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My Kingdom for a Copier

November 3, 2010

Adam Griffith
My Kingdom for a Copier

The other day, I found myself staring at the printer in South Lab and trying to decide whether or not I wanted to gamble my free printing abilities. I had a presentation the next day, and needed to print twenty copies of a handout for the class. However, I remembered well the warnings of Mike Malsed, Assistant Director of Student Technology Services, who explained during orientation week that the printers were not to be used to print multiple copies, and that perpetrators might have their printing privileges suspended, an academic death sentence for many students. Meanwhile, I glanced at the clock, noticing that it had just struck 2:30 AM, and found myself unwilling to walk all the way to the library to find a copying machine.

The problem is clear. If our wonderful Information Technology Services (ITS) frowns so strongly against unnecessary printing, why doesn’t CMC have its own copy machine available to students? I asked Cynthia Humes, the Chief Technology Officer this question, and she explained that the issue has come up before. As she puts it, a few years ago, ITS offered to set up a copy machine in the Hub store, but ASCMC indicated that “since there was free printing in all the labs it wasn’t a major issue.”

Investing in a copying machine will provide numerous benefits for the school. First, having a copying machine close at hand will help to give students an alternative to printing numerous copies, especially if ASCMC were willing to provide its services for free. This helps to free up printers, which seem to be acting particularly temperamental right now and have certainly caused more than one panic attack in the last two weeks.

Additionally, it will save the school money in the long run, even if copies are offered for free. Photocopying is significantly cheaper than printing, and if students can be encouraged to make copies rather than multiple prints, the school will be able to save money on printer ink.

A decent photocopier, such as the Canon ImageClass M7470, will cost between $2000 and $3000, but will be a sound investment for the school. Although it may take a long time for the copier to pay for itself, especially if it is provided free of charge, the machine will provide students with a valuable service and make it that much easier to follow ITS rules.

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