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Lower Campus Printers Stalled In Logistical Limbo

Remember those printers in Corcoran Commons? Their installation has been a perennial campaign pledge made by presidential candidates for the Undergraduate Government of Boston College, and the printers are finally on campus—just not in the right place.

UGBC president Thomas Napoli, MCAS ’16, and vice president Olivia Hussey, MCAS ’17, successfully saw to the purchase of printers to be set up in Corcoran Commons, working to fulfill a campaign goal for more accessible printing locations around campus. UGBC has coordinated with IT Service to place printers within Corcoran Commons and McElroy Commons.

The proposal, which was originally part of Napoli and Hussey’s campaign platform last year, was drafted in May. The University has already purchased the printers, but action has been delayed by logistic and bureaucratic holdups within administration, Hussey said. She was told that the devices were originally planned to be installed by Sept. 1.

“The reason that we want the student body to know about the issues holding up the printers is due to our strong commitment to full transparency.”

-Olivia Hussey, executive vice president of UGBC and MCAS ’17

“By the end of the summer, it seemed like it was a go, and it was happening,” Hussey said.

This Sept. 1 deadline was not met, in part due to UGBC’s rejection of the administration’s proposal that concerned where the printers would be located and who would be involved with the setup and maintenance of the devices.

Though there have been issues concerning aesthetics in the dining halls, the current delay stems from ITS’s difficulty finding areas where electrical outlets, wireless Internet routers, and zoning laws align to allow the installation of the printers in Corcoran Commons.

Scott Cann, the technology director, is working with the University and its Space Planning team to find solutions to some of the issues he has been facing with installing the devices. He says there has been a large push from ITS within the last eight to 10 weeks to get the devices installed.

“It’s not so much aesthetics as it is the various complexities associated with installing technology in buildings around campus,” Cann said. “There are many considerations when thinking about printer placement in high traffic areas and we need to coordinate our efforts with our partners in Space Planning.”

“To my understanding, dining is on board and ITS is on board, so there seems to be another hold-up to what is causing this [delay],” Hussey said.

Dining Services, however, has yet to meet with UGBC. Megan O’Neill, associate director of Dining, believes that UGBC has taken the correct route of action and plans to be consulted once the logistical kinks have been worked out.

In the spring of 2015, UGBC Senator Matt Hugo, MCAS ’16, and the Campus Improvement committee drafted a proposal for additional printers around campus, but it was received with negative feedback by ITS and the administration for financial and logistical reasons.

Last year, the administration’s solution to the problem was increasing the number of printers in O’Neill Library, UGBC senator Joey Dorion, MCAS ’17, said. This did not ease the students’ concerns, however, with the continuing lack of accessibility to printers on Lower and Upper Campus.

When student complaints and suggestions persisted on UGBC’s suggestion website Campus Voice, the Student Assembly realized more action needed to be taken, Dorion said. When Napoli and Hussey were elected president and vice president of UGBC, they knew they wanted to address the issue in order to improve the day-to-day lives of students.

Before UGBC learned that the University created funding for the printers this past spring, the student organization planned to pay for the printers and start a private program, as the group thought the administration would only have financial concerns.

“This has been on every platform for the last 20 years, but we were really committed to actually making it happen,” Hussey said. “This is not just another campaign promise to get people excited. This is something that could actually make a major difference in the daily lives of students.”

Cann is hesitant to give an exact date for the installation of the printers as the plans and logistics are still not finalized. Hussey, however, hopes to have the pilot program fully installed by the start of second semester.

“The reason that we want the student body to know about the issues holding up the printers is due to our strong commitment to full transparency,” Hussey said. “While in the past, UGBC often only shared positive news and successful initiatives, this year we are striving to communicate to student initiatives we haven’t yet accomplished, and the obstacles we are facing.”

Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor

October 29, 2015

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