by Elizabeth DeLyser, Copy Editor
This semester, SGA put “Think before you print” signs up in the library to encourage reducing paper waste. The campaign to reduce waste came about when Academic Affairs Committee Chair Taylor Guido heard about all the wasted paper in the library.
“The librarians mentioned that it took a very short period of time for that waste to fill a full size paper box,” Guido said. “My committee decided to make signs to hopefully help reduce waste and just raise awareness about recycling in general. James Orange, Olivia Sharkey, Tanner Beal, and myself collaborated on two different signs.”
Multiple reminders and efforts to reduce the amount of paper used by the library are in effect. The dry erase board at the entrance to the library also encouraged users to “think green” and “conserve paper” for the majority of the semester. Information Services set the default printing options to double-sided printing over a year ago to help reduce the paper used, and Academic Affiars is monitoring students’ usage of paper to create a quota of free pages printed.
“One of the things that we realize is that unlimited printing increases the amount of waste with students,” said Dr. John Smetanka, when speaking at the SGA meeting on October 10th about a printing quota. “Our desire is to go live with a system that will monitor the consumption of paper for each student. Once a quota is exceeded, we ask that you pay for the price of the paper. We believe that this will make students more aware of their printing usage.”
The amount of paper used in the library varies by time of year. During the last month of the semester, printing at the library more than doubles as students print out study guides, power point slides, final papers and senior projects. So far, it is difficult to tell the success of the signs.
“It’s hard to tell if there’s been an effect, as we’ve been having so many problems with the printers, but I see just as much if not more paper wasted,” said secretary Clydene Duran. “And people have gotten around the double sided printing. I don’t really see a reduction.”
Guido, however, remains optimistic. “The feedback we received is that the amount of waste in the library is decreasing,” he said.