I do not care for the new printing system, not one little bit.
Back in my day, you would upload your documents, they would be uploaded (or not, depending on your luck that day), and you’d be on your merry way. This new printing system… it mocks me with its colorful infographics and self-assured demeanor. “You’ve killed .6% of a tree, how does it feel to be a murderer?” it whispers as I struggle to print off my lab manual. “You’ve emitted 431 g of CO2 this month… I take it you’re not a believer in the Paris Agreement?” it taunts, impervious to my tears. So now, on top of how distraught I am to be doing work in the first place AND in addition to the pain of realizing I’ve started printing a color document on a black and white printer, I have to weep for f@cking mother nature.
I hate to break it to whoever made the new printing system, but the number of pages I print pains me just as much as it pains the environment. Do you think I want to be spending my Tuesday night reading and annotating the 300 pages of post-colonial underwater basket weaving history my professor assigned? Do you somehow imagine that I was happy to put off my 20-page term paper, write it all between the hours of 1 and 8 am, scramble to the SciLi at 8:59 am, and then sprint to my 9 a.m. to turn it in — the page still piping hot in my hand? NO.
Look, I’m not saying that I expect to have the extreme luxury of never feeling guilty. I expect to feel guilty when I make eye contact with the professor of my five-person seminar while waiting in line at the Blue Room—knowing full and well I skipped class that day. I expect to feel guilty when my roommate walks in on me watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, eating olives with my fingers, and giggling uncontrollably at Guy Fieri’s entire personhood. And sure, I even expect to feel a pang of guilt when I’m reprimanded for showing up to Thanksgiving dinner in (only) nipple pasties and fishnets. You know when I don’t expect to feel guilty? When I’m trying to print a paper that was assigned to me — a cosmic act completely out of my control.
If Brown wants to tangibly reduce its carbon footprint, it has to go straight to the top. Not to the Brown corporation itself, not to wildly unregulated megacompanies, not to the elected representatives that refuse to change harmful environmental policy — no — Brown must go to the absolute zenith of power. To the professors.
I promise you, if you tell my professor to stop assigning so many papers, everything will be solved! If I wasn’t printing 16 pages a semester for AMST 1900, I assure you that global warming would be fully reversed by 2020. And don’t even get me started on the two pages I print out every semester for (insert STEM class name). Abolishing readings, papers, and lab manuals is the only logical step forward, and if nothing else, I’m glad that the new printing system has paved the way for us, as a University, to come to this revelation.