The Revenue and Spending Committee at John Carroll University has adopted a new goal of going “paperless” on campus. The goal of this initiative is to reduce unnecessary spending at JCU, while simultaneously pursuing a more eco-friendly campus. A member of the committee suggested to embrace a stronger technological presence on campus by investing in 2-in-1 laptops, digital versions of textbooks and electronic notes for class.
This initiative is laudable for its proactive stance on being eco-friendly and cost effective. However, it makes an unnecessary jump to new initiatives without addressing how poorly current campus initiatives are implemented and executed.
One example is JCU’s recycling efforts. This ongoing recycling program has been ill-advertised and poorly conducted. Recycling bins are continually misused, containing unrecyclable trash and other such debris. When recycling bins are misused, the entire bin’s contents go to waste and cannot be recycled. More emphasis and efforts should be allotted to rectify this problem before any new program is implemented.
Additionally, this “paperless” campaign may not be as cost and energy efficient as perceived. Some students do not own personal computers or tablets. Instead, they rely on notebooks and paper handouts for class. These methods are without a doubt less costly than purchasing and maintaining a laptop.
The Revenue and Spending Committee’s goal of reducing waste and going “paperless” certainly emphasizes the importance of addressing environmental impact issues. However, given the significant initial costs associated with new laptops for class and note taking, it is unreasonable to assign that responsibility to students without first exploring alternatives.
Simply put, much more can be gained through properly implementing pre-existing projects on campus as opposed to introducing entirely new programs. The ideas of the committee are inspiring, but its follow through should be equally as effective.