Editor In Chief
The scene is one that is all too familiar to Springfield College students. As the door to the downstairs computer lab in Babson Library swings open, papers can be seen draped all around the printer as a hoard of students fight and claw their way to attain their printouts. Some mumble under their breaths as they return to their computers to print again after a failed search. Others simply hang their heads in utter defeat. It is a scene that Trish Dalessio, the director of the Technology Solutions Center, knew had to be stopped.
“It’s just such a pain to print because you have to wait in line and then someone else grabs part of your print job or something like that,” Dalessio said.
Babson Library, the Information and Technology Services Department and the Student Government Association are working hard to eliminate that frustrating printing process with their new print management initiative called Follow-Me Printing.
Follow-Me Printing is in essence Springfield College’s version of iCloud, but for printing purposes. Students can send their print jobs to a college server that stores those documents for up to 12 hours. Then, students can go to any Follow-Me printer, swipe their SC ID card, and proceed to print without waiting in long lines and scouring through other people’s papers for their own.
SGA has been a huge contributor by helping to fund the purchase of the printers after they met with the other groups last spring to hear about the initiative.
“The numbers she [Dalessio] was giving were just exponential and just crazy amounts of paper that students waste so subconsciously. So, as an executive board we all just looked at each other and were like, ‘We need to get this going now,’” SGA President Becca Jacobson said. “We are a progressive campus in so many aspects, and we really need to pick up on the sustainability and the environmental side. We have a beautiful campus and we need to give back to it.”
Follow-Me Printing has three major attributes, which include conservation, ease of use and security. Conservation is important because with Follow-Me Printing, students are wasting less paper.
“If you’ve ever gone up to a printer [in past years], and seen tons and tons of paper sitting there, and if you go up this semester you see very few, a couple of pages here and there,” Dalessio said.
The reason for this change is, for starters, that the frustrating scenario of not being able to locate papers because of the logjam at a printer has mostly vanished.
Students are also not wasting paper re-printing the same task because of late corrections. After an assignment is completed and printed, it is not uncommon for students to notice several typos or errors. In the past, this meant that the paper had to be printed again.
“You’ve just in essence really only wanted that last print job, but you’ve printed it four times so you’ve wasted 12 pages of paper,” Dalesso explained in an example. “With print management, you can do the same thing, [but] all four print jobs are sitting in your queue, and when you go up and swipe it shows you all four print jobs and all you do is pick the last one.”
This saves paper, which in turn promotes a more green campus.
“I feel like anywhere you can conserve, you should try and conserve,” Dalessio said. “This is a simple thing we were able to do with the help of Student Government to help us take a step towards contributing to the cleanliness of the planet and not killing as many trees.”
The beauty of the green initiative is that it actually makes printing more convenient for students as well. Follow-Me printers are located in Babson Library, the Student Activities Room in the Richard B. Flynn Campus Union, the Academic Success Center in Hickory Hall, Blake Hall and the Allied Health Sciences Center.
“We’ve got the whole perimeter of campus covered, so you don’t have to typically walk to the other end of campus to get your print job,” Dalessio said.
This means that students no longer have to bring their own printer or head only to the library in order to print. Instead, they can log onto PrideNet, click on the TechHelp tab, and access the Follow-Me Printing website with step-by-step directions to set up a print job from anywhere on campus, including their own room.
To get their printouts, students can go to any Follow-Me printer, swipe their SC ID card or type in their PrideNet login information, and select which task they would like to print. This lends itself to providing security as well.
“All of your print jobs are associated to your SC ID Card information. So no one else can just hop on and swipe their card and see or get your print jobs,” Dalessio said.
The Technology Solutions Center will be assessing the effectiveness of the system towards the end of the semester to determine where the print management initiative goes from here. For now, it is having an immediate effect on the way that students print on campus. Gone are the days of waiting in long lines and re-printing papers out of frustration.
Now, printing follows you.
Joe Brown can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org