GVSU adopts new printing limits

Wasted paper spurs adjusted policy

By Madison Miazek | 8/20/17 9:51pm

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GVL / Emily Frye Jorge A Puga Herrera prints off a syllabus for a class prior to the start of classes on Sunday, August 20, 2017.

by Emily Frye / Grand Valley Lanthorn

In an effort to go green and save paper, Grand Valley State University has adopted a new policy for printing paper starting in the fall 2017 semester.

In previous years, there has been no limit as to how many papers a student was allowed to print. Last year alone, GVSU students printed a total of 27 million sheets of paper on campus. On top of that, 5 million of those sheets were not picked up from the printing station.

The new policy states that each student has a limit of up to 40 sheets of paper for each print job and a total of 500 sheets of paper for the semester. So, if a student wanted to print 50 sheets of paper, the printer would only print 40 of the 50 sheets, and those 40 printed sheets would also count toward the 500 total for the semester. 

The print release stations found on campus will be adopting this policy, but classroom lab printers will be unaffected by the changes. A student can still print unlimited sheets of paper from any classroom printer. Sue Korzinek, associate vice president and chief information officer in information technology at GVSU, defended this distinction: “We don't want to inhibit what you're doing in the classroom with the faculty.”

If and when a student passes their printing limit for the semester, they will not be allowed to print from a print release station.

“They would have to find other means of printing (on) campus,” Korzinek said. “What that would mean is you would have to find an open time in a classroom lab that has a printer that we don't have restrictions on. (What) we don't want to end up (happening) is having to pay for paper, having students that have to pay for that service after so many pages are printed, so we're trying to see if we cannot get there, but we need the student population to help us do that and be conscious with that effort.”

Korzinek said they are trying to eliminate waste from big print jobs. Some students try to print their e-textbooks, which wastes a lot of paper. This new policy will help to eliminate paper waste.

There are a few ways for students to learn about the new policy. To get the word out, the IT department is working with the student television network.

“We are going to have a weekly little blurb that's going to run on the TV,” said Dave Chapman, AV systems specialist and lab supervisor in IT at GVSU. Chapman said they are partnering with the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons to show weekly statistics on paper usage. They will use the screens throughout the library so students and staff will see the effects of this new policy.

Along with eliminating waste, this policy helps to save GVSU money. Korzinek said they will need statistics on at least one semester with the new policy before they will know exactly how much the school will be saving.

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