Student-run business makes its imprint on campus

April 27, 2016 By Jackie Bannon
Photo: Screen printed t-shirts in front of Bascom Hall

StudentPrint holds a t-shirt hang on Bascom Hill every fall. The student-run business works with hundreds of student organizations to create customized posters, buttons, key chains, bottle openers and postcards, in addition to dozens of course readers each semester.

In a workshop at 333 East Campus Mall, surrounded by four trusty printers and dozens of types of paper, 21 student employees work behind the counter to sustain an entirely student-run business: StudentPrint.

These students have mastered the foreign language of paper weights and can solve any paper jam, but their roles extend beyond printing duties. StudentPrint promotes community at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and enables employees to zero in on their professional goals.

“I’ve always been the kid who is worried about being ahead of the game,” freshman employee Brady Sheridan says. “Being hired as an IT specialist at SP has allowed me to put my skill set to work in a practical, real-world sense right from the get-go.”

Employees work on committees within the business, including sustainability, design, finance, tech, marketing and human resources teams. StudentPrint provides employees with professional skills by mimicking a real business setting with a creative twist.

Across diverse teams, StudentPrint employees share a mission: to actively promote the UW–Madison community.

Across diverse teams, StudentPrint employees share a mission: to actively promote the UW–Madison community.

The sustainability team tracks waste in the “box of shame,” where employees solemnly discard wasted paper. The design team creates everything from bus passes to wedding invitations. The finance team manages the complex, ever-changing budget. The marketing team plans campaigns and events, such as the renowned StudentPrint t-shirt hang on Bascom Hill every fall.

Across these diverse teams, employees share a mission: to actively promote the UW–Madison community.

StudentPrint works with hundreds of student organizations to create customized posters, buttons, key chains, bottle openers and postcards. The business prints and sells dozens of course readers each semester, and it helps jump-start students’ professional endeavors by printing business cards and resumes on specialty paper.

Because it is a nonprofit, all these services come at the lowest price possible. Recently, the Badger Herald recognized StudentPrint as one of the university’s best student services.

The employees firmly believe in the benefits of the organization.

“This position will serve as an amazing foundation, even a springboard, for the aspirations I have over my next six semesters,” says Sheridan.