Printing costs not the only issue

The Vanguard’s coverage of printing issues within the computer labs on campus will perhaps result in a unified interest in efficient management and use of lab resources. The mention of the possible increase in fees to compensate for the rising printing costs is contrary to the concerns I hope were made apparent in the article.

The issue is not entirely based on budget allowances and increased spending. It’s about excessive amount of paper that is being wasted. The “waste” also involves other resources such as maintaining the printers and replacing toner cartridges.

Lab employees have sought to limit the waste of lab resources but have neither the means nor the authority to do so. The objective is not to dictate what gets printed. It’s about each person understanding that the labs are not alternatives to copy centers or textbook manufacturing sites.

Printing off the Internet can be incredibly wasteful and while it may often be unavoidable, doesn’t the Internet eliminate the need for paper? Web materials are rarely print-friendly, often resulting in paper waste. Some simple solutions would be for professors to accept double-sided papers or even have students submit their assignments electronically.

As more PSU curricula become Internet/Web based, it is essential for students and faculty to be aware of these issues. It should be the interest of the entire PSU community to come to an understanding about where technology fits into our education. Should we be wasteful in our pursuit of education? It seems our relationship to technology has outdistanced responsibility. What my education has taught me is that we cannot “afford” to continue disregarding the negative impacts of our actions.

-Jane J. Lee