New Undergraduate Student Email System Announced
New undergraduate email guidelines for student club and event announcements will replace the current sstud/ystud policy in early March. The updated system will include new email policies that limit the number of emails that can be sent per event and will eliminate “clickbait” in the subject line.
The new system was announced via an email sent to the student body by Linda Stone, director of student events for the Office of Student Life (OSL), on Feb. 24. The system will aim to “improve communications regarding events scheduled for undergraduate students,” according to Stone.
The email linked to specific guidelines for emails, with a limit of three messages for each approved student event or initiative and a requirement for the email’s subject line to include only the event or club name and event date. A daily email listing all upcoming events in the next two weeks will also be sent to students’ email addresses. Prior to announcing the new email policy to the student body, Stone sent an email to student club heads asking them to acknowledge that they understood the new changes.
A previous email, sent to the undergraduate student body by Stone on Dec. 10, cited “feedback from multiple student discussions [that] have pointed to what, for many, is the ineffectiveness of those systems, which frequently inundate undergraduate students email boxes with messages; resulting in them not being read,” and stated that “new guidelines for student to student ystuds and sstuds will be announced shortly.”
Following the implementation of the new email system, email lists firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com will be replaced with firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, respectively. Stone explained that just as the sstud address is for Beren students and ystud for Wilf, the same students from each current list will receive emails from the replacement addresses.
This longstanding issue of student discontent with the email system was described in an April 2012 Commentator opinion piece expressing frustration with the “merciless barrage of studs.” The piece was followed by a news article announcing plans to introduce an events calendar to replace ystud emails, an initiative that was not fully implemented.
With 167 undergraduate clubs on the two campuses and official guidelines requiring two events per semester to keep official club status, the current sstud/ystud system serves as the main medium for event advertising and is often the first avenue through which students find out about events.
“The current waiting time for emails to go out on the sstud listserv is quite frustrating,” said Sara Verschleisser (SCW ‘21), co-president of SURGE, the Martial Arts Club and YU on Organ Donation. “I have sent emails that have taken almost three days to be approved, sometimes being approved after the events or deadlines they were meant to announce. It's nice to see the effort taken to improve the student listservs, but the new policy does not address the concern of most club heads — the amount of time it currently takes for our emails to be sent out.”
Stone expounded on the implementation date of this new policy, explaining that the “process involves partnering with the IT department to make necessary changes — we are hopeful to do so within the next week.”
Commenting on the new policy changes, YCSA President Leib Weiner (YC ‘20) expressed, “It’s really exciting to see a change to something that has been bothering students for a while. I’m sure this will be an ongoing process to further refine the student email experience and help keep them updated on events.”