On Monday evening, a student sent an email to 790 members of the Lawrence community. The email encouraged recipients, who were mostly students, to join a trip to Madison orchestrated by the student to protest against Gov. Walker’s budget bill.
Following this first email, approximately 20 responses were sent to the 790 original recipients. The replies mostly presented arguments in the debate surrounding the bill, though many students requested that the email chain be discontinued.
While we encourage students to discuss political topics and participate in lively debate, the email system is not the forum for such action. The university does not currently allow individual students or student organizations to send mass emails to the whole Lawrence community. We support this policy and encourage its continuation so that Lawrentians’ email inboxes are not overloaded with event promotion messages.
This recent disregard for university policy and misuse of the webmail system is disrespectful to administrators and to student email recipients. However, it is clear that a number of community members would be interested in engaging in debate with their peers should such an opportunity be more available. In a previous Staff Editorial, we commented on the lack of an appropriate venue for community-wide discussion at Lawrence. While we do not condone the methods of Monday’s email chain, we lament this ongoing absence in the Lawrence experience.
The reasoning behind the university’s webmail policy is sound, and we commend the organizations and students who have used other, more creative means to publicize events. In the future, we hope more students will explore innovative techniques for communicating with the community at large.