How Much is Too Much?

Samantha Mathewson

Is your inbox too full? UNH students have mixed emotions about the number of emails they receive per day.

Photo by Samantha Mathewson

For Derek Troxler, the answer is clear, “Too many!”

After insideUNH was implemented in the fall of 2011 as a portal for students, faculty and staff, the number of emails that went to students’ personal emails decreased by a reasonable amount, but some students still think that we get too many.

Troxler went on to explain why he believes the university overdoes it. “Residents who don’t have an on-campus job still get emails about time sheets. Residents who don’t have cars still get emails about moving cars from a lot. It would be smart to have someone just sit down and assemble folders of groups of commuters, residents with cars, residents with on campus jobs, etc,” he said.

Alex Joseph agreed. ”I think that there are certain emails that they don’t have to send to every student like Derek said.”

Certain groups that are given permission are allowed to send mass emails, and some groups send out group emails by making a group through outlook. Charger Connection on insideUNH helps clubs better manage emailing and organization, and decreases the number of emails sent out overall. “One of the only things left to do is get upperclassmen onboard, so they aren’t out of the loop,” said Andrew Mayer, Office Coordinator for the Office of Student Activities.

“I don’t mind how many we get, I just get annoyed when I get duplicates. Like I’ll get the same message two times sometimes even three. I like being updated with campus info,” said Melissa Scott.

While there are numerous repetitive emails being sent out everyday, the reduction made by insideUNH may have addressed the wrong group of emails.

However, “not everyone checks insideUNH though, and I know that student activities sends out an email every week about the events that are happening, but again not everyone checks their email either,” said Joseph. “I think they should bring back emails about events that are happening on campus.”

InsideUNH has been a resourceful addition to the university’s social media links, but even Troxler, who thinks it is useful for online sign ups, admitted he seldom checks it.

“There are dramatically less emails sent out to students since insideUNH has been made. Two emails used to be sent per event to each student. Think about all the events, multiplied by two. It was double the amount of emails students had to delete because it wasn’t about an event they were necessarily interested in,” said Mayer.

Mayer is in charge of training students to be familiar with insideUNH. He holds sessions to update students and has trained first-year students at SOAR. “The only thing we want students to get out of it is to be informed of what’s going on, and the flyer board provides that information in a comprehensive place.”

For some students who do not check insideUNH, they are sometimes left out of the loop on what is going on with their clubs. Because of this, some students think there should be more emails sent.

“I would personally prefer those emails over insideUNH because no one really goes on there. It’s also harder for clubs to get the word out using insideUNH. Maybe there should be an email opt-out option, or even better, a specific email group that students sign up for at the club fair or something that will get emails everyday about what’s going on. That way if you have a problem with all the emails, you won’t get them,” said Bri Eccleston.

“Sometimes Charger Connection is too inconvenient to go to. For example, when I am on my phone. Email is 100 times easier to check while on mobile,” said Taylor Hauck.

Paul Raffile suggested, “Perhaps we should get a daily digest of all the public RSO events by OSA. Sometimes the weekly thing just isn’t detailed enough and we forget about a lot of things towards the end of the week. Pair that with fewer emails about individual events (especially the 10 emails we get from the Rec Center daily) and I think we’ll have a good balance.”

Mayer in return explained that the Weekly Charger is dependent upon RSOs posts in Charger Connection through insideUNH. It only benefits clubs and organizations to use Charger Connection, and the Weekly Charger is an incentive for them to use it.

A resident assistant who sends their residents emails said that they put “read receipts” on their emails, and can tell when their residents neglect to check their email. “It’s required to check your email once a day, and it’s to make sure you don’t miss important information,” added the RA, who also agreed that they should be able to make better student groups to have relevant emails go to the right people and irrelevant emails not getting sent.

For some students, checking their email is a daily routine, but if you only check your email once a day, when you sign on you could be greeted by a very long list of emails.

Another student mentioned she thinks it is better to check it occasionally throughout the day so you can stay updated on events going on, if they are cancelled last minute, or if a class is cancelled. The student added that teachers, administration and students utilize sending emails constantly to communicate effectively and efficiently. Students do not always have the time to meet with their teachers, or their office hours may not coincide with their class schedule.

“I like getting the e-mails because I like to know what’s going on, and I don’t think they’re overwhelming. It takes me less than a minute to delete the ones that don’t pertain to me,” said Ashley Arminio.

As an alternative to neither decreasing nor increasing the number of emails, Hauck said, “we need to get more important emails. I don’t need seven emails about housing in one day. We should get more emails about events on and off campus.”

It is easy to tell what an email is about and who it is from. If it is not important students have the option to delete it, but the university sends mass emails out of convenience and to increase campus awareness.