No More Emails ≠ Spam People Other Ways; Graduation Situation

Matt DiGiovanni

Earlier this week, all students received an email saying, “Where did all the emails go?” You may have noticed that during the week of October 16, emails publicizing club events were eliminated. As a club that never sends out those mass emails, The Charger Bulletin was not very affected by this, but almost every club that puts on events sends out an email about their event in one way or another. I understand completely that this removes an important way of communicating with all students. It’s frustrating when things change, but I notice I am spending much less time now deleting emails that really never applied to me in the first place as far as I’m concerned, and that’s nice.

When anyone feels that they are being “spammed” by any form of email, it devalues that sender at a minimum, and that email account at a maximum. Here’s the heart of the issue; many people stopped reading any emails that came to their UNH student accounts because of the nature of the emails they were receiving (read: massive numbers of emails from clubs and organizations). Cut out those emails, and slowly but surely, some students might go back to reading their emails a little more diligently.

Problem solved right? Nope, because now my Facebook account is blowing up with messages event invites! C’mon people! Just because one point of contact was eliminated, doesn’t mean efforts on social networking need to be amped up ten fold. In fact, maybe if social media had been utilized better in the first place, this situation may not have arisen. Social media exists to be social and for a club or organization, I take that to mean having conversations with other users on the network, and providing valuable content to those users. Sending out ridiculous numbers of messages and event invites does not equal valuable content in my book. Events and messages can be part of the equation, but not the entirety. Frankly, if your page or group is valuable enough to someone because of the content you share on its wall, users would probably head to the page just to check out all the information!

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I’ll tackle some big news that just popped up recently: changes to the commencement ceremony! I’m going to be graduating this May assuming I make it through all my classes (which I have no doubt in my mind I’ll do), so this issue is very relevant to me; however, I think anyone who immediately jumped into a hissy fit on Facebook, while understandable, needs to now look at the situation rationally.

The option presented initially by the administration was to use the Oakdale Theater, a 4600 seat indoor venue that would allow the graduate and undergraduate ceremonies to occur all together and would allow everyone to have 6 guests and one ticket for viewing on a display in the lobby. Then there are two on campus options: the Rec Center and DellaCamera Stadium. Both of these locations would require the graduate commencement to be the day prior, May 12, and would also require the undergraduate colleges to be split in half. In the morning, the College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Business would hold a ceremony and the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice & Forensic Sciences and the Tagliatela College of Engineering would be held in the afternoon. Additionally, since the Rec Center has limited space, guests would be a limited to five at the ceremony and one in Dodds watching a live feed, and DellaCamera Stadium, since it’s outside, will be a rain or shine event, but would be a cancelled or rescheduled if there is a threat of lightning.

I completely understand why most people are upset by these changes, but I urge everyone who hasn’t voted yet to consider what is truly best for everyone as students. Sure, graduating on campus is a nice full circle effect; we were welcomed onto the campus as freshmen and sent off into the real world after graduating on campus. However, I was welcomed onto campus with a lot of other students, and these are people I have come to like over the years. I have friends in ALL the colleges and even a few grad student friends or acquaintances. If we use the on campus locations, I won’t get to see all these people graduate with me, and that would be a real shame.

For those of you who are suggesting boycotting by not walking at graduation if it’s not held on campus, consider what’s better: not walking at all out of principle when you could have seen all your friends receive their diplomas or not seeing all your friends receive their diplomas because it HAD to be on campus. The University of New Haven means a lot to me, but a lot of that is connected with the people I’ve met here. The people make UNH a great place, take them out of the equation, even some of them, and it just wouldn’t be the same to me.

I hope everyone thinks his or her decision through fully before voting, and I hope that EVERYONE votes! This survey isn’t just for graduating seniors; it’s for all students, so everyone make your voice heard!