Senate proposes library printing credit for students

Rachel Lew

UT Senate proposed a resolution Tuesday to establish a minimal library printing credit for UT students to offset the current cost of printing.

UT currently charges students 10 cents per black and white copy and 50 cents per color copy along with an 8.25 percent tax on all services but does not provide students with any form of credit for printing or copy services, according to the resolution. Senate proposed $2 per semester be loaded onto students’ Bevo Bucks accounts to be used by off-campus students for printing.

Sergio Cavazos, Senate policy director and author of the resolution, said the idea for the resolution was inspired by a UT student who studied abroad at a French university that offered student printing credit.

“We were surprised to see that most of the universities we did research on, including Texas A&M, the University of Houston and the University of Texas at El Paso, offered some sort of printing credit to their students ranging from $2.50 to $30.00,” Cavazos said. “Additionally, we realized that our printing prices on campus are slightly higher than the other universities, which had prices for printing as low as 1 cent per black and white page and 10 cents per color page.”

Cavazos said he hopes this resolution will offset basic costs of minimal printing on campus.

“If a student’s printer at home stops working, we hope that this printing credit will provide them with an opportunity to come to campus and print without incurring significant costs,” Cavazos said. “At the very least, we hope this resolution can spark a conversation about on-campus printing affordability so that students can continue to utilize this resource at a more affordable rate.”

Currently, the University of Houston, Texas A&M University and the University of Indiana provide students with printing credit for 500, 300 and 25 black and white pages, respectively.

The Senate does not currently have a set funding source but has a meeting scheduled with UT Libraries Administration to discuss funding, Cavazos said.

“Cost of this initiative will definitely be the biggest question, … but we are confident that we’ll be able to work with UT Libraries and other administrators on campus to find a funding source,” Cavazos said.

Travis Willmann, Perry-Castañeda Library communications officer, said the Senate has not yet presented the resolution to the Libraries for review and consideration.

“The Libraries always welcome the opportunity to address any expressed needs of our students, and we hope to see the resolution soon in order to make a full consideration of the Senate proposal,” Willmann said.

Cavazos said the Senate hopes to implement this resolution by the next academic school year but that it may take longer to work everything out.

“At the latest, we hope to see this student library credit implemented by the 2017–2018 academic school year,” Cavazos said. “We hope that once this initiative is implemented, it will remain a long-term resource for students if we can secure long-term funding for the credit.”

Public relations senior Allison Weeks said she does not have her own printer at home and often uses UT’s library printers.

“I like the idea of a pre-loaded printing credit card because I often find myself needing to print things last-minute,” Weeks said “I would just appreciate the prices being lowered a little.”