Today: Feb 29, 2024

Southern email should not be on my spam list

Students complain that Southern’s Owls mail notices are for advertisements rather than notification for class openings.

Christian Carrion, Special To Southern News:
In May of last year, an iPhone app called “Your Table Is Ready” was released on Apple’s App Store. This free app allows owners of busy restaurants to forego the purchase of an expensive pager system and instead, automatically send text messages to waiting customers to inform them that, well, their table is ready. Apparently, the idea behind this app (and many others like it) is to provide paying customers with a faster and more efficient way to be served; After all, who likes to be forgotten in the crowd of customers at a popular restaurant during the dinner rush? And besides, a personal text to a prospective customer is a welcoming gesture—a nice touch that tells the patron “Your money is good here. We want you to come and be served by us.”
We live in an age where technology can make things like the ability to send instant notifications via text message or email accessible to everyone, from restaurateurs to meteorologists. In more serious applications of said technology, entire cities can be warned of impending natural disasters and promptly evacuate. Students in schools all over the country can be warned of dangerous situations on their campuses and informed as to the proper way to protect themselves and their classmates.
So, then, with all these technological advances readily available to a large school like Southern, why is it that I can check my inbox and see what’s on sale at the bookstore every two days without fail, but I can’t get a simple email notification when a spot opens up in one of my required classes for next semester?
I understand that our bookstore falls under the ownership of Barnes and Noble, and the school possibly (and probably) benefits from some of the revenue generated from these ads. However, the sheer amount of crap in my email I have to wade through, especially during finals season, is ridiculous. Day after day, my inbox is the target of ads for products I have no interest in. If I bought Reese’s peanut butter cups every time I received an email advertisement about them on behalf of the school, my diabetes specialist would have punched me in the face.
I expect that a school email account that students were required to create be primarily used to notify us of things that have an impact on our education and, ultimately, our ability to graduate. I’m paying thousands of dollars in tuition—I shouldn’t have to check Banner Web every day for months just to get a seat in Spanish 101, which I need to take if I want my degree in journalism. If I can look in my inbox and see what Conn. Hall is serving for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day, then I should be able to wake up one day to an email that says, “Good news—a spot has recently opened in SPA 101-03. The CRN number is 16353. Click here to sign in to Banner Web and register for this class.”
To whoever is in charge of email distribution at our school: The point of college is to help us further our education and, hopefully, leave with some sort of degree. If there was a degree program for buying candy and rolled-up T-shirts, then I would understand. But there isn’t. What we need is help reaching our goals. That’s what we pay for. Our school email accounts can be used for so much more than what they are being used for now. In much the same way a courtesy text from a restaurant makes a customer feel welcome, so would courtesy notifications regarding registration make me feel more welcome as a student. I would like for Southern to tell me my tuition money is good for something here.
Instead of giving us advertisements and spam, give us some help on our path to graduation. We could definitely use it.

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