An open letter to those few printing abusers

Earlier this month, Student Technology Services revealed that there are some students who are outrageously abusing the free printing services it offers in Residential Life dorms. The e-mail more specifically indicated that the printing services are being exploited by a mysterious demographic: The top-10 largest printers at Washington University. These 10 people, according to the e-mail, are responsible for 10 percent of the total printing volume. In a school as green-obsessed as ours, this profligacy passes outrage and enters awe. Is this the work of a concerted group, a sort of anti-green coalition? Are they the same 10 every year? What can they be printing? We have no answers to these questions. STS plans to confront these wrongdoers in a weekly e-mail, but we feel they are also due for some more public shaming.

Dear 10 most wasteful printers,

We know who you are.  Though we cannot point you out in a crowd and belittle you for the gluttonous tree eaters you are, (which is what you all deserve) know that your acts do not go unnoticed—not by us, nor by any higher being. We would appeal to your empathy, point out how this community cherishes its printing, but such entreaties would only amuse you. We would exhibit your own selfishness to you if we thought you erred in ignorance.

We would demand your confession if we believed you were capable of regret. But when 10 threaten the resources of 4,000, we realize we are not addressing a conscientious bunch. Merely know that as bookbinding remains a minor at this school, there is no way your printing penchant is anything but criminal. If you are an English major printing out your latest novel-length effort, know that nothing that has happened to you is worthy of such waste. Or if you are a business school student intent on proving the tragedy of the commons, know that this is a stupid way to make your point. And if you are the kind of cheap student who will print out your American history sources rather than pay $11.95 for the paperback, know that your selfish ways are why you have such difficulties making friends.

It is unlikely that you will ever be able to repay the school. Present your penitence to whatever God you know. And hope that your fellow students, whom you have wronged irrevocably, will forgive you.
So please, go easy on the printing.

Student Life Editorial Board

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening as Washington University returns to campus.