Printing Woes at Ursinus

Printing has long been an essential resource in modern society, but recently, Ursinus College has fallen short in providing students with this service. Prior to our break, it feels like the only functioning printers on campus were located in the Library and in the FLB. While that covers a large portion of campus, not everyone attends class in these buildings. They may not even know about them. I only just found out recently that there was a printer in the FLB.

The printers in both Olin and the IDC were out of service. As an English Major, I’m required to print papers at least twice a week, and I had to create a schedule to print my documents due to the distance of the working printers from the defunct ones. I take a Fiction Writing class that involves reading other students’ stories and critiquing them. If I am unable to print them out for class, then it reflects poorly on me, appearing as if I’m unprepared for the workshops. Thankfully, this issue has since been resolved. The printer in Olin is working, for now.

Personally, I believe the current stations are a bad choice of printer for Ursinus College. They’re unreliable and unintuitive when it comes to operating the kiosk. The system is slow and buggy. After a “successful” printing, it often looks as if the printer has had an accident on the page, with stray ink marks blemishing the paper in places that have not been marked on the word document.

So, the printing situation has become quite dire. A few weeks ago, a student recalled a time when he had trouble with a printer here on campus. After his document was finished printing, the printer kept churning out blemished “blank” pages. The student then wisely resorted to contacting Campus Safety. After asking if he should unplug the kiosk, Campus Safety responded that he shouldn’t, instructing him to “let it finish printing” because when plugged back in, the kiosk will simply resume the paused task and continue to print pages with stray ink marks streaking each page.

How much does maintenance cost on these appliances? It is clear that something in these kiosks is faulty, whether it is the circuitry, the software, or maybe just old age. The college is clearly aware of these issues, but with the installation of a new vending machine, it makes you wonder where the college’s priority lies: vending machines to make money from snacks or printing machines to make students’ academic lives easier. Regardless, one can only wonder how long it will be before another one breaks, and how long it will be before that printer is back up and running.

Zach Devita-Paulson: