Mason printing gets a makeover

Student using one of the copiers at the JC. (Photo credit: Alya Nowilaty)

Student using one of the copiers at the JC. (Photo credit: Alya Nowilaty)



The Johnson Center’s printing system has been revamped to increase printing convenience and security at Mason.


In the past, students were forced to swipe their Mason IDs and select their own print job from dozens of pending jobs, but this new system allows students to link print jobs directly to their own accounts.


This new printer services feature has also updated the old printing system. Students are still able to print by swiping their Mason ID, but the individualized queue will only show the documents saved under their netID (the student’s personalized name for the print job). These individualized print queues restrict other students from being able to print other student documents and increases the security of all student academic and personal documents.


This new printing system also allows students to send print jobs while off-site.


Buz Grover, administrator of camps and programs with Auxiliary Enterprises, said, “Instead of waiting for a machine to open up in a computer lab, you could send your job off to be printed from your mobile device and pick it up from the most convenient Pay for Print machine.”


Canon’s Account Executive, Katie Williams, explained how this new system will help to streamline Mason’s printing process.


“One centralized networked help desk [will provide] customized support and quicker resolution for service issues,” she said via e-mail.

Sophomore Nathan Garner was frustrated with the Johnson Center’s printing system this past academic year, but said he thinks the new system makes more sense.


Several colorful posters surround the Pay for Print stations providing detailed instructions on how to use the new system and how to link your personal computer to Pay for Print locations.


“This seems like a much more pain-free way to print,” Garner said


As part of these system changes, Canon Solutions America is now the official vendor for Mason’s managed print services. Canon will now be responsible for implementing the new system in the Johnson Center, assessing current print environments throughout campus and running Mason’s Copy Center. Canon will also be responsible for maintaining printer technology, eliminating the stress on Mason to replace its aging fleet of printers.


“In short we’ve managed to save money, provide better service, while also receiving usage fees from Canon,” Grover said.


Canon’s new system will also reduce the number of print jobs left abandoned at the printing stations. Under the old system, selecting the wrong document in the communal queue was a common mistake people made. Individual queues will greatly reduce this waste. Canon is also promoting sustainable printing by programming their printers to, by default, print double-sided and black and white.


This printing transition was the result of an 18-month long collaboration between multiple Mason departments. The Managed Print Services RFP committee carefully evaluated several vendor proposals and selected Canon to manage Mason’s print services. According to Grover, this transition has been highly successful, without increasing printing costs for students.
To access Print Services’ new feature, students can register a campus printer to their personal computer through