Students have felt less swamped by e-mails during the past few weeks compared to last year.
Due to a change by Computing Services over the summer, fewer people and groups are allowed to send notifications to all students on campus with what’s called a zz e-mail. The direct result is emptier inboxes.
According to Harlan Jorgenson, director of computing services, the all-campus and all-student lists are meant to be used for official notices about campus emergencies or downtimes in the network resources such as internet or phone service.
These changes were implemented in response to students feeling overwhelmed and even spammed by the numerous impersonal e-mails they received daily.
Seth Currier, director of service learning, did not find the new policy overly restrictive and felt it makes sense for fewer people to have access to the lists. The change has been noticed by students around campus.
“There have been less of those e-mails to delete,” said junior Abraham Klafter.
Sophomore Erin Anderson was not as pleased with the changes. She saw zz e-mails as a good way to stay informed about what’s happening around campus.
“Whether it’s the theatre department informing the student body of an upcoming play, or Harlan sending a message telling the Northwestern community to keep a fellow student in their prayers, zz-Everyone e-mails keep us connected as a campus,” Anderson said.
Others in the NW community view these e-mails in a more negative light, including Klafter who community view these e-mails in a more negative light, including Klafter who called them “a lazy way to push an event.”
Some students, including new students, see e-mails as something to be sent to individuals or small groups, rather than the entire campus.
“A lot of times the e-mails that come through do not really pertain to me or interest me,” said freshman Erin Mulder.
Klafter suggested that they should only be used for campus life and policy changes on campus, announcements which affect all students. Mulder agreed, feeling that they should be used for items that apply to the entire student body.
Now that there are fewer zz-Everyone e-mails, Currier urged students to take time to read the ones that they do receive.
“They will often contain helpful information from a lot of different people and departments around campus,” Currier said.
For those students who feel that there are still too many e-mails being sent out, there is a simple solution.
“If someone receives an e-mail that doesn’t apply to him or her, the trash folder is just one click away,” Anderson said.