Peeved about the points

One of the many reasons I’m proud of being a student at Allegheny College is its commitment to trying to become a green campus.

The school has been dedicated to sustainability and just not for just the sake of going green. However, paper is the lifeblood of students’ lives and creating a printer point system limits students’ ability to use valuable resources.

Normally, I would give a few reasons to improve the system to make it more accessible, yet I am more befuddled the more I think about it. Instead, I am going to give reasons why this program should be taken away; not because I think Allegheny is wrong for starting the program but because of how poorly thought out printer points is.

If you did not hear the news yet, every student and organization is given 1,600 points. So, you ask me, why am I annoyed with so many points?
Well, every page is worth three to four points. If you are bad at math like me, you are left to print between 533 and 400 pages per semester. Allegheny College believes we will be more sustainable with this system, but there are so many problems academically, environmental conscience aside.

First, I am glad that Allegheny College decided to get printers to print both sides, but there is no reward for printing double–sided.

Second, student organizations need to print more paper to promote their organization or use in their meetings.

Allegheny’s answer to this is to tell organizations to use Google Docs in their meetings instead of printing paper, but I am still going to need a piece of paper to remember what happened in the meetings.

Third, professors are relying on Sakai to provide materials for students. I would assume based on the 262 pages I’ve printed so far that most students are like me and most of their printer points are used for resources on Sakai.

Allegheny can fix the problem by having professors print out these resources for students, but this does not reduce the amount of paper used and makes Sakai obsolete.

Fourth, I am assuming Allegheny wants us to read articles online and not use paper. I am able to grasp a reading assignment better if I print it off and make notes on the page. Additionally, I can proofread essays better on paper.

If Allegheny continues the printer point system, I bet academic performances will go down.

Fifth, I think a study of printer points would go a long way in showing that most or all paper printed is for academic purposes.

For my classes, I like taking advantage of the school’s online databases, and I am limited on what I can read on this new system unless I waste electricity reading it online. If students have to do research for a class, they will print and read fewer documents because they are worried about printer points.

The biggest problem I have, however, is if printing is used for academic purposes to better understand a subject or topic, then why would you limit a student’s ability to gain knowledge?

Sixth, if nothing else, seniors should be exempt from printer points. Senior projects need to have much material as possible and most current research is online and not in book form. Moreover, students need to print and make corrections when they are revising their projects and should not feel constrained by printer points.

The printer point system is a good idea in theory but awful in practice, especially at a place of higher learning.

The rumor is a senior project, which was about the amount of paper wasted by overuse of the printers, started this project, but I am sure the student did not count the amount of paper that students used as a valuable resource.

Therefore, Allegheny administrators please take this suggestion not to revise the system, but just quit while you’re ahead.

Students, please take a minute of your time to e-mail or, preferably, send a written statement to James Fadden about what you really think.