Xavier printing goes green

By: Jess Larkin ~Copy Editor~

As a step towards creating a more sustainable campus, Xavier’s IT Green Printing Team will be running its campaign, “Cut Back, Don’t Cut Down,” over the next month before finals to encourage students to print with less paper.

Since 2008, when President, Fr. Michael Graham, S.J. signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, Xavier has been working to become more “climate neutral.”

The Print Management Program was initiated this year through the technology department. It estimated that, last year alone, students printed over 4 million pages, which means on average, each student printed about 400 pages per semester. It is estimated that about 525 trees were cut down due to student printing, and the goal for the team is to reduce the number of pages printed by 5 to 10 percent by Earth Day in 2015.

“With finals coming up, we really want to remind students to be conscious of printing,” student leader of the Print Management Team Maggie Rodriguez said. “Simple steps like digital editing, narrow margins and small print for drafts as well as printing the specific page you need and not the whole document can all reduce the number of pages used.”

The team determined which majors print the most paper so that the professors in those departments can be encouraged to require less printed materials. The Occupational Therapy (OT)department, in particular, prints more paper than any other department. Each student in the OT program prints about 1,000 pages per semester, a stark contrast to the average 400 pages.

The Printing Team is working closely with OT professors, students and the department’s board to cut down on the amount of paper that the department uses to print. The students in the department were also given a survey asking about the printing requirements for the department and what they thought about those requirements.

“This campaign focuses on being less wasteful and more aware of the consequences our actions have on the environment,” Junior Taylor Roberts, a member of the Printing Team, said. “How many times have we, as college students, mindlessly printed out pages upon pages of paper without thinking about it? Well, the data shows that we should start thinking about it. This campaign isn’t about completely abolishing printing, but about printing in a more mindful manner.”

The Print Management Team asks that students and faculty sign its pledge to become more aware of extreme printing habits, look out for their events that will take place in the spring and remember to recycle excess paper.

“‘Cut Back, Don’t Cut Down’ is our motto this semester,” Rodriguez said. “And it will take the joint effort of both students and faculty to make the change.”