General Support Services: More than just a printer

Situated beneath the UAA Bookstore, General Support Services is home to the Copy and Print Center. The services provided here are more than just your average printer, providing students with the resources to print posters, stickers, business cards and more.

GSS is a service that is available to everyone, yet it is one that seems to go underused.

“We do get some external customers, but our primary customers are university departments,” Kim Stanford, director of GSS said.

The Seawolf Postal Express offers most of the services that a normal mailing office would offer. They also sell mailing supplies such as stamps, boxes, tubes and tape.

The postal services have two morning and two afternoon routes that deliver university mail and pick up outgoing mail. The Seawolf Postal Express can ship mail to anywhere around the world, just like a normal post office.

“We have freezers here for any fish that people want to ship, which is really nice for the summer when people go fishing,” Stanford said. “We get some really good discounts on FedEx, and anyone can use those services.”

Jules Mermelstein, electrical engineering major, has used the mailing services that the GSS provides.

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“I go there once in a while to mail some things out,” Mermelstein said. “Living at the dorms it is nice because it is located on campus. It is just like an actual postal office.”

In addition to their mailing services, the GSS recently purchased an HP Latex 360 printer, allowing them to produce vinyl, canvas and fabric prints.

“We haven’t used it too much yet, as it is relatively new,” Stanford said.

The Copy and Print Center is also offering a new service called the digital storefront. Users will have access to all of the services they currently offer by making an account on their website.

“We wanted to make sure that it would work well, so we rolled it out softly so we can fix any glitches that come along,” Stanford said. “You are able to order all sorts of different products, from business cards to posters. The best part is how simple it is. You just have to upload whatever it is you want to have printed off and then you make your order and come pick it up when it is ready.”

The website is not yet able to accept credit cards, requiring payments to be made when a product is picked up from the office.

Mermelstein believes the print center could improve on their advertising to students.

“It is really convenient, but I don’t think many people know about it. It is right beneath the Bookstore, but it is just kind of out of the way and there aren’t any real clear signs that catch your eye,” Mermelstein said.

Stanford said that she and the GSS have been working on a way to better advertise themselves and are always looking for feedback.

“With everything we have and with our digital storefront being relatively new, we are always looking for ways to improve,” Stanford said.

Also provided through the GSS are their surplus sales, which are held at a warehouse near the University Center. Surplus sales are held every other month to the public. The dates and location for the sales are posted on their website.

“There are all kinds of things from old filing cabinets to computers and chairs. The prices are nice, although some of them may be rather old,” Stanford said.

While mailing and surplus services get some general funding, the Copy and Print Center funds everything with the money they make. The center tries to keep their prices low to appeal to students.

“It is the kind of industry where the more sales you make, the lower we are able to keep our prices,” Stanford said. “It is challenging to keep your prices low if we don’t get any customers, and that is an issue we have been working with the last several years.”

If the print center does not have the equipment needed to do a job, they are able outsource projects to accommodate any need.

“We understand that we don’t have everything, so we are always willing to help complete any job that people may have for us,” Stanford said.

According to Stanford, one of the best things about the print center is the friendliness of the staff and the distance they are willing to go to be sure customers’ needs are met.

“Just know that we will take the time to help you,” Stanford said.

The Copy and Print Center and Seawolf Postal Express are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.