Senate passes Email Reduction Act

By Robert Creenan
News Reporter

Canisius students are usually one of two types: those who never check the emails they get and have an inbox that numbers in the thousands or those who click through their emails religiously. Either way, students receive an abundance of emails every day. However, by next semester, you can expect those email numbers to go down thanks to a new project Senate is working on.

The project is spearheaded by Senators Sean Wagner and Joe Lesh, the USA ITS liaisons. The idea itself has was brought up early in the semester and Wagner and Lesh have been running with this idea over the past month and a half. That eventually turned into the Email Reduction Act, which Senate passed on Tuesday, March 22.

The hope is this act will reduce the likes of emails that give minimal information, yet clog up inboxes on a daily basis. The act in it’s current form will regulate club leaders as they will have two emails that they can send out to all undergraduates every semester. Usually, those emails are an introduction for the benefit of freshman and for one big event.

There are provisions in this act which allow for more club emails if needed. Any requests more more will have to be granted by the Vice President of Student Organizations and Student Life. Larger clubs, like SPB, might already have a larger amount of emails because they send out relevant information to the whole student population.

Wagner and Lesh say this is making it easier and more digestible for students to get club information, while not restricting for clubs. “Sometimes, you want to send something to all students, but you don’t want it in a 500 word email with a picture,” Wagner said. “You can often condense that down to 100 words or so.”

The new method of sending emails is called “blurbs.” Clubs can submit a blurb to a portal which will be reviewed and approved by Student Life, similar to how the Stall Street Journal works. Clubs can in turn submit as many blurbs as they want. Each morning, one email will go out that contains every clubs’ blurbs, rather than students getting 6-7 emails during the day. The fact that these emails will contain information that is shorter, more concise and increases the likelihood that students will actually read the email. This is the system that Under the Dome uses for sending info to professors, so by copying that system, the program doesn’t have to develop any brand new coding or software, so it can be implemented quicker.

This act will only affect emails that are sent out by clubs and does not have the authority to limit the amount of emails that Campus Ministry, faculty or the Griff Center can send out, nor does it regulate the amount of emails that club members can send to each other.

Lesh says that this is a good thing for club leaders, because they can send out more blurbs on this daily email then possible with regular email. “Every morning when you wake up, you’ll have an email in your inbox with all the pertinent info in an organized fashion,” Lesh said. “This allows the user to see what’s pertinent to them and allows clubs to send out more.”

There’s a caveat in the act which says until implementation, clubs are limited to five emails per semester, a very modest amount. Lesh and Wagner think it won’t be an issue, since there are four weeks left in the semester.

When Wagner and Lesh made the initial presentation before USA, they believed that students will see a 40-50 percent decrease in the number of emails we’re receiving on a daily basis. The thing that will make this work, Wagner says is cooperation between USA, Student Life, and all the clubs. “This isn’t USA forcing rules or Student Life clamping down on anything, it’s meant to be a collaborative effort,” says Wagner. “We want clubs to realize, ‘It’s better if we send only a 50-word bit rather than a whole email’ because kids usually read only one big email and throw the rest in the trash.”

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