Sinclair: English majors need more printing credits

Isaac Sinclair

English majors print a lot of paper. It comes with the territory, and that doesn’t surprise anyone.

But what is surprising is that English majors at Iowa State only receive 500 printing credits per semester. That sounds like a lot, but each page costs 5 credits to print. That means English majors only get 100 pages a semester to print.

Now, 100 pages might seem like plenty of pages, but it is actually not even close to enough. It’s obvious to everyone except the university that English majors need more printing credits than other majors. English coursework leans heavily on reading and writing, which means more paper copies of everything and more printing.

English majors have much more to print, especially if they are in creative writing classes that require them to print their work on an almost weekly basis or if their class requires paper copies of each assignment.

At the moment, English majors are limited in their options to print once they hit that 500 credit ceiling. Some have engineering friends that have extra credits they aren’t ever going to use, so they can borrow some from them.

Others are forced to go out and spend their money at copy and print centers, but they shouldn’t have to. Students shouldn’t have to spend their own money to complete their assignments. That is just unreasonable.

You wouldn’t make a design student go rent their own studio to complete their projects, and you wouldn’t make a genetics major go buy their own microscope to complete their assignments, so why are we expecting English students to just roll over and pay for their own printing credits?

What continues to confuse me is that Engineering majors get 4,000 printing credits per semester. I’m not saying that they don’t need them, it depends on the student, but if engineers can get 4,000 printing credits, why can’t English majors get more?

I am not demanding 4,000 credits, although that would be fantastic. All I am asking for is 1,500 to 2,000 credits per semester. This would allow students to print conveniently on campus, save their money and easily complete assignments that need to be printed.

Some may say that printing doesn’t cost that much so why are English majors complaining? I would point out that if it doesn’t cost that much, then it shouldn’t be difficult for the university to provide those services to students. It also makes things harder when a student has to go off campus to print something, wasting their time and money bouncing around town to print a five page assignment.

English majors aren’t asking for much. All we want is the ability to print what we need to for our classes on campus without spending our own money. This is a service the university should provide to us because they are making us print all these pages for assignments in class.

The least they could do is help us complete them.