Starting this school year, St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) rolled out InsideSMCM, an alternative to AllStudentEmail. At first, I was apprehensive, because change is scary and the College did not make information about the change readily available. The most I saw was an AllStudentEmail about it, and most students did not read those to begin with. So for most students, the new InsideSMCM email change was a fun surprise after summer break.
On one hand, InsideSMCM solves one major complaint about AllStudentEmail, in that students could expect to be barraged with a deluge of emails about things they had no interest in on any average school day. Often, emails would repeat as an event drew closer, and that got annoying. So most students started ignoring these emails altogether (I even sorted them all into their own folder so I could ignore them), especially in the 2015-2016 school year, when students used the platform to report lost items. Imagine endless emails about some pair of glasses or a lost watch. Imagine what that was like after a campus-wide party, like Hallowgreens.
On the other hand, I found the specific emails to be useful in finding out about clubs I had not signed up for at Involvement Fair, or movies being shown in Cole Cinema. If a particular email interested me, I could even email the sender back and get on a list so I would not have to slog through the AllStudentEmail chain to find out more. Sure, events are still broadcasted through InsideSMCM, and I imagine clubs will soon use it to advertise, but I have no idea how I would even make a post through it, or who has oversight. Even worse, InsideSMCM is connected to the student portal, which means that, if I’m on my phone or a public computer where my browser is not signed in to the student portal, I can’t read much more on an announcement than the initial blurb. Even when I have tried to sign in through my phone, the mobile version is poorly designed, and nearly unusable. But hey, it cuts down on emails. Thanks, I hate it.
As a club leader, I am incredibly anxious about what this chain will do to our ability to advertise events and deadlines. Older students do not understand this new email chain, and it seems like all the kinks are yet to be worked out, so I doubt the first year class understands it much more. At least from a club perspective, I cannot see how this will help declining student involvement. All I can hope for now is that the InsideSMCM is worked out soon, because I just want to know when classes are cancelled.