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New SBA Email Policy Adds to IT Changes

Submitted by on September 24 – 2013No Comment

On Monday, September 23, the SBA sent an email to all Fordham Law student leaders announcing upcoming changes to the official SBA email policy.

Beginning in October, the SBA will no longer send out individual emails for student organizations. Instead, it will compile a “digest” email to send to students twice a week.

SBA President Amanda Yu said the SBA is open to ideas for what the format of the new digest emails should be. “If anyone has any suggestions, that would be really helpful,” she said.

The new policy is intended to prevent SBA emails being sent directly to students’ spam folders. According to Yu, the IT department believes that in the case of many students, SBA emails are being sent directly to spam after Gmail observes that students and their peers repeatedly delete SBA emails without reading them.

“The 1Ls seem to be getting all the emails. It’s the 2Ls and the 3Ls that don’t seem to be getting anything,” said Yu.

The change is also meant to reduce the current volume of SBA emails, which Yu described as “notoriously high.” Part of the new policy includes a limitation on what kind of information the SBA will disseminate. Going forward, the SBA will not forward information that is strictly internal, such as board elections or alumni events.

“We are trying to encourage the use of individual student group listservs,” said Yu. “To help that, we’re actually in the process of updating all the websites for the student groups.”

These changes come on the heels of a larger IT update that students may have noticed this year: the creation of LawNET, the law school’s new intranet. LawNET was “soft” launched in June with limited features. Fordham Web Administrator Marianna Balquiedra described the implementation of LawNET in an email as “multi-phase and ongoing.”

The change to LawNET was recommended to the Administration in 2009 after IT polled departments, centers, and student groups about their technology use. The new system allows members of the Fodham law community to communicate in new ways. For example, Student Affairs and SBA conducted this year’s orientation survey and elections for 1L representatives through the new portal. Student journals were also transferred from CoEdit to LawNET at the beginning of the semester.

Balquiedra said that although IT has not collected any formal student feedback, anecdotal feedback has all been positive, and that initial problems all stem from a lack of user training.

–by Elizabeth Gavin, Managing Editor

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