By Cara Bas
Students now have to pay 9 cents per page for black and white and 35 cents for color if they wish to print at FM.
The college’s new printing system, Wēpa (pronounced wee- pah), a cloud-based pay-to-print kiosk, has replaced the free print release desktops at Evans Library.
“You can send your work from home and it’s there at the kiosk to print when you get here – without having to log in to a library computer,” Electronic Services Librarian Dan Towne said.
The new system is more secure than the old release stations, according to Towne. With the kiosks, students and guests log in to personalized lists of their documents, but Ben Martin, a sophomore, feels that logging in can be frustrating.
“It’s slow and I’m always in a rush,” he said.
The old stations, would display everybody’s documents on one public list, which led to mix-ups and lost files, Towne said. With fewer errors, less paper is wasted, and students are careful because they’re paying for each page.
Darlene Burlock, a sophomore, no longer prints on campus.
“If I had to print out all my quantitative business work at 35 cents a copy, I’d be broke,” she added concerning her 55 page project.
“It would be fair if we could put our cards in and get a certain number of pages for free. Depending on classes, like an English class could allow 30,” Martin remarked.
Anna Bayes, a second semester freshman was also reluctant to use Wēpa.
“I took money from my TAP and bought my own printer,” she said.
“Students were upset the first day. They should have told us in advance – like an email announcement, so we’d be prepared,” Bayes remarked.
Towne, though, said students seemed pleased with the efficiency of Wēpa, and is a matter of catching on.
“Once we all learn it, it will be much easier,” he said
Public libraries, such as Canajoharie, Little Falls and Frank J. Basloe Library in Herkimer charge more than two times as much as FM for all copies; and the fee for color copies at FM is lower than those at office supply stores, such as Staples and Office Depot.
“The college has chosen not to make any profit. Wēpa allows colleges to charge premiums, but we do not charge students any more than our costs,” Gregg Roth, FM director of information technology said. “The college also picks up the 25 cents it costs for every pre-paid card.”
According to Roth, other New York colleges using it recommended Wēpa, and FM was one of the last to adopt a pay-to-print system.
“This was the best solution to cut costs. We engage in a company that supplies and maintains all the equipment,” he said.
Roth explained that the old printing system was more expensive to run and maintain. The old printers were leased, and maintenance was not all-inclusive, it was limited to a quota of pages, which the college was exceeding. Paper was also being wasted.
There are several payment options. Five-dollar pre-paid cards are sold at the Bursar’s office. Students can create accounts at Wēpa’s website, and add funds with credit or debit cards. Guest accounts are also available through the library.
Credit and debit cards are accepted at the kiosks, but with a convenience fee of 40 cents per transaction. To help students ease in, there is already $1 in each account, compliments of Wēpa.
In addition to the three Wēpa kiosks at the library, there is a one in lounge C105 and another at Campus View residence hall.