In the wake of the first few weeks of the semester, students and faculty have had time to experience the effects of the dramatic shift in printing and computing protocol on campus. The disposal of ResNet labs, the closure of the only 24-hour computing center on campus and the curbing of the free printing quota down to 100 sheets per semester for undergraduate students have proved to stir up one of the most notable campus controversies yet this year. Student Union President James Sappenfield is calling on his constituents within the university student body to voice their complaints, and many students themselves have taken the personal responsibility to write letters of their own to The Daily Free Press editors. Even professors have expressed their distaste with the new protocol because it affects student preparedness and attentiveness.
But as print allocations dwindle and with all of these channels of backlash colliding on the administration’s doorstep, how are they responding? So far, they’ve been issuing simple statements and stock defenses, such as calling the changes a green initiative or blaming the economy. Unfortunately, these weak responses and empty promises of vague compromises are not going to satisfy angry students and faculty for long. Personalized complaints like the ones coming in to the administration and to The Daily Free Press will soon demand personalized responses. After all, what is an administration without its subordinating body? What is Boston University but a collection of clients ‘- students ‘- and its agent, the administration? And how can these two entities exist symbiotically without compromise?
Many speculate that the superficial aspects of the changes made ‘- like a modernized Mugar Memorial Library, faster computers and a nod from environmentalists ‘- are the main aim of the administrations initiative to increase BU’s attractiveness to prospective students and their parents. Those speculators question the university’s priorities ‘- while the existing students at BU have been stripped of a few very precious amenities after exhibiting allegiance to the university by paying its tuition year after year, the prospective students who don’t pay any tuition and may never do so are the ones being catered to. If this is the case, perhaps the administration should put less effort into reorganizing their printing and computing systems, and more effort into trying not to bite the hand that feeds them.