Letter to the editor

Dear valued administrators:

As an engaged and concerned student, I would like to voice a complaint about the recent changes to students’ printing privileges.

At the center of my complaint is an objection to the extreme nature of the policy shift. Upon returning to campus, I was shocked to find that I am no longer able to print at my leisure. No longer can I print class readings or drafts of papers for editing without paying. This requires me to make significant changes to my academic routine, which is problematic for two reasons.

First, I am a tactile and interactive learner; in order to read a text well, I must physically mark it. Because academic texts are significantly denser than news or social media texts, they require a greater level of engagement, which I simply cannot achieve in digital format.

The new policy effectively charges students like me for having different learning styles. Secondly, there has been no corresponding move by the administration to help students through the transition.

For example, two separate professors asked me to print my syllabus and bring it to class. Similarly, professors regularly require me to bring a hard copy of Black Board readings to class. I suspect that my professors are simply unaware that such requirements cost me extra money. But this only serves to demonstrate that there has been no effort on the part of the institution to meet students half way.

I can only speculate that your reasons for charging for printing are both financial and environmental. I sympathize with both, and let me be the first to apologize for my abuse of the gift of free printing. I do not have a problem with limiting student printing, but I do not want it to come at the expense of my academics. Surely there are steps which can be taken to reach an equitable printing arrangement.

For example, perhaps students could be allowed to print anything from Black Board in the copy center. Or even simpler: raise our page limit. I want to help the University be a good steward of both its financial and environmental resources, but, as a student, good stewardship also includes studying as thoroughly as I can and the new printing policy prohibits me from doing just that. Therefore, I ask that you consider amending the policy to help us all maximize the gifts God has given us.

With concern,
Nathan Farris

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