USUAA works with ITS to increase student printing allotment to $10

The fight against printing costs on campus is not over yet. Chris Hall, president of the Union of Students at UAA, has started a campaign to lower the fees students are now paying for printing. So far, Hall has worked to increase the $8 allotment each student is given to $10. The new balance is already in place.

“My ultimate goal is to make sure the students are satisfied with the service and it appears that that’s not so,” Hall said.

A student government committee is currently creating a poll to ask students what they think about the information technology services charge.

Hall also plans to work with ITS to determine an estimated total cost of printing for the entire year. Hall met with Richard Whitney, chief information officer of ITS, to discuss the printing fees and where the service may be heading. Whitney explained that in the beginning, ITS was not fully responsible for managing all of the printing in these computer labs.

“It went from being a system we maintain to a service we provide,” Whitney said.

ITS then turned to the current system to pay for costs of providing printing. The new fees are part of that system. Because ITS doesn’t have a specific breakdown of numbers per student, they estimated costs for paper, toner, printer replacement and printer maintenance. They used the estimation to determine the 8 cents per-page students are now paying.

“We built this model around the approximation that UAA would print about 950,000 pages,” Whitney said during his meeting with Hall. “It could be a lot more, it could be a lot less.”

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Whitney also explained that the new system is still in a testing stage. If it’s determined that the cost of printing has helped reduce waste, Whitney said ITS will re-evaluate their analysis and may lower the price of printing.

“We are not generating a profit,” Whitney said. “If we see that the cost to maintain operation is lower than estimated, either the price will more than likely be lowered or the allotment will be increased.”

Hall said he thinks the process will be fluid, with Whitney and ITS making periodic adjustments to keep up with different levels of usage.

“I think he showed a lot of flexibility,” Hall said. “I am optimistic because he said it was going to be a continuing process. As long as students see that the numbers jive with what is actually being charged they’ll be happy.”

Hall also urges students to get involved in order to help bring about a resolution.

“It’s a political process on campus. They (students) can make their feelings known to the administration. Student involvement would go a long way.”