The Triangle - The Independent Student Newspaper at Drexel University

Mass emails at Drexel: Less is more

In the wake of the tragic Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there has been an implicit expectation for principals, superintendents and college presidents across the country to issue statements that reassure their respective school communities of how safe they are. Drexel President John A. Fry did just that in a Jan. 15 email to the Drexel community. However, his remarks went beyond the standard boilerplate language of “We sympathize with the victims; we have all these security measures in place and will review our policies in light of this tragedy, etc.” He reminded us that Drexel is a national leader in violence prevention with regard to both our high-ranking Public Safety department and our faculty’s extensive insight into the causes of violent crime, which has served as a reliable source for the media on multiple occasions in the past five weeks.

Unfortunately, many students may have missed this particular email from Fry. Inboxes are too often flooded with campus event announcements, college newsletters, traffic advisories and criminal activity, not to mention messages from different student organizations. Add emails from professors and personal emails on top of those, and it’s hard to keep track.

We, as the Editorial Board, think it would be better if Drexel allowed students to unsubscribe — or manually opt-in to subscriptions for that matter — from the majority of University emails. At a bare minimum, send students a consolidated digest of the less important announcements and newsletters. Because we’re often dealing with email overload, most students are probably ignoring emails that actually contain relevant information.

For example, Fry announced the creation of “Drexel Central” Jan. 17, which will essentially be a one-stop shop for typical student questions. Many have experienced frustration at one point or another as they attempt to solve financial aid problems or figure out the details of scholarships. Because students often complain about their experiences in bouncing between the Financial Aid and Bursar’s offices and back again, this is one email that they wouldn’t want to miss. But because our inboxes are usually full to bursting, how many students will see this major change and appreciate it?

When students receive seven to 10 emails per day from the University administration and other Drexel departments, they are less likely to read them. It’s our job to know and follow the news because we work for the independent student newspaper, but oftentimes even we don’t read them all. It would be nice to get less emails and be able to subscribe to the news that matters most to us.  We understand that there are legitimate reasons why we can’t unsubscribe from Drexel Official Mail and the official listservs for our respective colleges and majors, but for other lists like Drexel Announcement Mail and IRT Technology Update, we’d appreciate if students weren’t automatically subscribed to them upon enrollment at Drexel.