WSGA approves free printing in library for next semester

Sarah Farlee

The Washburn Student Government Association recently passed a piece of legislation to allow student activity fees to be allocated toward free printing in the library. The goal is to have the plan in place by the beginning of the spring semester. The library welcomes the proposed change.

“What a deal for students,” said Gary Schmidt, interim dean of Mabee Library. “It’s such a constructive way to use student activity funding.”

The plan will benefit more than just students. The current policy of charging to print is more of a hassle for library staff than a benefit, because profit is not generated by the small charges.

WSGA came to the library with the idea, and the two organizations put together a plan considering costs associated with the project as well as other issues that could arise from the new strategy.

They discussed issues like how many pages should students be allowed to print per semester, possible copyright problems and monitoring of the system. The two groups are confident reasonable action can be taken to make free printing successful.

Content monitoring would be student controlled and WSGA, or possibly the university, would need to impose guidelines in order to achieve this. Unless a specific problem, such as the printing of offensive material, arises the library will have a hands off approach to what students choose to print.

“We cannot and will not police what is used by students,” said Schmidt. “Students will need to police themselves.”

There would also be advisers who would monitor the system on a continual basis, so if change needs to be made it could happen relatively quickly in order to keep the operation smooth.

The implementation of free printing would start on a trial basis and, if successful, would become a permanent change. The library is very excited about the upcoming trial of free printing.