Webster, the Digital Age is now

Illustration by Victoria Courtney
Illustration by Victoria Courtney

A letter to the editor by Contributing Writer Jacob Caspille

From reading the newspaper to doing our taxes, we are becoming a society that works digitally. So why can’t we get our campus news online as well?

Katjah Ehrenmüller and Briana Jones brought up this issue at the 2015 Delegates’ Agenda. They argued that students receiving notice about campus events through flyers is extremely inefficient. They suggested finding new avenues to advertise campus events that would eliminate flyers.

Flyers are outdated. I have been a college student for almost a year, and the only reason I go to campus events is because I have to cover them for a class. It’s even harder because I never know what’s going on in the first place. Maybe it’s because I never see these flyers because I’m looking at my phone while I pass them.

Going digital can be extremely beneficial. It’s easier to notify a large group of people, it’s easier for students to find the announcements and it saves money.

Ehrenmüller and Jones stated during their speech that switching to digital would save Webster $51,000 on printing paper used for promotional reasons.

After Webster University lost another $12 million this year, every penny helps.

Going digital is just an easier objective. Students are always on their phones. I know I am always on my phone. I have Twitter, Facebook and Yik Yak. A study by Baylor University showed college students spend an average of 94.6 minutes a day on their phones.

Ehrenmüller and Jones also brought up the idea of an e-mail notification system. I liked the idea, but I believe for the e-mails to work, some changes need to be made. Students don’t check their e-mails on a regular basis. According to a study by Noel-Levitz, a company that specializes in enrollment management and student success, 47 percent of college students check their email daily—67 percent per week.

If Webster adopted an e-mail notification system, they would have to update the Webster Connections website, and it’s way too out-dated. They’d have to make it more accessible, because students do everything they can not to use it. The forwarding system doesn’t always work either—I’ve missed several e-mails from teachers because they never forwarded to my actual address. Connections must be improved for email notifications to work.

The only topic that was brought up that I question is the idea of putting flat screens around campus.

You can buy a top-rated 40-inch TV at Sam’s Club for $350. But there are a lot more places money could be going that are more important than TVs. My high school tried the same thing. They put TVs up all over the school to notify students, and I can bet you no one looked at them. They couldn’t be used to watch anything either, just show the announcements. I would prefer not to spend money on something that isn’t going to improve the situation.

Getting students to go to campus events is an obvious issue. Going digital would help improve event attendance.

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