Despite a plan made by Student Government (SG) to raise the daily free print allocation for students from $2.50 to $3 this fall, SG finds itself in the middle of negotiations and budget issues with RICOH, the company that contracts printing services to USF, and Information Technology team (IT), causing delays.
During the spring semester, SG announced the initiative, with plans to implement it at the beginning of the fall semester.
However, with the third week of the semester already started, no changes have been made. Printing currently costs 11 cents per black-and-white page and 20 cents per color page. With the current $2.50 allocation, students can print 22 black-and-white pages and 12 pages in color per day. With the $3 allocation, students could print 27 black-and-white pages and 15 pages in color.
Student Body President Moneer Kheireddine said approximately $60,000 was requested from the Activity & Service Fee Recommendation Committee (ASRC) to put toward the contract with RICOH to accommodate the 50-cent increase.
There is no set date on when students are going to see the changes, but Kheireddine said he estimates it will happen sometime this semester.
Kheireddine said there are two reasons for the delay.
First, the $60,000 allocation was put on hold due to problems with finalizing the 2018-19 annual A&S budget.
According to Kheireddine, the second delay resulted from SG having to work carefully with IT and RICOH on negotiations amid these internal issues to ensure the initiative was still on track. However, other new initiatives and the need to hire new employees caused delays in these negotiations over the summer.
As a result, the initiative is delayed until the problems can be resolved, according to Kheireddine.
“The free printing increase is coming, the money is here, however, we’ve just been delayed on the logistics,” Kheireddine said. “Once we get the logistic side done, it won’t take long to apply to the students’ daily life. Students will be able to see the change in the free printing balance as soon as possible.”
Kheireddine said he is currently working with IT to see if there are any holdups outside of contract work that are preventing the initiative from starting.
Allyson Reinert, a freshman majoring in environmental science and policy, said the current daily allocation of $2.50 doesn’t go far when taking a lot of classes at one time.
“It’s very upsetting,” Reinert said. “If they can postpone something as simple as this they will probably be able to get away with postponing other things as well.”
According to Kheireddine, SG tried to implement the initiative but it was never successful due to the high cost.
Jimmy Luu, a sophomore majoring in business advertising, said he was initially unaware of this potential increase, but hopes to see it soon regardless.
“I am disappointed, because $3 would definitely come in handy,” Luu said. “I’m sure there must be some reason for the delay, but I would hope SG would take care of it soon.”
The free printing initiative started approximately five to 10 years ago, according to Kheireddine, as an SG project and this year was the first time that students would see an increase in their free printing allocation.
A survey was also sent out by SG during the spring semester asking students where they would like to have new printers placed. Using the data collected from the survey, SG secured the necessary funding from its executive budget and added two new printers, one at the Hub 24-hour desk and the Cypress help desk.
SG is currently planning on reaching out to students to see where they would like additional printers to be placed.