Pay to print will be enacted in the spring//Jessica Rodriguez

Pay to print will be enacted in the spring//Jessica Rodriguez

By Gelber Castillo, Sports Editor

Beginning this coming spring semester, students will now pay to use the library’s printing services. After much deliberation, a consensus was reached among student activists and the college’s administration to allow students a free 125 page allowance before having to pay 10 cents per black and white page, 15 cents for double sided, and 25 cents per color page.

“The whole point of putting a limit is to have a happy medium where students can still be able to print for free but at the same time they can be mindful of what they’re printing,” said Student Government Association president Laura Zottarelli, who was in the council debating the implementation of the new printing policy since it was first proposed.

“With the copy credits provided, many students will never have to pay to make a copy,” said Naydeen Gonzalez-De Jesus, Vice President of Student Affairs. “With advancements in technology and the ability to use mass storage devices such as flash drives and USB sticks, there are other options to printing as well, which many students are already using.”

“We originally fought for 150,” said Zottarelli after being asked about the printing limit. SGA conducted a survey, and among the 649 students surveyed, they found a correlation of 150 pages printed per student surveyed per semester.

When the printing policy was first proposed last semester, administration never granted a printing limit. President Zottarelli recalls how SGA’s suggestions and amends were ignored during the board meetings, and wanting to immediately start charging students to print, bypassing a free limit system.
The unaltered proposition was sent to be voted on its implementation by the board of trustees had the several clubs and their student members of BCC not banded together to protest what they believed was an unfair policy last Spring semester.

“I wouldn’t say it’s unfair because we got the limit we fought for,” said Zottarelli, “and we will also have change machines that’s not only going to benefit the printing, but also the students taking the busses… but I don’t think students will see this as a victory.”

Gonzalez-De Jesus commented that, “This policy is not intended to be a revenue generator for the college—it is to cover a fraction of consumable expenses that have significantly increased every year. Still, with the copy credits provided many students will never have to pay to make a copy.”

The costs to upkeep printers, including maintenance, toner cartridges, and paper, amounted to 200 to 300 thousand dollars. In the 2013 school year alone over 3 million pages were printed. Much of that was not school related and ended up in the recycling bins beside the library’s printing stations.
Zottarelli, however, continues to question where the money will end up. “I asked where the money that is currently spent maintaining the printers will go to if the money from the students are going to the maintenance of the printers, and they [administration] said ‘operational funds,’” she said.

Operational funds refer to the lighting, building maintenance, janitorial services, in essence, funds that ‘keep the lights on,’ and which have slightly increased each school year.

Another contested topic was whether or not the technology fee within a student’s tuition is already partly allocated to upkeep costs of printers.

“We were informed it doesn’t cover that, it covers the maintenance of the computers, the library, etc., but it just does not cover the printers,” said Zottarelli.

With the drop in registration, the lack of revenue has forced the belt to tighten throughout the school. This policy is intended to curb the costs and improve the budget. For now, there are no talks of when, or if, this policy will be repealed.