Printing on all four ASU campuses is now free of charge because of technical issues involved in the payment process, according to Nicole Corio, a technology consultant in the University Center at the Downtown campus.
The service change may cost upwards of $100,000, said sources familiar with the situation who asked to remain unnamed. Corio said the UCENT library will not lose funds due to the situation, but Canon — the company that provides the printers — will see losses.
Canon did not respond to multiple requests for comment regarding the situation, and ASU officials either declined to comment or could not be reached for comment by the time of publication.
An email distributed to staff at ASU printing locations detailed a number of changes that will be implemented by Canon to address the free printing situation. Colored printing will only be available through PrintU in the Memorial Union on Tempe campus, which means only black and white printing will be available on other campuses, according to the email.
Patrons also will be limited to printing 50 pages until the end of the semester, but individual users can contact Canon’s ASU operation if additional printing capability is required, according to the email. Canon will place signs detailing the printing restrictions, the email said.
The issue arose during the transition to the “Print Anywhere” system, according to a student familiar with the situation in Tempe. The new system, which began in early July, would allow patrons to print on any printer across all campuses, according to ASU’s Help Center website.
Sun Dollars were formerly used to pay for printing, but that program was discontinued this summer.
Corio said technicians are working to fix the bugs in the software in order to reinstate charged printing.
Although the free printing has not been advertised, some students across all four campuses have learned of the situation and in some cases monopolized the printers with hundred-page printing jobs, according to the email.
Exercise and wellness junior Mundo Preciado said he is taking advantage of the free printing this year.
“Last year, I think it cost ten cents a page (to print),” Preciado said. For some classes, he guessed he had paid “ten to fifteen dollars altogether for paperwork. Maybe some classes up to twenty dollars total.”
He added that he has already seen the repercussions of the free printing. Pointing to an entire counter in the UCENT printing room strewn with hundreds of unclaimed papers, Preciado acknowledged the potential for wastefulness.
“Students take advantage and there is wasted paper,” he said. “When being charged (for something), especially as a student, you are more aware of costs.”
Anthony Barron, who works at the University Center help desk, said he has witnessed much more use of the printers this year.
“Canon printers are taking the hit by letting people use them for free,” he said.
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Mauro Whiteman contributed to this report.