The printer in the Cynic office has been giving me fits lately. I cant seem to string together the correct combination of curse words to make the error light quit flashing. Am I kicking it too gently? Do I need to insult its mother more?
At any rate, the inconvenience recently forced me into Bailey/Howe to fulfill my printing needs, and I was able to experience first-hand the new Cat$cratch-only era.
As a rule, I dont like to pay for printing. There are too many free options available the Allen House, the Business school, the Cynic office, and your roommates printer to make printing in the cramped quarters of Bailey/Howe worthwhile. On this particular occasion, however, I was already late to class and the library was on the way.
For those of you who dont know, the library no longer accepts coins. Or if youre a first-year the library used to accept coins. Instead, printing must be purchased with prepaid cards.
Coupled with the change to prepaid cards is a reduction in cost from 10 cents to 5 cents a page in black and white. The switch was made because the library staff was tired of dealing with mountains of coinage.
I was delighted with the new method. I dont have Cat$cratch because I have a debit card and having both seems dumb. Thankfully, the University provides the option of purchasing a generic CatCard with a dollars worth of printing power, so I could enjoy the low prices without having to obtain a Cat$cratch account.
After sliding my dollar into the slot of the CatCard machine and retrieving the thin piece of plastic it spit back, I was off to the printing station. One swipe of the CatCard later I was the proud owner of three freshly printed pages of Tantric Sex for Beguh, I mean a reading reflection for chapter three of Technical Communication.
The whole process took about a minute. My only complaint is that I am now obligated to return to Bailey/Howe for 85 cents worth of printed pages, or else forfeit that small fortune forever. But honestly, the new policy is a win for everyone. The library staff can stop doubling as accountants, and students are able to print at half the cost of years past.
I still dont advocate Cat$cratch as a whole. I find it silly to open a debit account with the University that can only be used at a small percentage of Burlington establishments. You are tying yourself into spending X amount of dollars at those specific places, where if you just use the debit card from your bank you have complete freedom of choice. And I still think people who consistently pay for printing are suckers.
But for those with a strange attachment to giving UVM all their money or for those with no other option the no change change reduces the cost to students and frees up the library staff. I just hope the library takes the next logical step and allows debit cards, along with Cat$cratch, to be used at printing stations.