Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Printer Trouble

You think of all places, the University of Chicago could have seen this coming in advance:
Dear House System residents,

I write to update you about a decision that has been reached regarding printing in the residence halls. As you know, at the beginning of this quarter we launched a system that enabled all residents to print for no charge to the printers in the residence halls. We did this because of the failure of our own internal pay-for-printing system and our decision to participate in a unified printing system that is scheduled to be in place this year. Unified printing, a system whereby students could print at the libraries, at the NSIT clusters, and the residence halls from the same printing account, is something our students have been requesting for the past 3 years.

Within the first three weeks of this quarter we saw unprecedented usage of the residence hall printing system. 232,000 pages were printed in three weeks compared to 625,000 pages for the entirety of last year. In mid-October we sent you a message to enlist your help in encouraging students to limit the amount of pages being printed. Unfortunately, despite those efforts, printing continued a high rate and we decided to limit printing to half of the computers in each of the residence hall computer labs.

However, this measure has not resulted in the hoped for reduction of printing. Printing has continued a rate of 60,000 pages per week, and from the beginning of the year through yesterday there had been a total of 635,000 pages printed. We project that the quarterly printing total will exceed 800,000 pages. This amount of printing far exceeds what we had projected and therefore we will need to discontinue printing in the residence halls, at the end of Fall Quarter, until we have implemented the new unified pay-for-printing system. We expect the new system to be up and running by the beginning of Spring Quarter.


Director of Operations & Communications
Housing & Dining Services

Libertarian economic theory, for the win!


Anonymous said...

Great example of tragedy of the commons. There's plenty of frivolous bullshit that isn't worth what it costs me to print, but if a few thousand others help pick up the costs for something that only benefits me, hell, why not?

PG said...

I can't believe they haven't implemented a unified printing system yet. UVA had this by 2001. Public Us FTW ;-)