A new printing display depicting dollars instead of credits does not mean students have to pay.
When most students log in to a Butler computer, they will see a new display that shows they have $42.00 available to use for printing this year free of charge.
That is equivalent to the 1200 credits students received last year, Scott Kincaid, Butler IT’s Chief Information Officer, said.
Kincaid said any student who exceeds the allotted credit limit will not be charged for overages, meaning students of every academic discipline can print endlessly whether or not they paid for it.
Professional-phase pharmacy students will find an allotment equivalent to more than 4,000 credits this year because of the $950 they paid as a part of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences’ mobile computing program, which provides students with a laptop and other accessories, according to Kincaid.
“I don’t know if it’s fair or not,” said Emily Dubord, a sixth year student and P4 in the pharmacy program. “In theory it doesn’t seem like it would be (fair), but it doesn’t seem to be an issue.”
Tyler Johnston, a Butler IT project Manager, said the IT department compiled information three years ago showing COPHS printed excessively more than every other college on campus.
Butler then instituted printing allotments via the PrintSmart program to “make the most responsible use of Butler’s printing resources and support our commitment to be environmentally responsible,” according to Butler IT’s website.
Johnston used the PrintSmart software that relies on a 2003 UC-Berkeley study to show that all users killed a total 77.09 trees last academic year because of the 6,206,105 sheets of paper printed between Aug. 1, 2011 and May 31, 2012.
Derek Smith, a consultant on sustainability in the paper, print and packaging industries, said Butler is misleading its students.
In the United States, he said, just fewer than three trees are planted for every tree cut down, and forest cover is greater than any time since 1900.
“The truth, almost invariably, is they’re reducing the costs of paper consumption, not the environmental impact,” Smith said.
Kincaid said the program saves Butler close to $0.035 for every page not printed.
In the 2011-2012 academic year, Butler students printed 1.6 million pages less than in the 2009-2010 academic year, before the PrintSmart program began.
Johnston said the IT department tried and failed to track down how much less paper was purchased because each department buys its own paper.
While IT failed tracking down how much paper was purchased, it can succeed in tracing Butler students’ printing habits.
Using the PrintSmart software, Johnston said “you can see who printed what where.”
Johnston said the ‘what’ refers to the title of what is being printed, not the content of what was printed.
Johnston also said each department will now receive a monthly report detailing its printing habits and added that his department has not dug into data regarding students in the last couple of years.
“There’s been no reason to,” Johnston said, “and we don’t want there to be. We just want people to be responsible.”
“If somebody is printing five thousand or ten thousand pages, we can go tap them on the shoulder,” Kincaid said.