Samantha Turcotte

Equinox Staff


The fall semester is picking up quickly and students are already consumed by hours in the Mason Library. As expected, the beginning of  new classes means it is time to print out syllabuses, articles from Blackboard, and other handouts and hard copies of anything that is required for class. This year, students began to take caution with their printing habits when rumors flew over applied charges to documents printed in the library.

Students all over campus gossiped about whether the myth was true or not. Jessica Montenieri, a KSC senior, was one of the many.

Montenieri said, “I’ve heard multiple people talking about it through the grapevine.” As an English and education major, Montenieri  is one of the many students who rely on access to those printers free of charge. When asked about how she would feel if this rumor were true and if charges were applied to printed pages, Montenieri responded, “We’re already pouring out all of our money–this is just another inconvenience. Those printers at the library are a serious convenience for students, especially those without…[printers] outside of campus.”

Irene Herold, Mason Library Dean, said printing charges are a myth and explained why the rumor took off. The dean said it could have been when students saw the pop up on the library computers before printing. The pop up shows a balance and what looks like a fee per page printed. Though this isn’t actually charging the students, according to the dean, it is there to make students aware of what they are printing. Herold explained the benefits of the printing pop-up and said, “People were printing and not paying attention to what was being printed.”

The 500 page per semester printing popup is to help students monitor their own printing and to have some sense of environmental awareness regarding what is necessary to print, and what can be done without.

Magi Colby, a senior, expressed her distress on the myth of printing fees.

“If I had to pay for every print in the library, I feel as though my schoolwork may be neglected,” Colby explained. “I wouldn’t always print those articles off Blackboard, and I may not be as prepared for class.” Though Colby said she realized early on that the myth was just that, a myth, she says the fees would be burdensome. “I really couldn’t fathom having to add the price of a printed homework assignment to the already necessary costs of school,” she said.

The Mason Library printers are detrimental to students’ pre-class preparations. In an informal survey of 20 students on campus, 12 out of 20 depend on the printers before campus. When asked, almost half of those students said that they believe fees on printers would affect their studies. Matt Dupont, a sophomore, commented further on the rumor.

He said, “If I had to pay for everything, I printed I definitely wouldn’t be printing all the things I do now. It would change how well  I do in school.”

Although a charge for printing on campus is not currently enforced, that doesn’t mean that won’t change in the future.

“Next year there might be [a charge]… depending on this year›s usage,” Herold warned. She also reminded students the main purpose of the library when she said, “We’re here to provide access. They [the students] could email it to themselves or save it to a flashdrive–or they can print. It’s not a requirement that we provide free printing.” Students are not the only ones whose printing is monitored; professors’ printing is also kept tabs on. Kirsti Sandy, a professor in the English and Writing departments, speaks of how the professors seem to be monitored.

Sandy said, “There is no stated limit of copies we can make. However, printer paper is no longer stored in a public place; we have to ask for it if it runs out.” When asked about how Sandy thinks a fee on printing would affect students, she said suspected a negative outcome.

“Students already seem to have so much trouble printing their work I do not even want to think about what will happen if they have to pay for copies,” she said. For the time being, students are permitted as many free copies from the library as they please. It is necessary to be conscious of what is printed due to not only environmental awareness, but for the sake of future classes not having to pay fees caused by careless printing.


                  Samantha Turcotte  can be contacted at


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