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GoPrint system to go in all computer labs

Students’ printing quantities will soon be monitored by GoPrint.
Dennis Wahlman / Mainstream
Students’ printing quantities will soon be monitored by GoPrint.

Students and faculty will find some big changes soon when using the printers at UCC. The GoPrint system currently in use in the library is to be implemented in all computer labs by fall of the 2013-2014 school year.

GoPrint is a print management system which requires the user to go to a kiosk or to software installed on a computer first to get documents released before the printer will actually print them. The idea behind the system is to cut down on unnecessary or duplicate printing of the same documents.

The system is also a cost saver. In October of 2011, before the GoPrint service went into the library, 95,584 pages were printed. Approximately one year later, after GoPrints installation, those pages were reduced to 78,786, a difference of 16,798 pages. Since printing costs an estimated 3.8 cents per page, that is a reduction of $638.32 for a single month of printing. However, Library Director David Hutchison cautions that because of the complicated way in which the printing system is configured and that attendance has dropped it is hard to get an accurate estimate of changes in printing.

Although the print costs went down in the library after GoPrint was installed, print costs in other campus computer labs went up as students apparently moved their printing elsewhere.

The next phase of the GoPrint installation will involve switching the remaining computer labs over. In these labs, a software client will be installed on a computer and users will have to enter in their identification numbers to release the printing to the printer. This will be done instead of the kiosk system currently in the library.

According to a presentation that network administrator Kathy Thomason and Library Director David Hutchison gave ASUCC, the GoPrint system expansion is estimated to cost $1,000 for the additional licensing of the software, however the system has been budgeted for approximately $10,600 to cover potential troubleshooting and consultation costs.

 Once the complete GoPrint system is installed and fully implemented in fall of the 2013-2014 school year, UCC students will be allowed 10 pages of printing per credit hour, per term. They will then  be charged five cents per page afterwards, so students taking 12 credits will get 120 pages before having to pay.

Although the original plan was for any of the students’ unused printing credits to be purged at the end of each term, Thomason and Hutchison have both noted that the plan is now to roll any remaining printing credits over to the following term for students.

Payment methods for printing will include debit or credit cards, online payments, a pre-paid cash account, and financial aid. Hutchison stated that the problem with unmetered printing was that it led to the assumption that printing is free. Currently, there are few financial incentives for students to limit their printing or for faculty to design printer friendly handouts.

Many students have expressed concerns over being charged for printing when they already pay a tech fee. Thomason noted that printing accounts for about $60,000 of the technology budget; she also noted that only $3 of the $5.50 tech fee goes towards recurring expenses such as printing while capital purchases must also be made for items such as computer replacements, technology station needs and projector replacements. Software licensing fees also draw on this budget.

As one of the few remaining community colleges to still offer free printing, UCC will join other community colleges like Central Oregon Community College and Portland Community College, which both implemented the GoPrint system prior to October 2011, neither of which offers free printing and both charge more than the five cent per page that UCC is purposing.

The GoPrint expansion project is expected to be completed by the beginning of fall term of the 2013-2014 school year.