If there’s one thing they left out of the Bates tour, it’s the unreliable, bordering on malevolent, nature of the school printers. Despite the convenience of needing only your I.D. card to print anywhere, you’ll go to three or four printers sometimes before finding one that works.
Between crippling malfunctions and tedious lines, it’s a game of chance as to whether you’ll be able to print on time. Here is a comprehensive ranking—from best to worst—of Bates printers, for the next time you have five minutes to print ten pages.
1: Roger Williams, Room 105
Located in the computer lab on the first floor of the language building, this printer rarely has long waits and often works properly. The building’s location next to Commons makes it easily accessible for those going from a meal to class, and you don’t need to walk up any stairs to get to the printer. If you need something printed, and you need it fast, Roger Williams is the undeniable GOAT.
2: Pettengill Hall, Rooms 227 and 329
The fact that P-Gill has two printers, one on the second-floor computer lab and one on the third, doubles the chances that you’ll find one working. Still, the printers are occasionally unreliable (last week it printed my essay horizontally), and consistently have a wait, especially during the busy times of the school day.
If you print in P-Gill, you also run the risk of walking up several flights of stairs only to find class in session, blocking you from the printer. All and all, if you need something printed, P-Gill is a good place to go, especially if your cardio is on point.
3: Hedge Hall, Room G18
The printer on the ground floor of Hedge usually works. I’ll give it like an 80 percent reliability rating. Like the printers at P-Gill, the one at Hedge has a central location on campus, but unlike the P-Gill printers, does not require you to hike up a flight of stairs or wait an inordinately long time. To get that mid-term in on time, this is a good printer to hedge your bets on.
4: Ladd Library
From first years to seniors, NARPs to athletes, people who sit upstairs at commons, to people who sit downstairs at commons: all Bobcats know the struggle of printing in Ladd Library. It’s convenient, sure, but its printers are some of the least likely to be working on campus.
It’s impressive for Ladd to earn this distinction considering that fact that a) it’s the school library, so the printers should probably work more than fifteen percent of the time, and b) there are like five printers, somehow all of which are either broken, “out of use” (which really just means broken), or at the end of a line filled with seniors printing their thesis and first years printing their FYS readings.
Printing at Ladd is necessary at times, but it should never be a first choice. Still, there are four black and white printers, one color printer, and the Help Desk located directly adjacent, so eventually you’ll probably get something print.
5: Coram Library
You’re not going to use this printer even if every other printer is broken. You didn’t even know Coram had a printer until you saw this, and you’ll probably forget after immediately after reading it. But it’s got a reliable color printer, so I guess if you want to be the first Bates student in a decade to go into Coram, go for it.
6: Pettigrew Hall, Room 121
Another hidden gem of printing, P-Grew has a black and white printer, referred to by Osceola Heard ’22, a Bates student who works in the building, as “adequate.” According to Heard, “it just takes a really long time.”
But P-Grew is out of the way for most students, so there’s rarely a wait to use the printer. If you have the time and will power to walk to P-Grew, you’ll find a reliable printer that can eventually get the job done.
Printing at Commons is a joke. I’m not even sure if the machine can be referred to as a working printer, as something should operate over five percent of the time to be considered working. The printer is always broken, and when it isn’t, there’s a long line.
This printer can’t be relied on and shouldn’t be considered a viable option at any time of the day, but if you feel nostalgic for the days of broken VHS tapes and giant cell phones that gave you cancer, you can try to print at Commons to regain that feeling of technological ineptness.
8: Frye Street Union
FSU’s printer is reliable, but it’s really only used by people who live in or near the house. While it will work more than Commons or Ladd Library printers, it’s so far out of the way that it’s unusable to most of the student body, and for that reason ranks last.