Students use the printers in the basement of Olin Library on October 29th, 2019. (Boris Tsang/Sun Photography Editor)

November 3, 2019

Free Printing Delayed Until Fall 2020, Cornell IT Says

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Are printing fees stacking up in your bursar account? Students should not expect free printing credits to roll out until Fall 2020, according to Stephen Burke, director of enterprise services for Cornell Information Technology.

A prototype of the system was originally supposed to be available by October, but Burke said it was not the plan to roll out the entire system in October.

“We experienced delays in securing a vendor contract related to the legal review of terms between parties,” Burke said in a statement to The Sun. “We also expanded the Vendor on-site assessment of current print locations to include more departments / locations which caused a delay in the current design phase.”

The Student Printing Service Project, managed by CIT, is still in the blueprinting stage. Once it is completed, Burke said they should be able to give a more accurate timeline of the project, although the target date is currently Fall 2020 for completion. The project outline is available to view on their website.

One of the most anticipated changes to the printing system were its free printing allocations, which would award approximately 200 free pages to each student per year. The credits will be doled out through students’ printing accounts, and will be the automatic selection when printing, according to Burke.

In the meantime, free printing is available at select locations on campus including the Office of Diversity and Academic Initiatives in the Computing and Communications Center, the Student Development Diversity Initiatives office in 626 Thurston Avenue and in the Asian American Studies Resource Center in Rockefeller Hall.

The new system will include both hardware and software changes, with new printers in more than 100 locations according to the project website. The software will be handled through PaperCut, a printing management company. The Sun reported in April that the Student Assembly was looking to donate old printers to the Cornell Prison Education Program.

While the implementation of the project is managed by CIT, the S.A. is in charge of overseeing the progress and timeline of the project, according to S.A. President Joe Anderson ’20. The S.A. is “satisfied” with the progress of the project according to Anderson.

“We understand that with projects of this scale delays are going to occur,” Anderson said in an email to The Sun.

The new system will reduce printing costs from $0.09 to $0.07 per black and white page. Color pages have been discounted by $0.02 as well, and will cost $0.23 per page. Additional pages under both black and white and color printing pricing schemes will be discounted as well.

The process of changing the system began in February 2018, when an ad-hoc committee of the S.A. was tasked with investigating the printing system after a report was made highlighting the system’s inefficiencies. After a year of planning and gathering feedback, the committee announced the changes to Cornell’s printing system in March.