Keep Paperless Pursuit Practical

Rambler Staff Editorial

If you ever had to wait behind someone printing a 200-page PowerPoint presentation in the library, you would know that printing on Transylvania’s campus had gotten out of control. In keeping with our campus goals of reducing expenditures and increasing sustainability, something had to change about our printing habits, and President Williams’ initiative to go paperless was just the thing to accomplish it.

The president and the information technology department have come up with innovative ways to reduce paper usage and advance the role of technology on our campus at the same time. The proposed screens for advertisements, for example, will make paper fliers obsolete, eliminating the biggest need for campus organizations to print.
Additionally, the printing limit is also a practical and necessary change. Such innovative solutions to one of our biggest campus problems deserve our praise and support.

That said, The Rambler praises the paperless initiative as it stands now — a limiting of paper use. We would not be able to support, however, an initiative that eventually hopes for students and faculty to end printing altogether. The majority of Transy’s seminar-style classes could not function if students did not have texts or assignments in front of them.

Such a completely paperless initiative, therefore, would either burden students with higher textbook costs, or require them to purchase expensive technology such as an iPad or laptop to take to class every day. Unless the university plans on providing such technology to students, a completely paperless goal remains, at this time, overly impractical.

Also, while continued efforts to reduce paper use are necessary, such efforts should never come as a surprise to students. While a testing period was discussed last semester, many students arrived on campus this semester faced with a new printing system, which they did not expect or know how to operate.

When future changes are implemented, students should receive ample notice and proper instructions about how to deal with the changes or operate new systems or equipment.

As long as students receive this sufficient notice about changes, and as the paperless initiative remains practical, then Transy is well on its way to reducing both its spending and its environmental impact, while still accounting for the needs of its students


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