Student News needs a makeover. The automatic subscription that delivers an email to your inbox every day is supposed to be an open means of communication that allows everyone on campus to stay informed about events on campus, ask for help, or sell old items to new homes. Anyone and everyone can post to Student News. It’s great, in theory. But in practice it’s often more trouble than it’s worth. Events get buried when people forget to delete old news, and finding the message you want becomes a treasure hunt. Then you have people who post the same announcements several times in a row. Admittedly, these are more minor annoyances than anything, but they affect how students interact with the medium.
The biggest problem Student News faces is the inability to actually reach students. Even if the posts were perfect everyday, students still wouldn’t know what was going on around campus. I learned first hand working on The Crest Yearbook last year that a large number of students fail to check their Mills email. I don’t understand why it is so difficult to sign in and check a second inbox, or even forward your Mills email to an address you check frequently. That’s what I did the minute I signed into the Portal for the first time.
I suppose we could rely on the announcements posted on the side of the Tea Shop; however those flyers are often missed as well. How do I know? Because when I talk to people about events I’ve attended they often ask where I heard about the event in the first place. To which I reply, “There was a poster at the Tea Shop , and it was on Student News.” And the answer I receive at that point is, “Oh, I didn’t see that.”
And I get it. We’re all busy. We’ve all got class, work and life to deal with. But we should be taking an interest in the happenings around campus as well.
One possible solution could be to place a large monitor, like those in the Natural Science Building or the MBA Building, in the Tea Shop above the condiments station. We spend most of our time there when we aren’t in class. Doing so would cut down our paper use and allow us to be a little more sustainable. We could even make it solar powered!
Okay, that might be a little pricey at the moment. So what are our options?
What about creating a website where students could post announcments? It doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be made on Tumblr or WordPress. We could link it to the main Mills website and several other social media sites. Someone would definitely need to be put in charge in order to regulate the posts and prevent repeats or spam. Division of Student Life might be a good choice since they have to approve any flyers that go up anyway. Sorry in advance for the extra work, but if it gets more people involved on campus wouldn’t it be worth a try?