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Monday, October 2, 2023


Printing stipend adjusted for students at library


Printing allocations for students have dropped from $25 per semester to $7.50.  |  File photo/The Cougar

The M. D. Anderson Memorial Library has changed its printing allocation for students to $7.50 per semester from $25 per semester. According to Lee Hilyer, head of information and access services for the library, the change is of no consequence to UH students.

“The bottom line is that there really is no change,” Hilyer said. ”It’s close to the same number of pages. We just tinkered with the formula.”

As of spring 2014, the printing allocation for students on their Cougar Cards was $25, with a cost of five cents per page. This summer, it was changed to an apportionment of $7.50 with a cost of one and a half cents per page.

“The cost per print was reduced accordingly, so you’re still getting the same number of prints for black and white single pages. It’s really just taking a set of money and just dividing in a different way.”

Despite this fact, Hilyer said that there is “technically some loss” of pages when it comes to color or duplex printing.

“On average between the duplex black and white, the single color and the duplex color, it’s about 93 pages that (are) sort of technically lost. That’s assuming that the person is going to print everything in duplex or color, so it’s not exactly a correct average.”

Some students are still upset with the change.

“I think it’s sneaky that we have the ability to lose those 93 pages when we may try to be eco-conscious when printing double-sided,” accounting junior Megan Iselin said. “That’s the way I print the majority of my notes whenever I’m in the library.”

Last spring, 9,400 students printed 2.03 million pages, averaging out at each student printing 217 pages.

“Not everyone uses their allocation,” Hilyer said. “They usually end up with some allocation that’s left over, and since its not real money, it disappears.”

“I understand not everyone ends up using the full amount we used to receive, but there are still some people that do,” English literature junior Taelor Marquetti said. “What about English students who print a lot more than other majors?”

For the few students that do print in the library and go past the 200-page average, the allocation change benefits them because they are paying less money per page than before.

“If you go over your allocation and you have to dip into your own flex account money, you’re actually getting cheaper printing than you did in the spring,” Hilyer said.

When asked why this change was made, Hilyer said the library wanted to align itself with the other units across campus.

“Whether you print here or in the tech commons, we want you to have the same experience and have the same understanding,” Hilyer said.

He said students often misunderstand the use of the library fee they pay in their tuition, thinking that fee is related to the printing allocation. In reality, the allocation is “fake money,” and just a way for the library to work with the Cougar Card system.

“The Cougar Card system requires a monetary amount,” Hilyer said. “So if we had something that worked with our print system, we could’ve just said you have 500 pages, (and) we would’ve done that. It’s really not connected to anything.”

While roughly 40,000 students attended UH last spring, only about 9,000 of them printed in the library.

“There’s going to be some people that print nothing, and there’s going to be some people that print a lot,” Hilyer said. “We’re not out to steal anything from anybody — we’re out to give as much as we can.”

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