SVSU students sounded off on the Facebook group “SVSU We’re Boss” about how much money was funneled into the business college, while art students didn’t have access to working printers.
Shortly after the post went up, IT approved the purchase of new printers for the art department. Art Department Chairman Hideki Kihata said the printers were not purchased sooner because “there were reasons for delay that (he was) not certain about.”
Larry Emmons, the director of Technology and Support Services, said any delay was due to a review of the situation.
“The replacement printers are very expensive, and before ordering new printers, due diligence on a valid replacement was performed,” Emmons said. “Once a valid replacement was found, ITS and the art department faculty needed time to review that the replacement would meet the needs of the students.”
Emmons also mentioned that a formal request for new printers was not received by ITS. Rather, Manager of Technical Services Mike Holliday noticed a trend in service requests from the art department.
“There have been discussions between ITS and the art department for a couple of years on the possibility of replacing the printers,” Emmons said. “Until the recent uptick in paper jams, there was not an urgency placed on the discussions.”
Zachary Sklener, a graphic design senior, said he and other art students felt like there was no rush on the situation.
“As far as printers, the art department at SVSU has always felt like a separate university,” he said. “There aren’t any printers in Arbury that allow you to release your prints when using web print. A majority of up
per-level design students use their own computer in class, and without (print release), students aren’t able to print.”
Sklener said the available printers were older models that no longer work properly.
“I have rarely been able to proof on a color printer in my classes,” he said. “When I asked the professor, I was told that it was being repaired. I never saw it working.”
Graphic design students in particular need high quality printers for proofing their work. Without being able to print, students are unable to see if their designs are effective. In Sklener’s ART 450 class, students create portfolios. Sklener explained that finalizing portfolios was difficult and inefficient due to the printer problems.
“We were forced to use the large format plotter instead of the color laser jet because it wasn’t working,” he said. “Most of our portfolios were tabloid size or smaller and could’ve easily been proofed on the color laser jet, which is a much cheaper and high-quality solution.”
Sklener and other art students were still uncertain of the situation.
“I have not heard about the art department getting new printers, but I’m glad that it is happening,” he said.