In an effort to become more environmentally friendly at a minimal cost, Yale Printing and Publishing Services has instituted a new printing initiative called BluePrint.
The push to change the printing system — which began last January and was completed over the summer — came from the hopes of YPPS and the University to unify the printing system at Yale in a sustainable way. Yale introduced new physical printers to campus and also implemented new software that aims to reduce paper waste by making students more aware of their paper use. The system will also entirely replace the “Wireless Everywhere. Print Anywhere” kiosks the University piloted last fall.
“The main driving force behind changing the software is the fact that we want to have one single print management solution on campus for both students and departments to benefit. The University has the same intention in paper-reduction goals. … By choosing to be with a more robust system we are able to accomplish these goals,” said Jim Mathewson, manager of copier rental and cluster printing at YPPS.
As part of its effort to become more environmentally minded, YPPS is also loading all printers with Forest Stewardship Council paper, which uses 30 percent recycled material. Jason England, a graphic designer from YPPS who has been integral to the system change, said YPPS is also selling FSC-certified paper at a reduced rate to encourage students to participate in the green initiative.
With the new system printing in black-and-white costs 6 cents per page, while printing in color costs 25 cents.
By using the new PaperCut software Yale is also hoping to streamline the printing process. Previously, Yale’s printers had been functioning on software called UniPrint from Pharos. According to Mathewson, a major difference between UniPrint and PaperCut is that PaperCut is much easier to keep up-to-date along with the rapidly changing technologies of Windows and Macs.
Over the summer around 100 student printers were converted. According to Derek Zhao, an assistant manager for Yale Student Technology Collaborative, new color multifunctional devices — previously only available in major public locations around campus — were installed in all of the residential college clusters.
Though the overall transition has gone smoothly, there have been some obstacles along the way, England said. Many students who previously used the old printing queues have not been seeing their printing jobs when they go to the devices, he said.
Students interviewed on campus varied widely on how they felt about the changes. Some students felt that the changeover was relatively easy, but others noted confusion.
“It’s not that it’s hard to use right now … but that there hasn’t been any widespread information about how to use the system, which is sort of confusing,” said Ammar Saeed ’17. “At the end of the day this system has the potential to be easier to use, but the student body doesn’t know enough about it yet.”
Many students interviewed did not know that there was a change in the printing system — or were only vaguely aware that anything was different.
Zhao said the toughest part of the transition has been the communication to students and other users regarding the new system.
“While BluePrint overall works in a very similar way to the previous print system, there are still changes that students must make before BluePrint will work properly,” said Zhao.
When freshmen arrived on campus last month, the Student Technology Collaborative offered a workshop to help introduce them to the new PaperCut system.
YPPS is also open to students’ questions and concerns. England said the department is aiming to be more transparent and user-friendly, and that it is doing its best to make printing as sustainable and accessible as possible.
YPPS’s expected future developments include establishing mobile printing and kiosk printing on campus by the middle of 2015.