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Is the student-l still effective for communicating messages to students?

The student-l is an e-mail used to communicate messages to students about upcoming events, messages and other announcements. (Northern Review photo/ Brittany Newton)

How many times this week have you received an e-mail from the address “one-student-id Digest” and moved it to the trash? I could only make an educated guess that this is the truth for many students on the campus of Ohio Northern. I do this just about every day. On a regular basis, students get e-mail after e-mail and the student-l is just another one to read. The student-l has slowly become extinct to Ohio Northern students.

The student-l is an e-mail that is sent out once a day after four o’clock. The e-mail is composed of event notices, announcements and other important messages. The e-mail lists all of the contents in the top part of the e-mail and students can scroll down to learn about the subject line listed in the table of contents. This is how the e-mail is formatted. 

The content of these e-mails are submitted by student leaders, staff and faculty members around campus. In order to submit a message to the student-l, you must send an e-mail to a specific address and the e-mail is then moderated and listed in the e-mail that is sent out to the students.

At this point, you may be asking “what is the problem with the student-l?” The student-l has many issues that lack convenience for students. First, the table of contents in the beginning of the e-mails does not have any clickable links to direct you to that part of the below e-mail. Instead you have to scroll down to find the announcement that you are interested in. This can become an annoying task. Often the words are jumbled because of the format and student attention spans’ run short.

Depending on the time of the semester, the student-l can be composed of many announcements for students or very little. When students receive the e-mail during a busy time in the semester, the list of topics at the top can become overwhelming and turn off interest all together. This is not because the event or message is uninteresting, but because there is too much content to digest and college students lead busy lives.

As a student leader there is one feature of the student-l that I find most frustrating. When people send in a submission to the student-l, they are unable to state that the message should run for more than a day. Students must send the message in every day before four in order for their message to appear in the student-l at all. This can be very tedious and frustrating for student leaders.

Is there a better way to communicate these announcements and messages to students on campus? After meeting with Paul Sorenson, a senior Computer Engineering major, I learned there are ways to change the format of the student-l to become more effective for students, faculty and staff.

Sorenson is the engineer of the new Better Student-L, which is a website that completely transforms the student-l we know to a much more efficient and convenient announcement tool. The website is also mobile-friendly to allow students to get important messages on their phone without the frustration of format. After looking over the website myself, I am more than impressed and think it is definitely a solution for the student-l we all use now.

The student-l has been due for an upgrade for a long time now. The resource is no longer efficient for communicating important messages. Hopefully, we can find a way to communicate effectively and avoid students moving the student-l to their trash bin. 

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