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Old 01-29-2008, 05:08 PM
Jennifer A. Jaworski
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Unhappy EMAIL announcements, events, auditions, etc

This happened last semester as well...
This is mainly for students running clubs and activities, although i have seen departmental email with the same problem.

I would love to join a club, or audition for a show...but...
Why do people insist on sending out "to all student" emails the day before a meeting or event when you know it will stay in queue and not go out until 4am-ish the next morning? I for one do not check this email until I get home from classes. I'm lucky i can remember how to brush my teeth at 8 am never mind comprehend words. It's a royal PIA when there's an audition or a club activity being held on the day you get the email and by that time commuter students are already home - hours at work could have even been changed in order to participate. It's a 40 min ride for me. Don't you want commuters to be involved? Actually, it makes me think you guys don't have it together. Get with it!
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:36 PM
Victoria L. Frederick
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In my experience the emails sent out the day before and the day of are meant as last minute reminders. I often send them out as my final advertising efforts, not my first. Also I believe that last semester student activities was planning to create an all inclusive events calendar, I haven't heard anything since, but that would certainly help out commuters.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:37 AM
Jennifer A. Jaworski
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I guess the email about auditions for Little Shop of Horrors actually had a prior notification before the 29th on campus?? Funny, I never saw it and I go through all my email and try to keep an eye out on campus. That is something I wouldn't have missed. Besides, the semester just started...Flyers AND the email on Monday would have helped.

Oh, case in point... I decided to check email early this morning this time...Andrew Kennedy in the first space night of the year...tonight...no prior notification to that. Seems like events were decided on/approved at the last minute.

Granted not everyone does this. The singing opportunities email came yesterday for auditions tonight. May just go to that since I knew 24 hours ahead of time.

I'm not saying make it a first advertising source...maybe a second so we can have 24 to 48 hours notice -- which means you would need to email it 2 days beforehand to give 1 day. Then if you want still send out the reminder. Not everyone can drop what they are doing. I'm sure at least a few of the on-campus students may feel the same way.

Last edited by Jennifer A. Jaworski : 01-31-2008 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 02-25-2008, 03:29 PM
Robin E. Markle
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The campus-wide e-mail policy for this year prohibits you from sending more than one announcement for an event, unless you can find a creative way around it.

I actually have the opposite problem - I need to see e-mails about events the day OF the event or I won't remember about it. Honestly I think that's the way most of the campus is, I always send things out so they will arrive in inboxes the day of the event.

I think most groups do flyer prior to sending out an e-mail. I tend to read flyers and I usually know about things in advance even if a e-mail isn't sent out.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:20 PM
E. Axel Larsson's Avatar
E. Axel Larsson E. Axel Larsson is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Madison, NJ
Posts: 303

So... a few things about this..

We are currently sending upwards of 20+ emails a night to student accounts. The one-message-per-event policy has been an official policy forever, but it may not have been enforced to the same degree in the past. We are seeing a huge pattern of immediate deletion on these messages.

Right now, there are a myriad of places where people can post things--the Drew Online Community Calendar, the Community Forums, Campus-Wide mail, Facebook, and clubs/organizations can have web pages, but all of these have their various limitations. Recognizing that the current situation is less than optimal, there are some efforts underway to examine our options.

Prof. Bradshaw in Computer Science has taken an interest in this problem, and students in his CSCI 10 (Human Interaction with Technology and Information) class are currently conducting an information needs assessment for Drew. They are looking at everything from usage patterns of Drew web sites, fliers and printed materials, campus-wide mail, and social sites like Facebook. They will be doing some surveys, looking at usage information, and will be working with CNS, University Relations/Communications, Student Life, etc.

The hope is that this research will generate some good ideas for a service that can be launched for students. With luck, this will lead to a student project over the summer that will create one concrete application that we will be able to launch for students next fall.

We're not quite sure where the research will lead or what type of application will be built this summer. I will guess that it will probably involve social networking and will probably try to pull together some existing services we are offering (community forums, university calendar, personal groupwise calendars, drew start page, moodle) in some interesting ways... The possibilities are currently wide open and student input is going to help drive the process at every step of the way...
E. Axel Larsson
Systems Architect and Director of the Enterprise Technology Center

Last edited by E. Axel Larsson : 02-26-2008 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 04-14-2008, 02:58 PM
Jennifer A. Heise Jennifer A. Heise is offline
Junior Drewid
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 108
Default Suggestion

At a previous school where I worked, they adapted their system of sending updates so that all campus-wide emails were combined into one message, with a table of contents at the front. I'm not sure how they managed this-- I don't think it was completely manually. A listserv software's Digest function does this automatically, and that may have been what was used.
Sending out a single message (or, perhaps, up to 4 messages) per night with a Digest of announcements *might* be a way around the load, depending on whether the load issue is the number of separate messages (headers, etc) or just the size of the messages themselves. I suspect a digest takes up less room/bandwidth than the separate messages.

For the record, I think that we should be able to send out 2 messages, one an announcement and one a reminder; but if you can't do both, I'd rather see the campus-wide message be an announcement well ahead of time.
--Jennifer Heise
"Comment is free, but facts are on expenses." - Tom Stoppard
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:26 AM
Kathleen M. Vazzana
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Default Little Shop

The Little Shop Auditions e-mails were sent out in December (previous to break), the as soon as the spring semester began, and a reminder e-mail the day of. There were also flyers.
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:26 PM
Ethan G. Marsh Ethan G. Marsh is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 28

I'm not sure if the restriction on how many e-mails can go out for one event is intended to reduce the load on the system, or simply to reduce clutter in people's inboxes. I imagine there is plenty of bandwidth on campus to send out tons of e-mails. What we're running out of is patience. Waking up and seeing 15 new e-mails, 14 of which you couldn't care less about is just plain obnoxious, and I can't really fault people for simply deleting them all without reading carefully.

Still, I think the suggestion of combining the overnight e-mails into one "newsletter" style message with a table of contents is a good idea. I don't imagine it would affect bandwidth much, but it would reduce clutter a great deal.

For that matter, perhaps the nightly e-mails should go away all together, and be replaced with a weekly or every other day sort of activities newsletter, kind of like the "things to do this weekend" e-mail that goes out every week. It would be more effective probably becauase it would be much easier to look up dates and times in a single e-mail, as opposed to trying to find that one e-mail you seem to recall getting a few days ago about something that sounded vaguely interesting going on in the Space tonight.
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