The email that was sent out to all students with a misleading title. Courtesy Student Association

Abuse of all-school email reveals flawed system

An all-school email with a misleading title aggravated many students last week.

Last week, an email titled “Student Association: Important Information,” which contained no Student Association information whatsoever, was sent to all current TU students and consisted of three students asking for votes for the “Red Bull Can You Make It Challenge.”

This email is strange in that it is an obvious attempt to lure people in, but why lie to them? If anything, you would make people mad by actively trying to mislead them. I do not believe that this email was thought out at all by the group.

Normally, if I had gotten this sort of email with an appropriate subject from a regular student, I would have pushed for maybe locking away the ability to email everyone from the average student. But as it stands, any TU student can send an all-school email through Harvey in the Student Association tab. I can see that these are some students who are trying to have fun, and if it was titled something like, “Help out a fellow TU student!” I would have even voted for them.

They are not necessarily bad or wrong for writing this email or trying to get attention. What I do not like is that this is an abuse of power by an elected official of SA doing this and trying to mislead people into clicking on his email by baiting them with important SA information.

This is a clear abuse of power by a member of SA for their own personal gain, which has students and SA members upset.

In a statement to the “Collegian,” Colleen Yoder wrote, “As a member of Student Association, it is disappointing to see an abuse of power from a peer, especially one that holds a position within the organization. As SA, we hold University of Tulsa organizations to a high standard and it is only fair that we hold ourselves to an even higher one.” Student reactions ranged from not caring to mild annoyance. I’m sure some people went ahead and voted for them in their competition, but this probably was not the reaction that they were hoping for.

Yoder further added, “The content was not about an event occurring on campus that students might not otherwise know about; rather, it was about an activity which only directly applies to three individuals on this campus. If there was a reason to use this system, it would have been to issue an emergency alert or, at a minimum, a TU event that applies to all students.” This further explains why many people who are active on this campus have a problem with this email.

In the past few years, I have heard many people complaining about not having access to an all-school email to advertise or give some sort of notice to students. And then the first time we see a system used for emailing the entire school, it is not relevant to anyone on this campus.

Since this is the first time people have abused the ability to spam the entire school, it would be wise to shut it down as quickly as possible. Anyone who attends this school can send anything to all students at once, with no real consequences. People have had the ability to email everyone for a while now, but it has never been used until last week. The email system was immediately abused upon its first use.

There should be a system in place for emailing everyone, but giving anyone this ability and merely trusting them is a recipe for disaster. The person who had emailed everyone asking for votes was elected, but even he couldn’t be trusted not to abuse his power. So then, who should have this power? It would be wise for only a few SA members to have this ability and have a standard form that people can fill out with their email that they want to give to the entire school.

That way the emails can actually be checked for content. Since most clubs on campus already go through SA, this would hopefully be seen as an effort to help clubs host large events.

Post Author: Conner Maggio