Free printing could improve student life

From this height, atop one of the highest hills in Tallahassee, one cannot help but see some of the glaring differences in the “perks” of being a student at the respective universities located here.

In my opinion, there is more that can be done to make our lives as students at this university better, cheaper and much more fulfilling. I propose giving students the ability to print out at least 12 pages from a computer on campus for free will help a significant amount of them complete assigned work and designate more academic significance to Coleman Library.

Right now, Florida State University students can go to their library and can print out 35 pages per day for free. The printing is limited to their computer lab but this service is available to all of their students. Sure, not every student takes advantage of this benefit but at least they have the option.

Here, at FAMU, we have to pay for every single solitary page that comes out of the printer. The means available to library patrons to pay for the service is an ordeal itself. The cost is 10 cents per page to print and photocopy. But if you use your Rattler Card, photocopying is discounted to 8 cents per page.

No matter what, you have to have a card, either the Rattler Card or a temporary card, which can be purchased for $1 (no copies come on temporary cards). The only machine that accepts change is located on the third floor of our library. After there are sufficient funds allocated to the card, the printing can be made at one of the computer/printer stations.

By allowing students to print at least 12 pages a day for free, students have the ability to complete a task in one spot. Research, writing, proofing, and printing can all go on in one place at no cost to the student.

Students will also have more flexibility when completing assignments. I have forgotten papers on their due dates plenty of times. It would have helped me to have the ability to run to the library and print it out at no cost.

Also, more students would start using our library and the demand would pressure the administration to improve our library’s collection as well as increase the services offered.

Tuition is now $95.07 per credit hour for in-state tuition. The cost is even more obnoxious for out of state students. Why isn’t there some tangible item, other than maybe sports tickets, given to students that will help to achieve the title “College Graduate?”

Understandably, there are bills the University is responsible for, but as the University’s customer, I want more than my diploma.

Mark Carter is a philosophy student from Tallahassee. Contact him at