As University of Maine students return from winter break, several changes are apparent around campus. One of the most prominent changes is the increase in printing prices for the first time in 15 years.
Previously, a black-and-white single sheet of paper cost 4 cents. Since the change, it now costs 10 cents. For double-sided sheets, the cost went from 7 cents to 15 cents. The changes came after a preliminary assessment of the printing usage and costs throughout the IT computer clusters and print kiosks around campus.
When considering the increase in prices, the university looked into factors such as vendor changes to IT (for printer leases and usage), the cost of printer paper and the $16 printing credit that is funded by the IT department for students, faculty and staff each semester.
During the first two weeks of the semester, the IT department had assessed printing usage and has since decided that a smaller increase in prices could offset the printing cost. As of Feb. 2, it will now cost 5 cents per single-sided page, and 8 cents for a double-sided page, making it only an increase of 1 cent for black and white documents. Color will remain the same. On top of this, the $16 printing credit will be reset for all students, faculty and staff.
Going forward, IT will regularly assess its printing services and associated costs to ensure it continues to provide services to UMaine students, faculty and staff in an efficient, sustainable and affordable manner.
Many students and faculty have been affected by the increase, including in the Communication and Journalism and English departments. Many professors in these departments have printed syllabuses and assignments for students, but have since turned digital to save their funds.