What to Know About Student Printing

What to Know About Student Printing

“Starting rendering process.”

“Failed due to timeout.”

If you’ve ever sprinted out of bed at 7 a.m. to print a last-minute research paper only for the printer to spit out these dreaded phrases, be assured that it’s not you, or your computer. Many of the wireless printers across campus are experiencing a strange malfunction issue.

“One working theory is that the [Wi-Fi] network is assigning IP addresses to these personal devices that the network just isn’t recognizing as valid devices,” said Filiberto Romero, Technology Support Specialist at the University of Redlands.

In other words, it could be a matter of students’ personal devices not connecting correctly to the Wi-Fi network. Roberto emphasized that the true cause of this problem is still unknown, but that the Information Technology Services (ITS) office is working to get to the root of it. The setback seems to come from the fact that there is no rhyme or reason for the disconnect.

“Some computers are allowed to print, and then the next day they’re not […] At first, I was noticing that it was just with Mac computers […] and then slowly other machines started showing up,” explained Romero.

In the meantime, there are several ways for you to print what you need. The most surefire way is by logging into the computers in the Printing Lab in Armacost Library 104 with your university credentials and printing directly from the document, without having to upload it to the PaperCut website.

If you’ve been off-campus or just back in your dorm, disconnecting and reconnecting to the Wi-Fi network is another solution.

You can also check in with ResNet to manually have your credentials input by the staff, which could lead to “a [higher] successful rate of being able to print to the printers,” according to Romero.

If you’re a junior or senior, this printing process might be quite different from what you’re used to. Previously, students used the big photocopy machines scattered around campus that are connected to a cloud-based system called the Wēpa Web App. That system was scrapped as many significant problems started showing up, according to Romero.

Another partial reason for this replacement was to reduce costs, according to Kevin Dyerly, Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. 

Dyerly said that the university is experiencing a budget deficit, and printing is one of the areas that became relatively unnecessary after the pandemic and the consequent online learning experience from 2020 to 2021. PaperCut operates in a similar way to Wēpa, but without the clunky machines and the higher costs – $0.10 for a single black-and-white page through Wepa; $0.03 in PaperCut.

“Now that we’ve realized how we can work in a more digital environment, we don’t need to print as much. So that’s actually a win as far as from a sustainability standpoint,” said Dyerly.

Despite these differences, students have continued to be awarded a 10 dollar printing credit balance. So, even though the PaperCut website says, “Balances in the negative will be billed to your student account at the end of the semester,” you will not need to pay this amount separately.

“So the negative is on there just so that it gets directed or it’s verified that it belongs to a student account. But the student’s account isn’t being charged for the printing,” said Romero.

The bottom line? When in doubt, print at the computer labs in Armacost Library 104. 

As the ITS office and ResNet continue to work on solving the printers’ malfunction, the Redlands Bulldog will update you with the latest news.