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Print2Here service jammed, please open left door and clear jam

Steve Cummins

Issue date: 10/10/08 Section: News
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Print2Here, the printing serviced operated by IT Operations Group in conjunction with Educational Services for Students and Housing, Residence Life, and Greek Life, currently provides free printing across campus. Recently plagued by frequent machine maintenance on Northside and CaseCash problems campus-wide, the service has made changes throughout the semester.
Five years ago, the university made the transition to a unified printing platform to save on costs. The theory was if the university as a whole negotiated with the company, it would be able to get a better deal per page as opposed to each department separately. Right now, the new negotiations are in progress, and the Print2Here program is in the process of proposing the inclusion of new printers in that cost.
"[Problems with the printers] are as frustrating to us as it is to you. Though it's only the third year [with these machines], we're still probably dealing with 10-year-old tech," said director of Information Technology Joel Kraft.
The environment, specifically on Northside, is detrimental to the laser printers. A high volume of activity and impatient students poking and prodding at the out-of-commission machines often combine to cause damage to the printers, making the problem worse. A paper jam then turns into a call to the Xerox technician.
"On Northside, you have the Wade and Village printers that are the two highest use machines. If one of them goes down, students go straight to the other one, exacerbating the problem [of overuse]," said Kraft.
IT is looking into rotating the printers during the fall break, hoping to reduce maintenance frequency by, for example, moving the rarely out-of-service Carlton Commons printer over to Wade or the Village.
"At the moment we are increasing the monitoring of specific printers and having student workers checking on the printers more often. This also means working with the area offices and the Village staff to contact the technician sooner in order for the downtime to remain low," said Kraft.
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