Editorial: Save students’ time, money with more Pawprints

By Asher Freeman

So it’s the Year of the Bear.

Enrollment numbers are higher than they’ve ever been, Baylor athletics is in the spotlight and campus buildings that haven’t changed in the past 20 years are getting makeovers and retouching left and right. Leave it to the Lariat editorial board to remind you of the little things.

We like to think this is keeping Baylor grounded.

There is a dilemma here at Baylor. Yes, it is one of many, but this one in particular will only get worse the longer it is ignored. Every year shows an increase in student enrollment and the addition of classes to accommodate this rise in numbers. However, the allotted amount of Pawprints per student, which is 400, stays the same.

As part of the Baylor’s print management system, Pawprints are the amount of paper you can print using Baylor printers, such the ones in the Bill Daniels Student Center or Moody Library.

If and when students reach the 400-page mark, they are then charged seven cents per page after that for black-and-white pages and 28 cents for a color page.

Granted, the Pawprints system is a valiant effort made by Baylor to make students’ preparation for class more convenient if they don’t have their own printer. For the students, it saves money and for the school, it saves paper.

Or does it?

Picture this: It’s the beginning of finals week. The library is packed to what seems like maximum capacity. Students are studying on the floor, in corners, in between book stacks and, oh, look, yes they’re studying in the bathrooms. For fun, you should check the roof of Moody Library to see if any students are up there as well whenever you leave.

Anyway, in this scenario, you’re leaving because you’ve run out of Pawprints. Everyone you know has already used theirs up, so you can’t mooch off of them either. On top of that, the Pawprints system is backed up, leaving little chance of you getting your pages even if you were able to print. This same dilemma goes for midterm and end-of-the-year projects that all seem to have the same due dates, or any high-traffic period that results in students ripping their hair out or begging for change as other students pass. But really, who carries change anymore?

We’ve all had that moment in life when you’re peeling a nice, juicy orange. The sharp smell of citrus cuts through the air and as the juice starts to run down your fingers, acute pain calls attention to the fact that you have a paper cut. However, it’s too late to stop eating because 1) this orange is really good and you haven’t had one in a while and 2) you’ve paid for this orange, around $51,000, so it would be completely wasteful, not to mention fiscally horrifying, for you to waste it.

So you keep eating, even though the orange has now turned into a bittersweet experience.

The delicious taste of the fruit wars with the maddening pain of your finger with every bite. Perhaps this is a convoluted analogy, but this same bittersweet feeling is what many students feel throughout the year as they whittle down their Pawprint balances to nothing.

Many students can’t complain, as 400 sheets of paper are more than enough for those whose classes don’t require that much. But over half of the pre-med students would beg to differ as they desperately beg from strangers so they can finish printing out that 30-page slideshow they’re going to be tested on.

Long story short, Baylor, we want more Pawprints, or at least the preliminary option to apply for more if students know beforehand they will need more than 400 pages.