Ryan Flynn –
By now you have probably seen the giant monitors spread out in buildings across campus displaying campus events and campus announcements that normally would go to your e-mail inbox.
At the end of last semester, Student Senate began looking at capital improvements on campus that would benefit the student body. One of the seemingly biggest complaints from students was the plethora of campus announcements invading their inboxes day after day. IT’s Manager of User Services, Sherry Turpin, who usually handles the campus announcement emails, recognized that “most students do not read campus announcements on a regular basis.”
To solve this issue, Student Senate, under the direction of Student Body President Jovanny Nava, voted to invest in three monitors at the total sum of $5,000. The three monitors encouraged some departments and IT to purchase extra monitors.
However, with campus announcements still making the bulk of students’ inboxes, the question that should be asked a year later is “Were the monitors worth the investment?”
Nava outlines the issue students are having by saying “I think there are still many clubs and organizations on campus that don’t know the process by which to submit their announcements in order to be displayed.” Many of the announcements that are still being sent via e-mail are about club meetings and bulking up membership.
Another concern that many have had is whether or not students actually read the monitors. Nava believes some students are weary and that relying on campus announcements via e-mail is simply outdated and therefore should not be relied upon going further. It is common knowledge that most students just delete e-mails marked as “campus announcement” or have them automatically sent to their spam folder. Sherry Turpin agreed that the monitors were being underused, saying she had “seen no decrease” in campus announcements this year. In an attempt to reduce campus announcements, IT also plans to start emailing a digest each day of campus announcements, that way we only have one email, instead of twenty-five. This started March 27. Although we have this new digest coming out, what are we to do with the monitors?
Going forward, Nava believes “we have to be smarter about using this new resource.” This will come through good Student Senate-led awareness about how to utilize the monitors for club announcements. Due to Student Senate’s recent popularity spike among the student body due to a certain book fee, this awareness should be met with positive publicity.
In the future, Nava stated that “Student Senate is looking into adding more monitors to the current supply.” The Student Senate recently voted down a resolution to buy three more monitors because many believed that it costed too much money. There is also another idea floating around IT that Sherry Turpin outlined: “We are hoping to purchase a mobile application for IC which would include a type of bulletin board to be updated daily in lieu of email announcements.” Until then, here are directions on how to get your club or organization more integrated into this new campus announcement monitor system:
Step 1: Open Connect2 and click on the “Students” tab
Step 2: Under Students, click on “Handouts, forms, and requests”
Step 3: Fill out the form with your event information
Once you have completed these steps, you are good to go. Along with considering more monitors, Student Senate is also looking into other alternatives for campus announcements, such as an online newsletter, or programming them into Connect2. If you have ideas on any other issues, please contact them at AskSenate@mail.ic.edu
Ryan Flynn, from Jacksonville, Illinois, is a senior history major at Illinois College. Ryan is Opinions Editor for The Rambler, TRiO Social Committee President, and Class Chair for the Class of 2015.