Andre Costa

Douglas Shao ’21 only had about 15 minutes to get his schedule to his director of undergraduate studies.

But for the political science major, like dozens of other students across Yale, the backlog on the campus printing server would prove a major obstacle.

As undergraduate students rushed to submit their schedules this week, many were unable to print quickly using the University printing platform, WebPrint. After waiting for over 20 minutes, Shao’s place in line was still at 60 on a Monday morning, the day before schedules were due for sophomores and juniors.

The problem was officially resolved Wednesday morning, according to Yale’s System Status page.

Before then, however, frustrated students like Shao took to the Facebook group “Overheard at Yale” to voice their concerns. His post — including a screenshot of his place in the online queue — quickly received hundreds of comments and reactions.

One user wrote that he entered the queue behind 400 other documents. Other commenters’ places numbered in the hundreds.

“I thought that there were at least 60 other people who think it’s funny,” said Shao, in reference to his place in the queue. He remembered receiving texts from anxious first years about the printing problems. “It’s just another inconvenience,” he added.

Yale Printing & Publishing Services put an alert on its homepage about the issue, blaming the slowdown on “excessive traffic” and security updates to the printing process that happened over the summer.

Regular updates to the status page encouraged Yale students to print from computer clusters across campus or to install special software that do not need to use WebPrint. And on Tuesday and Wednesday, staff made printers available in Connecticut Hall, Bass Library and the Sterling Library Nave.

Eventually, Shao said he waited for his documents to get through the queue and was able to get his schedule signed on time.

“I guess I was lucky in that regard,” he said. “It’s disappointing for a university like Yale to have this problem.”

Now, he added, he’ll use the cluster computers.

The printing backlog also affected professors and academic departments’ day-to-day operations. Thomas Hallihan of the political science department’s C&IS support team noted that the department had issues resetting users’ access to the system. Otherwise, he said, the department’s issues were “a somewhat quick fix.”

Hallihan added that YPPS was quick to commission a representative to the department, who then worked with students to resolve technical issues.

Yale ITS Associate Chief Information Officer Sandra Germenis told the News that IT staff were “engaged with the vendor and working on a solution and understanding root cause.”

A one page double-sided print job processed through WebPrint costs $0.12.

Matt Kristoffersen | matthew.kristoffersen@yale.edu

John Besche | john.besche@yale.edu