You just finished an assignment and you need to print it out as soon as possible because class is going to start soon. With the number of printing stations around campus, it shouldn’t be a problem, right?
Well, this is where Murphy’s Law tends to come into play. For the benefit of those who don’t know the term, Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. It seems whenever a student needs to print something out, that’s when everything starts to go downhill.
While printing out a paper sounds easy, it can turn into an extraordinary task. Each printing station seems to come with its own problems.
For starters, if you go to a printing station in one of the academic buildings, you’d better hope that the desktop is right there and you’re not required to log in. If you have to, good luck. I’ve had instances where it’s taken me nearly two to three minutes just to log in. If logging in weren’t such a time-consuming task in itself, printing something out would only take a minute or two.
Of course, this isn’t counting any possible lines a student could have to wait in just to get to the station. If you have to wait in a line and each student logs out and the next has to log in…you do the math.
Then there’s the printing station in the Student Recreation Center (SRC). I’m not sure how many people know about the printing station in there; I didn’t until recently since it’s hidden between the DVD rental station and high tables. While it is another option, I don’t think anyone who goes to the SRC intends to print. It’s called a recreation center for a reason.
To top it all off, if you’re going to be working on an assignment past midnight, you might have some trouble finding a printing station. All those I just mentioned are closed by midnight. The only station open late is in the 24-hour student lounge in the library. Even then, I’m not sure how someone would feel going out in the dead of night to print something out there. Some may enjoy being outside late at night, but others, who don’t, have some obstacles.
More often than not, many of the printers are lacking ink and paper, which adds to the frustration. A leisurely walk to class could turn into a crazy one when you find yourself sprinting to the library to print your paper since the one in Memorial is out of ink.
So how can we resolve these issues? We need more printing stations to be available. We need easier access to printing stations — ones that don’t require time to log in.
There’s also the possibility of adding printing stations to residence halls. Currently, Switlik is the only residence hall with a computer lab. Instead of adding unnecessary flat screen TVs to residence halls, maybe we can invest in some printers instead. This way students have the ability to print in the comfort of their own dorm.
As for the lack of ink and paper, there should be a phone number available at printing stations for students to call when this problem occurs. This would allow staff to quickly respond to the problem.
After all, we’re at a university, and printing should be a convenience for students, not a hassle.
Assistant Sports Editor
Printed in the 3/26/14 edition.