E-mail Overflow

by Victoria Jones

Complaints from students and faculty alike have led the Student Government Association (SGA) to finally do something about overflowing e-mail inboxes.

SGA has been working hard to create a solution to Simpson’s e-mail woes of receiving a large number of e-mails each day with many having no relevance to the recipient.

“Everyone is annoyed with it,” sophomore Dennis Halverson said. “You get stuff that has nothing to do with you.” 

This annoyance has led to the deletion of e-mails without being opened or read, and it is not just students who delete e-mails. The faculty and staff at Simpson are equally as guilty.

Rich Ramos, assistant dean of students, is on nearly every e-mail list Simpson has and he confesses that he often deletes those e-mails as well.

“On that list that comes in every morning or every afternoon, once they’re approved, I just go delete, delete, delete, delete,” Ramos said.

The technology committee has been working with Information Services toward possible solutions such as a daily digest. This would be a single e-mail sent each day listing that day’s activities offered instead of a separate e-mail for each activity.

The big question is whether students will take the time to look through daily digests.

Sophomore class senator Ryan Lane, co-chair of the SGA technology committee, has a realistic view of what will likely happen.

“Students that don’t want to read it are going to delete it like they do now, but the students who do will open it up and read it,” Lane said.

Even with the daily digest there will still be separate faculty and staff e-mails sent out, like changes in parking or other announcements that need to get out to entire student body.

On top of the daily digest, groups are encouraged to create list serves that limit whom e-mails are sent to. Anyone can create a list serve in his or her e-mail account.

The final option is a bigger push for groups to use Simplicity, a site for groups and organizations.

“We’re trying to get more student organizations to use the student groups in the Simplicity program because that essentially has a built-in communications process for clubs and organizations where they can communicate directly with their members,” Ramos said. “It doesn’t have to be an all-campus e-mail for a very select sort of group.”

Simplicity is in its second year at Simpson, and all groups are required to use it.

“Groups and organizations already have to make a group on Simplicity if they want funding from SGA,” junior Tyson Wirtz, student body vice president, said.

Simpson is halfway through the first semester, and groups are still trying to recruit members via e-mail weekly.

“There does need to be a recruiting period that groups can send e-mails to the whole campus to get students involved in their groups,” Ramos said. “To me, that’s a three or four week window at the start of each semester and once we get beyond that it doesn’t need to go out to the whole campus.”

No mention has been made of a policy requiring groups to use Simplicity or list serves instead of e-mailing everyone, but Ramos thinks it should be considered.

“There’s a part of me that says there needs to be a policy of that,” Ramos said. “Otherwise people aren’t ever going to be forced into using whatever resources they have and students inboxes will keep piling up.”