The Classwide Emails Are Not Working

The Classwide Emails Are Not Working

We’ve been getting a lot of emails lately. As of this writing, there have been 54 emails to the 2023 account in November, and they don’t seem to be slowing down. The messages run the gamut from announcements to scolding to invitations to updates, but one common thread links them all—they call into question the efficacy of the current system.

It bears repeating. There have been 54 emails to the 2023 account in November. There have been 54 instances when someone decided every student in the class of 2023 may benefit from some information. Of those 54, there have been only 9 times when I received information causing me to take action in some way. That’s not a great ratio. If someone called your name 6 times and didn’t have relevant information for 5 of them, you’d wonder if there was a better alternative. This is the question we currently ponder.

I should say, the newsletter may bother some who haven’t unsubscribed. Ben and I made a point of ensuring that there is an unsubscribe button, one without which we would stopping sending the newsletter entirely, but that doesn’t help those who don’t opt out yet are bothered by the updates.

The underclassmen wouldn’t remember this, but pre-covid, we had an assembly every week where the day’s information would be disseminated. It wasn’t perfect, but it provided a chance for people to make those same announcements without crowding people’s email. Obviously, we can’t have that anymore. Among more tragic things, covid took away the opportunity to address the entire (if uninterested) student body at once. That’s when the emails really started to pour in.

The consequence of our reliance on classwides is an inbox full of irrelevant information, tiring people of checking their account and distracting them from important messages. The school needs a series of channels that gets a bundle of news to the whole student body. The obvious yet under-utilized solution is the bears bulletin, which continues to make announcements every week from the students page of the portal. The bulletin has always been a welcome source of information, but in reflection, I haven’t been checking it as often lately, and I think that (on a larger scale) is the problem. Voices is attempting to do its part by experimenting with our website’s “breaking news” system, but our work tends to only inspire further classwide emails. “WE NEED TO DO BETTER!!!”

Furthermore, we have to cut down on the amount of classwides we’re sending. Student organizations are a significant share of the classwides we get, and often, they merely repeat information from earlier emails. Instead of hitting our pockets four, fix, or six times that your club is doing something, try to keep to a maximum of two—one for your big announcement, another for a late reminder. (And if you really want to make sure people see it, talk to Ben and I about getting something on the voices.newspaper account.) Some would argue that anything more than one is unnecessary, but the goal isn’t to make our student organizations suffer. Keeping to two offers ensures everyone has seen it multiple times but doesn’t yet enter the realm of egregiousness.

If we want to reduce the number of classwides, we, as a student body, might need to demonstrate our enthusiasm for other options like the bears bulletin. There are some emails that ought to be classwide, and there are some emails that will always be classwide, but student use of the bears bulletin and 2-email limit for events should get us closer to some peace. Mr. Miller can send out a message with the bears bulletin, but this is a school culture thing. If we’re going to buy into announcements as a replacement, it has to be a classwide effort.