Senior Suggestions: Return to sender: Student inboxes are full

rena_WEBEvery Wednesday and Thursday, I have to silence my phone. Not put on vibrate — silence. Otherwise, my phone would be buzzing and beeping through classes and meetings.

And this is no group chat gone haywire. It’s the flooding of emails from Rider University. My inbox has 47 new notifications and maybe three of them pertain to me and my interests. Out of the 12 emails I received yesterday, only three directly affected me. One was from a professor, and the other two were about club meetings. That’s only 25 percent.

Why do we get so many emails?

Don’t get me wrong. Email is a great way to find out what’s going on around campus, especially when there is construction work, roadblocks, health center promotions or inclement weather cancellations. Plus, sometimes I learn about new clubs or events through them. But the emails I don’t find interesting or have nothing to do with me far outweigh the ones that do. It’s like the promotion emails I get from stores I haven’t been to in years and unsubscribed from keep coming back to haunt my inbox.

Jasmine Moore, a senior English major, sympathizes with me.

“I can’t find the important emails from professors about assignments or class meetings,” she said. “It’s really frustrating to dig through all these emails to find the ones that really matter.”

I receive many career or internship opportunity emails I do not qualify for, and ones I can find by logging onto Handshake. I prefer to log onto a website to look for opportunities rather than having them sent directly to me. I think we can all appreciate that there are people here at Rider trying to help us find these opportunities. However, I still think that we have more control in the opportunities we want if we look for them ourselves.

Also, I’m the type of person who keeps her inbox clean, so I can find the important emails. I don’t like having too many useless emails taking up space. It’s like a cluttered desk to me. Why is all this stuff here? I waste so much time just browsing through emails to check their relevance and deleting all the ones that aren’t.

Could there be a way to filter these emails? Is there maybe a survey students can fill out yearly to check off what clubs they are involved in, what opportunities they are looking for, and their year and major? Other information about events like new classes, events, or speakers outside my major and interests can be found on the events calendar or on the Rider website; they do not need to be emailed to me.

I just want my phone to be quieter. Each buzz is another distr action, and I don’t need distractions that don’t benefit me. I have enough noise in my life. But if I turn off the email notifications on my phone, I might miss something from a professor or group I am a part of. There has to be a more effective way to reach out to students about what is going on around Rider.

—Rena Carman 

Senior communication studies major


Printed in the 10/19/16 issue.

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