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Poster Printing

In striving to provide better large format printing for academic support, OIT recently purchased an Epson Stylus Pro 9900.  The new plotter (poster printer) provides accurate color representation while allowing us to monitor printing supplies and cost.  Use of this new plotter is available to faculty and students for conference poster printing and assigned class projects. more...

With the replacement of our old color HP plotter, the decision was made to transfer that plotter to Office Services for paid printing.  Soon departments and students will be able to print banners and posters to advertise their events or for their personal use.  Office Services expects this new lower cost service to be available in a few weeks and plan to make a general announcement at that time.

New Jesup 316 plotter in action

Jesup 316 plotter

Printing Quota

In a previous article, we talked about why Williams decided on a printing quota. In this one, we’ll focus on how it will be implemented.

Student allotment

Free printing per semester:

Underclassmen: $50
Seniors: $75

This is equivalent to 500 (750 for seniors) black-and-white double-sided pages worth of free printing, which according to the data we collected last semester, should meet the needs of 90% of all students with no change in printing habits. more...

At the end of each period (semester, winter study, and summer), any unused portion of the free allotment will be removed, and a new allotment will be credited at the beginning of the next period. Any remaining purchased printing credits will be carried forward each semester during your time at Williams.

Uncollected printouts from Saywer library

Collaboration station in Jesup 316

You can log in to your PaperCut account ( at any time from on-campus to check how much printing you have left.

Running low

If you are getting close to using up your allotment, you will be notified three times by email that you are approaching the end of your print allotment: once when your account credit drops below $10.00 (about 100 double-sided pages remaining), again at $5.00, and finally at $2.50.

If you do not have enough pages in your current allotment for a print job, a pop-up notification will alert you and you will not be able to print it on a networked printer until you add credits to your account.

Buying more printing credits


  1. Log in to your PaperCut account with your username and password.
  2. Click on “Add Credit Online” on the left hand side.
  3. Select an amount from the drop down and click the “Add Value” button.
  4. Fill in the credit information.

Via the Bursar’s Office:

  1. Purchase a $5, $10, $20, $50, or $100 PaperCut redemption card from the Bursar’s Office in Hopkins Hall.
  2. After purchasing the card, login to your PaperCut account.
  3. Choose Redeem Card from the left-hand side menu.
  4. Enter the number on the front of the card and your account will be credited for the value on the card.
Printing for departments & organizations

Student groups and organizations can obtain a shared printing account, or pre-pay for printing credits. Alternatively, a student organization may opt to assign someone to print on their behalf. It is then up to the student to be reimbursed by the organization.

If you have student workers that print on behalf of your department, you should request a departmental account. After it is created, your student workers will be able to select the departmental account when they print. You will receive a weekly report showing the printing activity associated with the account.

To set up an account for your department or organization, email You will be asked to provide a list of students that are allowed to print using the account.

For more information, visit the Printing @ Williams FAQ.

Printing Quotas

We all know that preparing terms papers, reading documents, and scribbling notes are part of the college experience, but with the proliferation of computers, printers and easy access to online documents, we may be using more paper than we really need. In an effort to raise awareness about paper consumption, the college is working toward implementing a paper quota system in the Fall of ’09. more...

The goal is to continue to provide students with the resources they need for classes, but also to add a mechanism that motivates students to cut down on the waste that sometimes happens as a result of unlimited access to printing. Currently students are not charged for paper or printing at any of the campus printers, so there is little motivation to find ways to use less. There are many ways that paper consumption could be reduced: selecting duplex printing, printing only those documents that will be used, reducing the number of flyers printed and finding other ways to advertise events, and editing and reading documents online when possible.

“We want to put an incentive system in place. We don’t want to tell you the best way to cut down on printing because we don’t have the perfect solution. We want people to figure out the solutions that suit them best.”

– Amy Johns, Zilkha Center

OIT has been tracking print jobs through PaperCut since the start of the Fall ’08 term, to evaluate student printing habits. The exact quota has not yet been determined, but is intended to be sufficient to support academic needs in most cases. Students will only be charged for additional paper if they exceed their quota.


Many details are still under discussion, but here are a few that are unlikely to change:

  • Color printouts will cost more than black & white ones.
  • Students will be warned well in advance if their quota is low, and given ample opportunity to purchase more printing credits.
  • Credits will be purchased by students directly, rather than showing up on their term bill.
Quick Facts: in the Fall of ’08…
  • Students printed over 880000 impressions on over 500000 sheets of paper.
  • The 100 most prolific printers (~5% of the student body) did almost a quarter of all the printing.
  • The average student produced 475 impressions on 275 sheets of paper.
  • Seniors printed almost three times as much as first-years.

For more information about the quota, contact Stephanie Boyd, Director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives.

18% of the print jobs at Sawyer are abandoned at public printers. Nick Baker, librarian, shown with the orphans of Fall ’07.