Changes to student printing allowances

In an effort to encourage sustainable decision-making on campus, Lawrence University has implemented a yearly print allowance. Vice President for Student Life Christopher Card sent out an email to students on behalf of the Sustainability Steering Committee on Monday, Sept. 9.

In his email, Card explained that the changes to student printing procedures were made to reduce waste and encourage sustainable practices. Over the past year, Lawrence University spent over $20,000 on office paper according to Card. 

The new print allowance limits each student to $300 worth of printing per year, which equates to 2,000 single-sided black and white images. Historically, the majority of Lawrence students do not come near this new limit. The allotment was set in order to find an amount that would allow the majority of students to be able to comfortably print materials needed for class while also limiting excessive printing. 

The allotment is not an additional charge to students, but rather “an equal allotment provided to each student by the university,” according to Card’s email. This allowance does accommodate photocopies as well as color printing. Each single-sided black and white image costs 15 cents and 30 cents for double-sided black and white images. Single-sided color images are 40 cents, and double-sided color images cost 80 cents.

Once a student has used their printing allowance, charges can be applied to Viking Gold. There is no way to add money to a student’s print allowance other than by simply paying the printing fees through a different method.

In addition to individual students being limited, departments and organizations are also being monitored. Individual departments are now in charge of managing their own printing budgets rather than having a print budget that applies to the whole campus. 

Student organizations will each receive a print allowance of $100 at the start of the academic year. At the end of the academic year, the organization will then be charged for all of the printing it completed throughout the year. 

The Student Welfare Committee of Lawrence University Community Council (LUCC) and the Sustainability Steering Committee collaborated on this policy. The Student Welfare Committee received the proposal during spring of last year, allowing time for questions and concerns before implementation.

The Sustainability Steering Committee seeks “to instill a culture of sustainable long-range planning throughout the university by promoting sustainability in planning, development and operation of the campus environment and facilities.” These efforts can be seen in the change to student printing procedures as well as elimination of paper in other places, such as programs for Convocation.

The best method for checking the balance of your print allowance is to login to