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New print allotments aim to make computer labs greener

This week, many students will begin to notice pop-up notifications on University computers as they print materials.

The notifications are part of a new University-wide sustainable printing pilot project that gives every student the ability to print up to 1,200 pages per semester free of charge. As they print, students will see a running total of their semester’s worth of printing and be given an additional chance to accept or cancel print jobs.

Dr. Godfrey Ovwigho, vice president for information technology/chief information officer, said the new limits were put in place as part of the University’s drive to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

“This allotment is certainly not intended to limit the reasonable amount of printing that we recognize as essential for students’ educational activities,” Ovwigho said. “But we are trying to work with our students to take these steps to reduce printing waste, which runs counter to our commitment to environmental sustainability.”

The allowance is made possible by new print management software that has been installed in most of the computer labs across the University. When students sign on to computers with their UTAD account information and attempt to print, they will see a notification about how much of the allotted 1,200 pages they have remaining.

Tom Trimble, associate director of the Student Union and chair of UT’s Go Green Work Group, said a recent recycling study the University conducted with Lott Industries has shown that from the middle of November until Dec. 22, UT recycled 14,100 pounds (or about 350,000 sheets) of used, discarded white paper.

“That 14,000 pounds doesn’t include printed materials that were thrown in the trash, taken home and thrown in the trash, shredded or filed away,” Trimble said. “So overuse of paper is an issue, and this printing limit is one way that we can work together to try to address it.”

Trimble said other initiatives, such as a competition between area universities called Recycle Mania, will launch soon.

If students need to print more than 1,200 pages in any given semester, they will need to make arrangements with their college’s technology director, Ovwigho said.

Trimble offered tips to help students reduce the impact of their printing habits:

• Print only one or two drafts of your writing assignments. Printing each time you change a comma can be costly to your print limit and the environment.

• Don’t print an entire Web page just to remember its location or one portion of the information on the page. E-mail yourself a link; it’s easier, quicker and more sustainable.

• Use scrap paper whenever possible.

• If making copies, use both sides of the paper to cut your impact in half.

Though this is a new University-wide initiative, several colleges, including the College of Pharmacy and the College of Engineering, have had student printing limits in place for some time.

10 Responses to “New print allotments aim to make computer labs greener”

  1. Tonya Floyd-Bradstock Says:

    I think that this is a great idea in concept. This also needs to implemented on the faculty side too. My husband has printed MANY documents from his classes and and the professors are very poor at formatting and down sizing text to make optimal use of the paper. They also do not use double sided printing in their course packs which would cut 1/2 of the paper use. Teaching students and faculty about the various ways to format and print documents AND power points is really needed. I agree that we all need to conserve, but we also need make sure that the people giving the assignments are doing their part as well.

  2. Joel Whitcomb Says:

    I think this is a good idea. I can think of many times that I have went to retrieve my documents from the printer; only to have someone printing their professor’s powerpoint presentation 1 slide per page! The College of Business is notorious for this! Perhaps, professors should show their students how to print their powerpoint presentations at least 3 slides per page!

  3. Jacquelyn Rysz Says:

    What I don’t understand about this policy is the logic behind 1200 sheets. A person who is taking 3 credit hours gets the same amount of paper as me, a student who is persuing 21 credit hours. Yesterday, the first day of class, I printed 100 sheets– just of syllabuses (sp?) and chapter 1 powerpoints. This allotment will not last me the entire semester. The amount of paper you receive should be based upon how many credit hours you are taking.

  4. Amanda Wilcoxen Says:

    I think this is stupid. We, as the STUDENTS, are dishing out tons of dollars for general fees. WE ARE ***PAYING*** to use the printers!!!!! I understand the reason for trying to cut down, but hey, cut down our tution while you are at it. I’m going to start a boycott against this. Dr. Godfrey Ovwigho isn’t the one paying, it’s us the students!

  5. Christian Turner Says:

    I was very upset when I found out about the 1200 allowance. As a nursing student last semester, there were times that in one day for one class I had to print 60 pages of notes and this is 4 or 6 slides to a page, front and back. I think that not only should UT take into account the amount of credit hours a person is taking, but also the person’s college major. These two factors greatly impact a student and the amount that they are REQUIRED to print. Yes, many things aren’t optional, they are required. As if school wasn’t stressful enough for all of us college students, thank you UT for adding more un-needed stress to our lives. Honestly, I don’t have time to try and plan out how I will make 1200 last me all semester. I’m sure that by the time Spring Break rolls around, I will have ran out of my 1200 limit. I am all for helping positively impact the environment, but I do not waste paper, nor do I just love having to print so many notes all of the time. I just do what I have to do for my classes in order to have the most positive learning experience.

  6. Kimberly Hancock Says:

    As a student that’s taking 15 credit hours, this new allowance leaves only 240 pages per class. Just today I printed out an at least 8 page syllabus for each class, plus another at least 15 pages of notes per class. This new policy is just NOT going to work for many students. Thank you University of Toledo for adding just one more element of stress to my final semester of school.

    And by the way, will I be expected to pay for the paper my dipolma is printed on too?

  7. Ashley Warnimont Says:

    Does this mean that every printer is going to have double-sided printing capabilities? Because that should have been the first step in becoming ‘greener’.

  8. Karen Gallagher Says:

    Becoming a green University is important and a valiant effort however, the page limit for printing should vary with amount of credit hours a student is taking. If the University wishes to be student centered and reduce paper use then providing access to tutorials on campus websites can assist students in learning programs such as Microsoft One Note and other electronic paper saving options for organizing/viewing notes, syllabi, and articles. Additionally, even though this is a time of financial constraints acquiring printers with double sided capabilities should become a priority for the University.

  9. Tyler Eckel Says:

    Health science campus printing allotments encourage WASTE.

    As you probably have heard the Health science campus now has an allotment on how much each person can print. However, if you duplex you SAVE NO Printing from your allotment. So, one double-sided print costs a student as much as two one-sided prints (Print as many one-sided documents as you will be charged the same, after all if the goal was to go green, they missed it).
    I have always printed two pages per side and doubled sided (four pages on one piece of paper) well now that saves me zero prints and costs me four pages. So, I can print on four pieces of paper four one-sided full-size pages for the same allotment as on one piece of paper double sided and two pages per side. Does the implementation of this policy seem very useless and poorly implemented to anyone else. Well if you choose to have two pages per side via Microsoft’s properties and not the printer’s properties you do save half of your quota cost, however, Microsoft’s default multiple pages per side usually cuts off about 1/3 to 1/2 of one of the pages on each side (making using it a total waste of paper).

    All I ask and I think all anyone on the health science campus asks, is that if your going to implement an allotment system reward those trying NOT TO WASTE PAPER, other than the other way around.

  10. Tyler Eckel Says:

    To be fair i have only tested this in the Mulford library and Collier buildings but i doubt it changes in any other.

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