By Emily Temple, The Whetstone
Senior Emily Bentz said that since the new printers arrived, her own printer has received a lot more work.
“I’ve had a lot more friends asking me to print stuff out for them,” she said. “They didn’t have money on their card, so they couldn’t print anything. I was the emergency backup.”
During the first weeks after Parker Library installed its new printer system, which accepts payments through I.D. cards rather than loose change, many students were frustrated by the issues they faced.
“A lot of the inconveniences have to do with Cashnet,” junior Sullivan Lynch said.
Cashnet, a third-party site, has a set minimum requirement of $20. While students may currently add as little as $5 to their accounts through the Business Office, this option will come to a close at the end of the semester.
At an SGA meeting March 20, students pointed out the difficulty of making payments through Cashnet.
“Nothing comes out of the womb perfect,” SGA president Destiny Hollis said at the meeting. “The more feedback we give them, the more they get a chance to work on the issues.”
Library director Jessica Olin says she understands students’ frustration.
“The need to have money on cards has caused some turbulence, especially at this time of the semester when funds are running low,” she said. “The timing of things wasn’t really in my control, so I’m just trying to make the best of what we had to do.”
The printer system at Wesley may be new, but Olin said the purchase has been a long time coming.
“This is something that I noticed was a problem when I came to interview,” Olin said. “I hadn’t seen a coin-operated system in a long time. I don’t think I had seen one since the last century.”
Olin said students made it known that the old library printers were not working.
“Students hated the old printers, hated the coin-operated machine,” she said. “They were always breaking down.”
Sophomore Paige Barber said she avoided using the library printers.
“I’d rather just buy my own printer and print things off in my room,” she said.
Olin said the old printers were used a lot, especially at the start of semesters.
“Those first two weeks of free printing, we go through a box of paper a day,” she said. “That’s 5,000 sheets of paper. So we’re talking about 70,000 sheets of paper in the first two weeks.”
Olin said she is working on a solution to minimize the stress new printers undergo while still offering students some free printing.
She said the low maintenance of the new printers helps students in more ways than one.
“I don’t have to pay attention to the printer anymore, it’s that smooth,” she said.
Students were looking forward to new printers earlier in the semester, but one millimeter stood in the way.
“We had another system all the way installed, and it didn’t work,” Olin said. “Our IDs were literally a millimeter too wide to fit in the slot. Everyone thought the card size was standard, and no one even thought to question it.”
Olin said the issue with the card width was devastating.
“I felt like I was going to throw up when I tried to put my card in and it didn’t fit. There were so many months and months—kind of years—of working on this, and we finally have it all ready.”
Lynch said the delays, which caused the change to take place late in the semester rather than at its beginning, are the reason students initially became frustrated.
“I think all the bugs are sorted out now, and if not, they will be next year,” he said.
Olin thinks so, too.
“I can almost guarantee that by the time we get to the next fall semester, it won’t even be a blip on campus,” she said.