By Ashar Memon, November 21 2018 —
Faculty of Science students at the University of Calgary might soon see a printer installed in the Science Collaborative Space — though after nearly a year of planning and work, it remains unclear when exactly that will happen.
Former Students’ Union science representative Kayla Huggard began looking into the project in February 2018, according to her faculty reports for the Students’ Legislative Council.
During her term, Huggard examined the costs of installing the printer and what rewiring needed to be done in the student space. She didn’t expect the project to be completed in her term, her reports suggested, so the information she collected was added to transition documents for her successors.
Huggard declined to answer questions from the Gauntlet, instead redirecting queries to current science representative Sadiya Nazir. According to Nazir, Huggard contacted U of C IT to set up electrical work for the printer before her term ended and she expected the printer to be ordered soon after.
That’s when things went awry, according to Nazir.
“There was a bit of a miscommunication when the transitioning of the representatives happened,” she said. “We had to look through all the emails and figure out who was involved in this, go to them, talk to them, see what they had done.”
IT responded to the science representatives near the end of summer, confirming that electrical work on the project was completed. The science representatives then worked out the logistics of maintaining supplies for the printer once it was installed.
“We’ve been figuring out how exactly to get the paper,” Nazir said. “We were under the impression that once we had figured out all the logistics of paper and ink […] the faculty would have installed the printer for us.”
But Nazir said that didn’t happen as planned either.
“Everytime we would go to the faculty, and be like, ‘Hey, we’re ready to receive the printer,’ it was kind of like, ‘Oh, hey talk to this person, talk to that person, they were the ones who oversaw it last year,’ ” she said.
After summer ended, the science representatives continued tracking down people involved in the project, many of whom were no longer present on campus, according to Nazir. She added that the project also lacked co-ordination.
“With a lot of these projects, there’s a lot of people involved, and so they do their piece, of course, and they’re very efficient, but then there always has to be that one person who knows where everyone’s at and I think that was missing here,” Nazir said. “It’s a ‘too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen’ situation, because everyone was under the impression that everyone was doing everything else.”
Nazir said that within the last few weeks, the SU representatives were able to get in touch with people still on campus and working on the project. From IT, the science representatives learned that the network port, which is necessary for operating a wireless printer, hadn’t been activated yet.
Since students can’t submit a network request by themselves, the science representatives are now working with faculty and staff to submit a request to get the port activated. Once that’s done, IT will order the printer from Ricoh, the U of C’s printer supplier.
Once the printer is installed, Nazir says that it will be up to the science representatives to routinely check on the printer and make sure it’s supplied with ink and paper. The representatives will also be responsible for ordering paper from the U of C.
Nazir admitted that maintaining the printer will require a lot of work, but will ultimately make the space more useful for students.
“It’s something that students really wanted, so at the end of the day, it’s a small price to pay for students to have access to the resources that they need,” she said.
Nazir added that she didn’t have a clear timeline on when the printer would be fully set up and functioning, but that the science representatives know what they need to do next for the project.
“We’re really pleased that we now have a path forward with all of this and so we’re excited to see the completion of this project hopefully soon,” she said.