Print and pay


Kevin Yang, News Editor

Free printing in the Student Center library is a luxury of the past. From this year forward, it will cost students money to use the library printers.

For two years since the opening of the Workday Student Center, students have been able to print from the second-floor library for free. This year, however, students will be charged 50 cents for each page printed.

The new policy is intended to reduce the waste created by students through printing. According to Junior Principal Mr. Ballou, the amount waste created by students through paper and ink usage was extremely high. He and the administration decided that the school could not continue devoting so much money to student printing, resulting in the “pay to print” policy implemented this year.

Student Center librarian Dolores Fabel said that high amount of waste was caused by students often being reckless with their printing habits.

“There was really no self control,” Fabel said. “Students would not pay attention to what they were printing and often printed forty page articles by accident.”

In the face of the new policy, students get some leeway in the form of printing credit. Each Monte Vista computer account is preloaded with $5.00 of printing credit, meaning that the first fifty pages of printing are free for each student. These free pages of printing give students the option to print documents if they forgot to print an assignment at home, but only until their preloaded credit runs out. After that, students will have to go the the bookkeeping office and pay for more printing credit to be added onto their accounts.

The two printers in the Workday Student Center library have much lighter workloads due to the new "pay to print" policy. This year, students will be charged ten cents per page of printing.
The two printers in the Workday Student Center library have much lighter workloads due to the new “pay to print” policy. This year, students will be charged ten cents per page of printing.

This is not the first time printing has cost money. Before the completion of the Workday Student Center in the fall of 2013, the library was located in a temporary portable room near the small gym. During that period, printing also cost ten cents per page, but students were given ten dollars in free credit instead of five for the school year.

The new printing policy will have its greatest impact on students who previously depended on the library printers, such as those who do not have access to a printer at home. This problem is especially troublesome for students whose teachers who regularly require students to print assignments at home.

This is not the first time the Student Center library has taken steps to reduce the waste of printing. In the 2014-2015 school year, the library introduced a policy that kept printing free but only allowed students print five pages at time.

“This first change [in the printing policy] was a step in the right direction,” Fabel said. “It made students more aware of the number of pages they were printing and reduced the waste.”

However, the printing waste created by students under this policy was still too high in the eyes of the administration. Thus, the present “print and pay” was introduced this year.

The “pay to print” policy is part of a broad effort by the administration that aims to make Monte Vista increasingly “paperless” in the coming years. To this end, Monte Vista and other schools in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District have been taking small steps such as this one in order to move away from printed material and towards digital tools for teachers and students.

A software called Papercut has been installed on all school computers and allows the school to enforce its printing policy. Papercut allows an administrator to manage the activity of the printer. With this software, the amount of printer credit is displayed on every student’s computer account when they log in. Once the credits run out, that account will be banned from printing until more credits are added.