Section: News

Event Promotion Trial Program to limit excessive emails

The Office of Social Engagement (OSE) is changing event promotion on campus into a daily newsletter sent to students and faculty members, the Office of Communications announced to the student body via email on Feb. 15. While events have previously been promoted via email or posters, the daily newsletter aims to consolidate and ultimately decrease the amount of emails the student body receives. These changes will go into effect as a trial program following spring break. 

In an email describing this trial run, OSE advocated for these changes on the basis that they would consolidate information, save paper and create a universal standard for event promotion at Kenyon.

In the upcoming trial program, student organizations will be given the chance to send their event promotion to events-digest@kenyon.edu, where they will be synthesized and presented in a daily email newsletter to students and faculty members. Students will be limited to two promotions per event, and must indicate in their email whether it is their first or second notice. The use of the employee, student or faculty info email groups will be banned for event promotion, though the use of all-student or all-employee emails will not be affected.

While the pilot program only impacts email promotion for now, the program intends to expand to physical posters in the upcoming fall semester. The new program will restrict posters to designated locations, such as bulletin boards, and remove them from anywhere that may “inhibit the safety and access to a building,” according to the updated posting restrictions on Kenyon’s website. Further, the new policy would restrict posters to one for each event in a location in an effort to reduce paper waste, and event organizers are expected to remove posters within 24 hours after the event.

For chalk advertisements on paved surfaces, registered student organizations must contact OSE ahead of time to arrange for a site that can be directly washed by rain. Posters or chalkings that don’t comply with the new standards will be removed, and a minimum charge of $100 for each location may be applied to the offending organization.

Earlier this semester, OSE launched a new student organization platform — Kenyon Connect (KCon) — dedicated to increasing communication between student organizations and administration. In tandem with the updates to event promotion, KCon also serves to decrease promotional flyers and excessive emails. 

Director of Student Engagement Caleb Young emphasized that KCon will allow for increased consolidation of emails, and therefore clearer messaging. “The influx of emails that a student receives everyday at Kenyon can at times be daunting, and as a result many important student group messages can easily get lost in the shuffle of all of the emails being sent,” Young wrote in an email to the Collegian. “KCon eliminates that issue, by giving groups the ability to directly connect with other students and not have to compete with campus announcements and department updates.”  

KCon is a student organization platform, meaning it is a centralized feed for all student organizations and activities and primarily an organizing space for student leaders. 

Though Young acknowledged there will be an inevitable adjustment period to the new app, he believed it would prove to be the most effective system for group organization. “KCon has everything an organization leader would need,” Young said. “The ability to manage the roster, directly email and chat group members, post events, and all other group functions are in one place. It’s not tied to an individual group chat, and groups no longer need to go to multiple places to do basic functions as an organization.”

In the coming weeks, OSE has begun hosting a series of informational sessions titled “KCon 101” to educate student leaders on how to best utilize KCon for advertising, planning events and requesting funding for their organization. “OSE’s goal is have groups understand how to post their events and manage their organization rosters this semester, and eventually introduce reservations and BFC funding requests to KCon by the beginning of the next academic year.” Young specified. 

The first information session was held on Tuesday, where OSE held a raffle for attendees in order to encourage students to attend. The raffle awards included a record player, a mini fridge and a blender. In total, four students attended the event. Nobody put a raffle ticket in for the blender.  

Vice President for Student Affairs Celestino Limas expressed that this change will not fully remove email from the equation. “It’s not an either/or — it’s going to be a both/and,” Limas said in an interview with the Collegian, regarding the changes that the pilot program will be making on campus. 

Like Young, Limas acknowledged that the program will inevitably have a transition period as students adjust to the new feature. However, he praised the increased accessibility and consolidation that the new program will have. 

 “For us, I think it’s a chance to really try and see exactly how we can best reach students and members of the community,” Limas said. 

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