Solving the printer predicament

A student’s solution to printing headaches

Winter is here, be it officially or not, and those 2 a.m. trips across campus to the printer are becoming more and more of a hassle. 

The hectic life of a college student is conducive to finishing papers and other assignments into the wee hours of the night, but the cold wind and rain of winter in Newport News make late night printing quite the chore. 

Now I raise the question I have been rhetorically asking my roommates week after week: why don’t we have printers in the residence halls? 

This is a question I have thought quite a bit about. 

Just think about it. We already have printing funds built into tuition, so it doesn’t make much sense to choose not to use the printers on campus and purchase your own printer instead. 

Ink and paper can get very expensive very fast, especially if you have a professor who requires their students to print out every 20 to 30 page reading to bring to class. 

So in this case, printers on campus make the most sense financially for students. Our options are to utilize our printing funds or lose that money, and as a broke college student, every penny counts. 

So if we have to use CNU’s printers, why are they located in such inconvenient places? 

There are nine printers in total on campus that are available for students, four of which are located in the library. The remaining five are divided between the academic buildings, the DSU and Ratcliffe. 

This just doesn’t make any sense.  I am no mathematician, but I am fairly certain that the ratio of students to printers is completely unproportional. 

Logistically speaking, it does make sense that half of the printers are located in the library because that is where a majority of students study. 

But what about those of us who don’t study well in the library? Or what if you need to print something before class and don’t have time to run across campus to the library to print?

Yes, I have been met with the oh-so-common retort of “can’t you just print things out before class the next morning?” 

This, however, is not a very valid argument. As logical as that idea sounds, the printers are known for being able to smell fear, so when you go running into the library three minutes before class, there is a very slim chance that the printer you need to use will be working. 

I’m sure everyone has experienced the terrible feeling that washes over you when the only printer you are able to go to before class is out of order, so you have to choose between being a little late to class and running to another printer elsewhere on campus, or being on time and showing up empty handed. 

 Also, college students tend to be sleep deprived. With this sleep deprivation comes forgetting to print your papers until your professor is suddenly standing at your desk, hand outstretched, and then you look up in utter confusion because, quite frankly, you have nothing to hand in. 

This problem could easily be solved if printers were in the residence halls and one could simply take a short stroll in the comfort of their home immediately after finishing their assignment or stop by on their way out the door to class. 

All I’m trying to say here is that there should be printers in the residence halls. I’m not asking for a printer in each dorm room. A simple printer in each lobby or in one of the study or common rooms in each building would suffice. 

If CNU is concerned that the printer will be mistreated or defaced, then simply place the printers by the desks to be guarded by the FDA’s. 

Imagine how convenient it would be to be able to walk downstairs in your pajamas at 3 in the morning when you finally finish that paper you have been stressing about for the past week, print it out, and then not have to worry about remembering to print it before class. 

That is the kind of world I’d like to live in.

~Taylor Vigil, Staff Writer~


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