There are many different types of communication that are at our fingertips, and students, faculty and the administration are each using different ones. Herein lies the root of the communication problems on the Pacific University campus.
While students are using Facebook, Twitter and word of mouth, the administration is attempting to use the website and the new calendar system, which by the way is the most difficult system to try to navigate. Those who are working on the website and trying to get all of the kinks out are working and talking with students, faculty and staff about the troubles they are having and are training people on how to use it, but there is still a fundamental problem to solve. The new calendar system has one person who is allowed to approve all of the events that students are attempting to post, and there is an entirely separate system for requesting areas on campus for those events.
Not only is there mass confusion about how to get both the event approved and an area request approved, but by the time it gets its approval and is seen on the calendar, it is only a handful of days before the actual event, which is of no help to anyone with a busy schedule.
What would be helpful is if students could have the option to select types of events that they might be interested in, whether that is sports, campus life or administrative events, and be able to receive notifications of when those types of events popped up. That way the website is personalized and useful to the students, faculty and staff who could also make those selections.
A campus app would be beneficial in this manner because then students could see what they wanted to see, faculty could see faculty related events and staff could see staff related events. Or they could see events from all three groups, and either way they get the information that they are interested in and aren’t flooded with a lot of the propaganda that is on the landing pages of the website.
There needs to be a place for students and the administration to be able to communicate that isn’t as informal as Facebook so the administration is comfortable using it.
One suggestion was by utilizing the beloved new website and by logging in with their student ID, they could have access to a page that would advertise the information they don’t want the public to see.
The website is geared toward recruitment and an explanation on why the entire campus is taking an alcohol survey that was required by the federal government is probably not something that the administration wants to flaunt.
One of the biggest missteps of the university this year was the Alcohol-Wise test. There was one single email that held very valuable information. Not only would students not be able to register for their classes the next semester if they didn’t complete the survey, but students were only given 30 days to do so and that was practically in the fine print of the email. Communication on a campus this small ought to be simple, but nope.
When it comes to information that is not only crucial but important for safety reasons, the university needs to be in-your-face with the information. I understand that there is a policy about not sending too many emails otherwise they will get ignored, but there are other ways to communicate other than email. If the university had sent a few emails, made posters or even had some of the professors announce it in their classes, at least the administration could say that they made multiple attempts rather than just one.
By creating a campus app or a way to make the calendar more personalized and easy to use, finding a way to get events published faster, by making it so that people aren’t having to wade through mountains of information that they aren’t interested in and being a little more in your face with notifications, maybe this university will actually start to feel like the community that it says it is.