One of the 'fakes' that was found in the labs prior to them providing staplers.

So... you're on campus, desperately searching for a stapler. Where do you go?

Public staplers:

Just a few years ago there were staplers in every computer lab. For a few years staplers were removed from the labs. This annoyed a lot of folks, so much so that part of the Friends Urging Campus Kindness platform in the Winter 2005 ASUCD Election was to bring staplers back to the computer labs. Some of Computer Lab employees had maintained the reason staplers were taken out of the labs was due to the fact they were routinely stolen, resulting in wide-spread misconceptions of what the real problem was (likely due to miscommunication). After talks with the managers of the labs, it was made clear that no staplers had ever been stolen and that the real problem was durability: no matter what kind of stapler they bought (many different types and qualities of staplers were experimented with), the stapler would jam up, break, or otherwise malfunction after a few weeks (or less) usage. Starting in January 2006, a very durable model was found so now staplers are back in the Computer Labs.

The Stapler Liberation Front donned black masks and capes, and donated staplers to several Computer Labs on 4/14/2005. Unfortunately, they were removed soon thereafter.

Senator Rob Roy wrote a bill to provide a stapler for the MU computer lab, as a pilot program for allowing staplers in the labs. The bill was withdrawn, as the Computer Lab Management agreed to pay for the staplers. Electric staplers with an 80-sheet capacity are now present in all Computer Labs, as of December of 2005.


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Has anyone considered an electric stapler? as long as you don't have any students with really small fingers trying to jam their fingers into the gap, these things are rather idiot proof and are made for heavy use. - ArlenAbraham

Yep, those have been tried. -GeorgeLewis

just out of curiosity, what was the problem with the electic ones? mechanical failure, abuse or other? - ArlenAbraham

They break due to heavy use. -Georgelewis

Kinko's uses a shielded electric stapler and I bet it gets a lot of use. Plenty of companies have very demanding stapler needs, so I think this is a problem that can be solved. Are you sure that an electric stapler was tried? As far as I understand it, the labs did not invest very much money into staplers (nothing over a couple hundred). The labs stopped investigating the problem because they felt like they had better things to worry about (and that's likely true).

If an electric stapler breaks because of heavy use, it was a piece of shit to begin with. Electic staplers are industrial strength machines that are built for one purpose, lots and lots of stapling. The stapler i linked above has a five year warranty. The CLM has a three year cycle for most equipment. A good electic stapler will cost about $150-200, but will last for years. - ArlenAbraham

If you could use support from grad students on the stapler issue, please tell me if there's anything I can do. We get really annoyed when people hand in papers with the corners folded, and most of us don't realize its not your fault.CraigBrozinsky

2005-04-25 08:04:51   Well it clearly is the students fault. They should know that we don't have staplers due to the multiple very visible signs that were up for a very long time. Knowing we had no staplers should have motivated them to purchase their own for 2-3 dollars as the book store and they could be able to take it with them everywhere. The people that hand in papers with the corners folded are clearly irresponsible. Now, thanks to the SLF, the problem has been intensified. And there still won't be any staplers. —GeorgeLewis

  • Yeah, you're right George. It's the students' fault. This campus would run so smoothly if it weren't for all the students. —BrentLaabs
  • I don't see why everyone doesnt just carry a stapler in their backpacks. Oh wait, its rather impractical to carry something in your bag that has the ability to shoot projectiles when dropped/kicked/bumped/whatever. Its a bit unusual to allow us to print assignments in computer labs only hand it in only to have pages lost between the computer lab and the TA returning the paper. —AllisonEriksen
    • Agreed, and any stapler worth its salt is too heavy to lug around in a backpack. —CraigBrozinsky
    • Disagreed. I have had the same stapler for way over a year, a small plastic swingline, that has lasted and held up quite well. And Allison, a stapler won't "shoot" out staples, that doesn't really work, trust me I have tried. You all are foolish. I understand the desire for staplers in the labs, but overall it would be doing the students a disservice. -GeorgeLewis

2005-04-25 17:36:25   I'm with George. It's seriously so much easier and cheaper to everyone if you just buy a mini stapler and carry it around. Do you want to wait in line to get your print job, because 10 people are crowding around because 1 guy is trying to staple a 50 page document together, so then it breaks, and then the CRC has to come around, etc. etc. etc. Self-sufficiency is the key here. We're the only campus that gets almost 200 free sheets per quarter. If ASUCD wants to pay for staplers and upkeep and maintenance then fine, do it and do it well. I gave Rob Roy a list of the issues presented by CRCs and by the lab managers. To my knowledge, other than the SLF (which serves to further polarize the issue) nothing's been done. The university can't hand you everything, you have to be able to do some things for yourself. If it's so important to you that you bind your pages, buy a $2 stapler and save the time you're complaining about it and put it towards posting more pages. —DanielMedinaCleghorn

2005-05-18 19:38:52   Looking at the students is the wrong way to approach this... it isn't relevant how many times students don't turn in papers stapled (though the lack of them is probably a primary contributor). I turn in every paper stapled, always, but it ticks me off to no end that one of the greatest universities in the world (or so they claim to be) can't solve an issue as basic as a stapler. If this was a problem with printers, would we be expected to carry around portable printers? —ChristopherPrice

2005-05-19 12:51:12   You can't compare a stapler (which is generally at a price range of $2-3) versus something like a printer which is at least $50. This is why the school provided a computer lab with computers and printers because not everyone can afford them. However, as much as people like to argue that a stapler is considered unaffordable to some, the majority of the people on campus are financially capable of buying one. As a student, I understand how frustrating it can be when you have that paper to print last minute but not find a stapler. But shouldn't that partially be the student's responsibility? You can't put all the blame on the computer labs or on the university. Students are partially responsible for getting their papers done on time and/or providing themselves with an almost daily-used school supply. —JennKwan

* I agree with the comment that people should take responsibility for their own office supplies, and I own at least a couple of staplers myself. However, the debate over staplers in the labs concerns the proper distribution and use of funds already being taken every quarter from students. It's not so much an issue of wanting the university to provide something else for us - it's just a way of saying that, assuming that we already are paying a certain amount of money in student fees, we would like that money to go to something that would benefit most students on this campus, even if it is mainly a convenience. As far as I know, the people trying to return the staplers to the lab just want to re-allocate money that's already being spent on other purposes, or make other aspects of the school run more efficiently, so that the majority of students can get the most out of what they're already having to spend. We, as a group, would like to collectively purchase our own staplers with some of that fee money!

I'd also like to see more electronic submission of papers - I know that on another page some people said that that system didn't work very well, but I had a professor who actually preferred papers to be emailed so that he wouldn't have to carry paper around. Perhaps it could be encouraged, not mandated?


2005-05-23 01:33:10   Sorry, I just can't believe that one of the top-rated universities in the world can't maintain working staplers, but can maintain a campus-wide set of printers. The fact that a personal stapler is a fraction of the cost of a personal printer only compounds that concept for me. —ChristopherPrice

2005-05-23 17:30:41   What's more important to you - being able to print your paper in the first place, or being able to bind it for free? Laser printers are expensive, toner is expensive, paper adds up, it costs money, and stapler maintenance just adds to the cost. If you want to buy an inkjet printer, start with 100 bucks, add 30-45 dollars for ink, buy your own paper, a cable...they're giving all that to you for free. Even buying a stapler every quarter (which is absurd) for the entire time you're in college would save you at least a hundred bucks of the cost of a regular printer. Sack up and buy a $3 office supply - isn't it enough UCD is the only campus that gives you 199 free sheets a quarter? —DanielMedinaCleghorn

2005-05-24 03:18:08   Personally, I did, not that it was an option considering the current state of the matter. However, when you bluntly ask people to "suck it up", you have to evaulate the whole picture of what students are being asked to "suck up", and as someone that has lived on-campus, from personal experience, a Wiki couldn't begin to hold that type of discussion. —ChristopherPrice

  • I say lets try. Start a page or five. See what happens. You'd be surprised how much discussion can happen here. —BrentLaabs

I'd really like to see more staplers in the computer rooms. I used to be one of those people who actually carried around a stapler, one that's nice enough to survive in a backpack. I discovered I didn't really use my stapler all that often, maybe once every other week. Plus it was bulky, even though it wasn't full-sized. And if I needed to take it out in class, someone else needed to use it. And then someone else. And then someone else. It was usually a good five or ten minutes before I got it back. And although staples don't "shoot out", they DO wiggle out, and I've hurt my fingers on loose staples floating around in my backpack. Carrying around a stapler isn't really a viable alternative to just having one when I needed it. —AdrienneMcCarthy

2006-01-06 11:56:36   Almost all computer labs have staplers now. —SimonFung

2006-01-12 10:23:22   Just so you all know, the first electric stapler has broken down. We needed to replace the staple cartridge. That's $30 down the drain —JoeGorndt