Students await $1,200 worth materials for art building printer

By Stephanie Kohl

Confusion has risen among some students regarding printing policies in the Visual Communication Lab.

The ink jet color printer in the lab is a high-quality, expensive printer that makes prints similar to that made by a professional press. It is for the use of upper-division visual communication majors, but is limited to a matter of necessity.

“What is important for us is that we have the printer and materials available for students and in good working order for [printing of] their portfolios,” said Leif Allmendinger, design division head for the School of Art.

Some students, however, feel they have been unable to use it when necessary.

“When I have tried to print before, the paper trays have been empty and once my group was unable to use it because of low ink levels,” said Jenna Welch, a junior visual communication major.

Recent problems with using the printer may be because of a lack of materials. About $1,200 worth of materials for the printer recently have been ordered and are expected to arrive within the next month.

Both the printer and the materials are expensive, but that is not the only reason for the restrictions on its use. Using the printer requires some training to properly use the material and eliminate waste.

“This [printer] is like a sports car,” Allmendinger said. “It is finicky, expensive and very high quality.”

Students who understand the policy seem to think it is fair.

“On one hand, I want to say that the students have paid the price with our student fees and lab fees and should be able to print whatever we want,” said Utopia Pope, a senior visual communication major. “On the other hand, I wonder if [students] should be more conservative and use our resources sparingly in order to make them last.”

Any student who is unsure about printing policies can speak with an on-duty lab attendant.

“I’m sorry that this is an inconvenience to students, but we want to clear up the miscommunication,” professor Allmendinger said.