Piedmont Weeps over WEPA

By: Fletcher Deal, Staff Writer

Piedmont College recently implemented a new pay-per-page printing system on campus called WEPA, or Wireless Everywhere, Print Anywhere. 

This system has already caused problems for disgruntled students, myself included. 

I feel that Piedmont chose the wrong time to begin nickel and diming its students, and that the school should provide more basic services before charging to print.

Before installing WEPA, Piedmont should have fixed the Internet woes that have plagued this campus since my freshman year. WEPA, as its name implies, uses the school’s Internet in order to print documents, but since Piedmont’s Internet crashes frequently, printing using the service is almost impossible.

A recent article mentioned a number of schools that use WEPA.  Most of these schools also provide their students with on campus health care that is covered in their housing fees, unlike Piedmont who only gives us one free consultation at a location off campus. These schools also offer areas that are open 24 hours for study, general use fields for intramural sports, and up-to-date technology. I feel that Piedmont should have provided these essential services before taking away our free printing.

Another similarity among the schools mentioned in the article is the fact that some of them are state institutions. This means that students going to those schools pay a significantly lower tuition than we do. 

One of the stated reasons for WEPA was a, “coordinated effort to get faculty using Moodle.” Instead of using WEPA, a better solution would be to use a different platform instead of Moodle that is easier to use and could also act as an integrated paperless system, allowing students to check their class work, register for classes, drop or add classes, pay tuition and fees, and more.

Finally, Piedmont should not raise tuition by 4 percent and then charge for printing. That’s just stretching our pockets even more to save the campus a few dollars.

Piedmont made a mistake with WEPA. WEPA is a part of a paperless campus that Piedmont is not yet ready for, and asking students to pay for this service before providing the proper ecosystem for it does not sit well with me, and it doesn’t sit well with the other students I’ve spoken with.