printing credit costs one dollar, though students receive 100 free printing credits per year. Each black-and-white copy is five cents and each color copy is 10 cents. 

The annual 100 credits allow students to print 2,000 black and white copies and 1,000 pages of color a year, said Lisandro Franky, assistant director of Document Services and Solutions. 

“We’re not trying to make a business out of [the printing fee],” Franky said. “We just want students to be more cautious of what they’re printing. If they’re not monitored, sometimes students aren’t as concerned.”

This newly implemented system goes hand-in-hand with UM’s environmentally-conscious Green U initiative by striving to reduce the waste of paper by 30 percent. 

Franky added that “a 100 credit is way more [than]other universities.”

Other nearby universities do not distribute credits; they automatically charge their students for printing. Barry University charges students five cents per black-and-white page and a dollar for color copies. At Miami-Dade Community College, students are charged eight cents per black-and-white copy and 40 cents per color copy. At Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay campus library, students are also charged 8 cents for each black-and-white copy, and color pages are not available.  

According to current utilization patterns, 88 percent of the student population uses less than the given credit.

Credit deductions started on Aug. 29. If a student prints more pages than the credit allows, money from their CaneExpress dollars may be used. If there’s no money on that, a student’s CaneExpress account will be charged the given rates. 

However, according to Brandon Gross, president of Student Government, students have been expressing their concerns about this new system. 

“A lot of students have been coming to me because they’re confused about the program,” Gross said. “They also have issues with being charged twice for double-sided pages as well.”

Since the end of August, UM’s Document Services and Solutions has been evaluating different ways to reduce excess printouts while still allowing students the freedom to print everything they’ll need for the year. 

But this system didn’t take into account the fact that student organizations also need to print copies throughout the year. 

Because of that, Student Government and Document Services and Solutions worked together to allow credit allocations to certain organizations that frequently use the printer, so no individual’s credits would be used. 

“The company has agreed to evaluate the overall activity at the end of the semester to make sure this allotment is enough for students and organizations,” Gross said. “They want to listen to our suggestions.”

Some professors say they haven’t experienced any problems with the new system, but feel they, as faculty, need to be sensitive to the change this will bring to students’ lives. 

“If a professor has assigned 400 printouts in the past, they may need to rethink that and have a heightened sensitivity to this new credit amount,” said Stephen Sapp, a professor and chair of the Department of Religious Studies. 

Students can check their UPrint balance by logging onto MyUM and clicking on the Cane Card Information tab. 

By next semester, Franky expects to see UPrint up and running at UM’s Miller School of Medicine and Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

But besides the printing fee, UPrint has also gone wireless this semester. Three years ago, Student Government asked for color and wireless printing. However, that could not happen unless they had a system that supported those demands. 

“I really believe wireless and color is the latest technology at this time,” Franky said. “Students also have the option of scanning documents to an e-mail service and sending them to a file where they can keep their notes. It’s very easy to implement new options because we have the [UPrint] system.”

Students can print from their laptops and pick up their documents at a printer around campus. 

To learn more about UPrint, visit www.miami.edu/uprint.

September 11, 2008

Reporters

Erika Capek

Assistant News Editor


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