Aida Lashinsky

Students are relieved to hear that they won't be charged for printing, even if all documents must now be approved.

Aida Lashinsky, Editor-in-Chief

In efforts to reduce the amount of printing at Seminole High School, the media center printers have been moved behind the front desk and students must now ask for their papers to be approved and handed to them by media workers.

While the change in policy may be upsetting to some, it’s a step down from the before-mentioned plan. Students and staff were notified last week that the media center was to begin charging five cents a page to combat the cost of printing. The charging would have been linked to students’ logins and was to take effect the week after winter break. The school administrative team wants to avoid charging the students, however, and the first step of relocating the printers was proposed.

School Administration Manager Dr. Michelle Backel explains, “We’re trying very hard not to charge students, so that’s going to be a last resort if we can’t curtail the amount of printing that’s happening in here to begin with.” Backel continues, “This is the first step, so if it’s respected and we can cut down the number, then we’ll stay here. If not, then we’ll do something else.”

The issue of excessive printing has been ongoing, and the administrative team began working toward a solution last March. In order to calculate the amount of papers printed and the funds for them, the team tracked it for a year, beginning in November 2014 and ending last month. On the two media center printers alone, 75,588 sheets of paper were calculated within the period.

Backel describes that the problem isn’t due to the fact that Seminole has such as large population, but that the students simply don’t realize how much the printing is costing. More so, students are often printing documents that are unrelated to their classes- an issue that administrators hope will be curved by the new step of checking printed documents for relevancy.

“We have more than 250 printers on campus, and every piece of paper that comes out of the printers we get charged for. So we’re asking teachers to cut down, and we’re cutting down in the media center as well,” states Backel.

Many students were concerned upon hearing that they would be charged for printing and are glad to avoid the cost, even if all documents must now be approved.

“I feel like [a printing charge] would be a bigger inconvenience for people that don’t even have a printer,” says junior Lara Olsen. On the new policy, she continues, “You’re more conscious of [printing] when you know that someone else is going to see it.”

For most other schools in Seminole County, a printing charge is already the norm; Seminole High is one of the few that has avoided the cost. The administrative team is asking teachers and students to be conscious of their printing in order to maintain this privilege.

Freshman Adalyah Wilmot comments, “If you’re going to print something that’s unrelated, then just do it at home or do it somewhere else where they will allow that. Because if you’re doing it in school, that makes no sense and you’re just wasting their time.”

Until further notice, the two media printers will remain behind the front desk. The administrative team will continue to monitor the situation, and if the amount of printing does not meet a decline, a per-page charge for students may be the next step.