UCC Mainstream Online

Students warned about GoPrint practices

UCC student, Cheyenne Lange
UCC student, Cheyenne Lange

The GoPrint system in the campus library, which is supposed to help reduce printing costs, has led to an unforeseen issue of student privacy. Students are unknowingly exposing their Social Security numbers, tax and FAFSA information while printing documents containing this information.

“It’s the beginning of the term; students have been printing out financial aid forms and FAFSA. I’ve found multiple papers with Social Security numbers,” lab aide Haley Stammen said.

Several lab aides have found forgotten papers containing students’ personal information. They have also had other students’ print jobs pop up on their printing queue. The aids are careful to delete the miscellaneous print jobs and log out students who have neglected to do so when this happens.

“As lab aides, we give the papers to the library staff and they shred them,” Stammen said.

However, other students who may be in a hurry or do not pay attention to their print jobs may inadvertently print someone else’s document which could contain sensitive information. Students are asked to be aware of this mistake.

 “Students, bless their hearts, have learned that they are supposed to see their print job show up in the GoPrint queue, and it’s not appearing,” David Hutchison, library director, said. “So they hit print again and again and again, and it won’t show up in the queue. Meanwhile each print job goes to the printer so there is even more risk of personal information being printed without even realizing it.”

Network Administrator Kathy Thomason also warns students; “Be careful how many times you hit print especially if it has confidential information. If you do hit print more than once, be sure to find all your print jobs.”

Another problem that has UCC staff baffled is the sending of a document to be released for printing without execution occurring.

The way GoPrint was implemented here could be partly to blame. Currently, UCC has an open printing lab requiring no login to use the print station. Most other higher education institutions require students to log on to the network in order to better control the print system.

Another issue with GoPrint may be technical compatibility. The UCC information technology staff and GoPrint staff expect that the network switch upgrade planned for Jan. 20 will assist with GoPrint technology problems.

Instead of 10/100 megabit channels, a gigabit per channel will be up and running. “We’re using pretty ancient infrastructure and going to the new gigabit switch is going to change the game,” Dan Yoder, IT interim director, said.

In the meantime, Yoder asks students to be patient when printing. “It’s not that there is a breach in the system or that type of thing; it’s just human nature as consumers; we want what we want right now,” Yoder said.