Starting Fall 2018, printing pods at the University of New Mexico Main Campus, School of Law and Health Sciences Center will be replaced by WĒPA printing kiosks, bringing with them the end of the student printing credit.
UNM Information Technologies, along with University Libraries, Graduate and Professional Student Association and Associated Students of UNM, made the decision to cut and replace the service.
“Nobody ever wants to discontinue a student service,” said Elisha Allen, director of Academic Technologies.
He said a lack of students using the $10 credit was not the reason behind the decision, but instead a much more overarching issue — the decline in funding for classroom technologies. Allen said money that comes from student fees has shrunk over past years as a result of lower enrollment rates.
Students can pay for WĒPA prints using a credit or debit card, or by purchasing a guest card from the library. Allen intends to have LOBOCA$H payment available by the fall. Cash cannot be used directly at the kiosks.
WĒPA, an acronym for wireless everywhere print anywhere, is an Alabama-based company growing in popularity with universities around the country. WĒPA operates on a cost recovery model, meaning UNM won’t have to pay for the installation or upkeep of WĒPA kiosks, but the University won’t collect money from the service either, Allen said.
Students wishing to print can walk up to the kiosk, plug in a USB drive, pay and then print. Otherwise, students and members of the public can print from the kiosks by downloading drivers for their computers from WĒPA’s website. The kiosks can also be used by accessing websites such as Google Drive or Dropbox directly at the kiosks.
UNM IT printing pods account for about 1 million pages a year, while printing stations under University Libraries handle about 2 million, according to Allen.
Justin Garcia is a freelance news reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @just516garc.