The cost of free printing on campus

By Jalen Cobb

DeKALB | The printers on campus are available for students to print unlimited number of pages, but some students have noticed the limit of functioning printers and the limited number of pages per job they’re allowed to print.

Cindy Phillips, director of ITS Customer Support, said she believes NIU is one of the very few institutions that allows unlimited amount of free printing privileges.

“The 32 page per print job is a measure to control the cost of providing free print to students utilizing the free print service,” Phillips said.

Free printing is a privilege for students, but this privilege overworks many of the printers and results in their malfunction.

Sean O’Donnell-Brown, director of Western Illinois University’s document and publication services, said that students do not have this printing option on campus.

“Western does not offer ‘unlimited printing to students free of charge,'” O’Donnell-Brown said.

Eastern Illinois University responded in the same manner. Ted Hart, Assistant Director of the MLK University Union at EIU said that while printing services are available, students do get charged.

“We provide printing services for students, staff, organizations and university departments,” Hart said.

Charles Schumann, IT Manager of Academic Computing Operations and Support at NIU, said he believes students that are faced with problems with the lab printers should inform the help desk of the situation and they will be repaired.

Megan Reed, sophomore math education major said she thinks that the problem with the printers are the constant use.

“The printers that are in the labs on campus are frequented by students all the time,” Reed said. “Students should not have to search all over campus to print out their documents because the lab printers are not working correctly.”

This is an issue for not only Reed, but for every student who counts on the printers for school work.

“For the printers we know are faulty, we have our technicians working on the printers and are awaiting repair parts to arrive,” Schumann said. “They will be repaired as soon as they arrive.”

As for the number of pages in which a student can print, students can expect no change.

“The 32 pages per print job was instituted as a method to curtail unfettered printing the computing labs,” he said. “It is not scheduled to change until a new printing management system can be purchased and implemented.”