By Emily Neigel
This is my seventh semester at Beloit College, and I don’t think I can recall one pleasant experience with the printer in Pearsons. I have essentially stopped considering it as a printing option because I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment. We have all been on the move to class and in need of quickie print sesh. However, if you think you can choose the Pearsons printer out of convenience, think again.
Besides the fact that the Internet in the alleged 24-hour “computer lab” is dodgy at best, the printer is consistently jammed, out of toner or paper or both. Melissa Fiegel’13 responded dejectedly when asked about her experience with the Pearsons printer: “… I just don’t even try any more.” Maggie Brandt’12 feels morally compromised by the Pearsons printer. As a mailroom clerk, she is consistently asked to give paper to the dysfunctional printer. This task is technically illegal and would make her either a criminal or a modern day Robin Hood—but maybe that’s what we need.
Many students raise the same point of concern: the library does not open until 8 a.m., the hour when classes start. We need to have somewhere to print after the library closes and before classes start.
In a perfect world, we would ﬁnish our homework at midnight with everything we need printed, and wake up at 7 a.m. with ample time for breakfast and a leisurely walk to class. But in addition to being students, we are also athletes, actors, musicians, activists and so much more. We are the liberal arts in practice, and we don’t have perfect schedules.
We appreciate the extension of library hours and the resources we have on campus, but that does not resolve the issue of not being able to print in the main hub of student life: Pearsons Hall. We boast Java Joint and DK’s Lounge as great places to study and work for extended periods of time. But the fact of the matter is that we live in a “digital age.” Our readings are online and we save money on books by being able to download through Moodle, something we value. But like many others on this campus, I do better work when I have paper in front of me. Being able to jot down notes, underline and doodle is an intrinsic part of processing and internalizing information.
We need a reliable, central location besides the library where we can print important assignments, like papers and exams. As Hannah Warren’13 puts it, “Apparently you can’t have your muﬃn and your midterm too.” I do not think it is asking a lot to keep one printer supplied with toner and paper. It is an important resource on campus that is used by a lot of people. It should be kept in working order. So what’s the deal? Am I going to need to submit a “Buncha K” proposal for this, or can my cry be heard immediately?