Starting this semester, Gannon students will be able to print from their laptop, tablets and phones to any computer lab, hallway or common area equipped with a new printing device.
Gannon has contracted with the vendor ComDoc to manage the project.
A total of 110 new multi-function printing, copying and scanning Xerox devices were installed to add to the 50-60 existing HP printers on campus, bringing the Gannon Information Technology Services (ITS) fleet down from 600 printers to under 200 total devices.
Not all old personal and desktop devices have been removed, as the IT department is trying to allow a few months of transition to the newly installed shared models.
Outdated devices that have already been replaced are currently sitting in storage, although ComDoc has offered to purchase many of the old devices once they are out of circulation.
According to Kurt Spence, applications manager for ITS, some devices will be kept as spares or used for expansion as needed. He added that those not worth keeping will be properly recycled.
Spence said that the new transition was essentially cost neutral for Gannon. “The real benefit is bringing efficiencies to colleagues and students providing the ability to print, print color, copy, scan, email and some fax, and do so from locations all over campus.”
He added that savings can be achieved by forcing duplex, black and white copies and by monitoring print behavior to better educate and manage costs going forward.
To use the new system, students must first go through a one-time registration process while connected to Gannon’s network. Students must also add the Print-N-Go printer to their devices. This can be completed through the device’s settings or at http://papercut-erie:9163/setup.
Each print job will be released to a printer on the network that will be identified once the student swipes his or her Gannon ID card at the card reader attached to the printer. After swiping the ID, the device will show how many print jobs are waiting to be released and the cost of these jobs.
Prior to the implementation of the new system, students needed to use the website Papercut to print to a specific printer on campus or print from a Gannon computer that was connected to lab printers, such as in the Power Room.
Gannon students have mixed feelings on the new campus-wide printing system.
Parth Shah, a junior pre-medicine major, said he believed the old system was sufficient, but thinks the new system has also worked well so far. “I printed from the seating area on the second floor of Palumbo last week and was successful in quickly getting my document from a printer in the hallway on [Palumbo’s] second floor.” He added that he also liked the new feature of seeing a print log on the printer itself.
Junior physician assistant major Grace Schaefer said she is grateful that Gannon took a strong step in bettering students’ printing options; however, she believed the university did not do enough to ease the transition. “I first used the new system 15 minutes before I had to turn in a printed version of a speech, and it was pretty stressful. It wouldn’t let me log in, swipe my ID, or use a flash drive.” The second time she used the printers, she had a better experience. “[The next time] I used a printer in the library and after struggling for another 15 minutes, a librarian helped me figure it out. Now that it works, it’s been great!”
Students will continue to have a 600-page per semester print limit for the 2017-2018 academic year.
By default, printers will print in black and white, but, as a new feature, some printers will be equipped to print in color. Students’ print quotas will be charged at a double rate for color printing.
According to Spence, Gannon previously had devices on campus that were as old as 15 years.
Along with the switch to new print technology, Gannon will also strive to keep the print devices on campus less than five years old.
Work study students and graduate assistants who need to print and copy materials for their jobs must contact their department supervisors to ensure their personal 600-page quota is not charged for department work.
To assist in the transition, ComDoc support staff will be stationed in various academic buildings across campus on specific dates until Oct. 18.
Gannon is also looking to amp up sustainability measures by adding eco boxes in strategic places across campus to collect used toner cartridges.
The new boxes are set to arrive within the coming week.