All-Student Email Policy Should Be Revisited

St. Mary’s all student emails are a bit out of control. Every day, students’ inboxes pile up with all-student emails at a pace that is hard to keep up with.

Over a recent two-week period, an average of 15 all-student emails were sent each day. It has gotten to the point where the actual important emails are being drowned out in a flood of correspondence that gets almost completely ignored.

For example, on March 5, 17 all student emails were sent to the campus. 16 were about events, or club programs, and one solitary email was an important reminder for students to check their portal accounts for unpaid balance with the school. How many people saw that email?

Over the time period that the point news observed, only 11 percent of the all student emails were from the college administration. By contrast, a total of 50 percent, or about 8 emails per day, were about on campus performances, sports events, academic events, and club activities.

Some are interesting to me, but most of them are just an annoyance, destined for deletion as soon as I read their titles. I’m sure most emails that end up in your in box meet a similar fate.

In fact, I would be amazed if there are more than a handful of students on campus who actually read every all student email that gets sent to them. Heck, I would be impressed if even one student did that. Not a single student I know can claim that achievement.

18 percent of all-student emails were categorized as “Other”. Their topics ranged from students looking for SMP participants, to emails like this gem sent out on March 6: “If someone could return my coat from a gathering in NC 25 that would be great. Thanks!” Did every student on campus really need to know that you left your coat at NC 25? I think not.

Then there are the emails that are unnecessarily flagged as being important. This is a good feature to have when sending out something like an emergency announcement to the campus. It is less appropriate when used to flag “Kareoke [sic] Night!!!!,” as was the case with one recent email.

Another problem with the current all-student email policy is that people send all-student emails with needlessly massive attachments. Hardly a week goes by without someone sending an event announcement with a 2, 3, or even 6 Megabyte image attached to it.

A student with room left in their inbox for hundreds of plain text emails could suddenly find their inbox completely full after getting just one such message. It’s happened to me more than once.

I think there is a relatively painless solution that could fix every gripe I have with current email policy. A Web page could be setup by the college, where people with all student email access would post their messages. The Web page could limit file sizes for attachments, preventing the dreaded 6MB inbox killers.

That Web page would then relay the messages to students who could then decide how they want to receive them. There could be options such as: receiving every email immediately (like the current system), or people could choose to receive a “daily digest,” where every message from the day would be organized into one email. Such daily digests have existed since the earliest days of email.

With that system, any time an actual important email needs to be sent to students, it wouldn’t have to compete for attention with the other 14 emails from that day.

This isn’t the first time that all-student email has been a topic in The Point News. Almost exactly 10 years ago, in late March of 2000, the campus was under siege from a barrage of email, the likes of which the campus has never seen since (“Mass Emails Spark Controversy.” The Point News, April 4, 2000).

At the urging of then SGA president, Andrew Mosley, all student email access was given to every student on campus — all 1600 of them. Initially, students used the new privilege judiciously as the administration had intended. Soon though, students would be likening the situation to “Giving a machine gun to a monkey.”

It didn’t take long for unnecessary emails to start clogging up in boxes. People began to get annoyed, and while sending emails to complain to the original senders, they accidentally “replied all”, sending their response not just to the authors or the original emails, but also to the entire campus.

Then someone “replied all” to that email, which prompted even more “reply all” responses. Things quickly got out of hand.

The email madness that ensued was so chaotic that at one point it nearly crashed the campus email server, which had developed such a backlog of email that it was taking hours for emails to reach their recipients.

Less than a week after it was first given, all-student email access was revoked from the general student body. I am very happy that things are no longer so out of control, but I still think they can be better. Give us a smarter email policy, St. Mary’s!

Men’s Lacrosse Ends Season Ranked Third in CAC

The mens lacrosse team ended their season on a high note with a 18-7 road win against Christopher Newport University on April 25.

After their historic victory against Salisbury on April 10, the seahawks lost their Capital Athletic Conference semi-final match against Ursinus by a score of 10-11. They end the season ranked thrid in the conference.

Sophomore attackman Chris Becraft, who scored the last second game winner against Salisubry, had a great performance scoring three goals, and two assists.

The team finishes the season with an overall record of 8-7, and a note worthy conference record of 5-2.

Men Finish on Top

Sophomore Alex Franz scored career high 23 points. (Photo by Matt Molek)
Sophomore Alex Franz scored career high 23 points. (Photo by Matt Molek)

With two key starters missing due to suspensions, the men’s basketball team still delivered on their promises of victory Saturday afternoon, defeating Wesley College in a 79-73 thriller to secure the No. 1 seed in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) playoffs.

Junior guard Camontae Griffin, the second highest scoring player in the CAC, and senior center Alex Irmer were stuck watching the game from the stands, both serving one game suspensions resulting from an altercation in an 84-74 win against Gallaudet on Feb. 14.

Despite the setback, senior forward Calvin Wise said, “[the team was] confident coming into the game… We knew players were going to step up big in this game, and they did. They answered the call.”

The flow of the game was familiar to anyone who has followed the Seahawks closely this season. The team was dominant early in the game, achieving a 31-16 lead 11 minutes into the first half.

That lead wouldn’t last though as Wesley immediately turned the score around with a 22-6 run, taking a brief 1 point lead with 3 minutes left in the half. The Seahawks got back into their groove though, and finished the half leading by 5.  The second half was a close one, with the Seahawks never leading by more than 9 points. That was all they needed though. They never surrendered the lead again.

The CAC’s leading scorer, Wesley senior Rashawn Johnson, was held nearly 10 points below his season average of 25.3 points per game.

Head coach Chris Harney recognized two of his younger players for their defensive efforts, “I can’t say enough about how big James Davenport, as a freshman, and Mikey Fitzpatrick, as a sophomore, were going up against [Johnson] … They went toe to toe with him.”

With 3 minutes left in the game, and the score 68-67 in favor of St. Mary’s, sophomore Mike Bowden put away huge dunks on two consecutive drives. The Seahawks were up by 5 and the crowd was electrified.

As the game came to a close, Alex Franz was experiencing serious leg cramps, and limped to the bench in visible pain at each time-out.

Franz said, “I was like, ‘just a few more minutes. I’ve just got to push it for these last couple minutes.’ I just knew I had to do it.”

It was a good thing Franz kept fighting because he owned the last two minutes of the game. With the Seahawks lead cut to 2 points and only 45 seconds left to play, the ball went to Franz on the baseline. He eyed up a 3 pointer through heavy defensive coverage, and let it fly. “I wanted that shot,” said Franz. “I knew if I hit that shot, it was over.”

Franz got what he wanted. Ball met basket, and the crowd went insane.

In the final 20 seconds, Franz pulled down two defensive rebounds, and drew a foul. His free throw brought the score to its final tally, and as the clock wound down, everyone in the house was on their feet. At the sound of the buzzer, Franz triumphantly pointed to the fans, as if to say “thank you.”

“The crowd was huge, just huge… I can’t say enough. I love this place,“ said Harney.

“I said it last time we were out here. I guaranteed we were going to beat Wesley at home. We might have been down two starters, but our most important player, the fans, came through for us again,” said Wise.

In the end, four players scored double digits, with Franz putting away a career high 23 points.

Harney credited the win to the Seahawks teamwork. Missing Irmer and Griffin left a big hole for the team but Harney said, “[the team has] 14 guys on the roster and it [was] those other 12 guys. They just stepped up…with a lot of heart and a lot of guts.”

The team has captured the No. 1 seed for the CAC playoffs, which means that they have the opportunity to hold onto home court advantage all the way to the CAC championship.

The winner of the CAC championship gets a spot in the Division III NCAA tournament. The Seahawks are defending CAC champions, and made it to the sweet 16 in last year’s NCAA tournament.

With Saturday’s win the Seahawks ended the regular season on an 8 game winning streak, and with a 21-4 record, the best in program history.

This is the second season in a row that Harney’s squad has broken the regular season wins record.

The Seahawks next game is the CAC semifinal at home on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7:00 pm.

Said Wise, “We’re going to win it all. We’re going to go to the NCAA [tournament]. We’re ready to do it.”

Wise Breaks 1,000 as Men Win 5 Straight

Senior Calvin Wise surpassed 1000 career points in a solid performance against YCP. (Photo by Matt Molek)
Senior Calvin Wise surpassed 1000 career points in a solid performance against YCP. (Photo by Matt Molek)

With a victory on Saturday afternoon, the men’s basketball team extended their home winning streak to 14 games in what was, at times, an uncomfortably close game against Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) opponents, the York College of Pennsylvania Spartans.

The game got off to a strong start with a 12-0 run by the Seahawks in the first four minutes, but by halftime the team had given up a 17 point lead and went to the locker room with a tied score, and nervous fans. “We kind of slacked off a little bit,” said senior forward Calvin Wise. The Seahawks posted a strong second half though, and put the Spartans away  with a final score of 88-79.

It was a memorable game for Wise, as he scored his 1000th career point early in the game. One of only two seniors on the team, Wise was head coach Chris Harney’s first recruit four seasons ago, long before the team was the CAC powerhouse that it is today. “When I first talked to Harney, he said that he was building something special here. I believed in that. I came here, and I stuck with it for four years”

Since then, Wise has seen the program transformed through his efforts, and those of his teammates around him. “I’ve been blessed to have very talented players around me, to help build this program,” Wise said. “I can always look back and say ‘We started that. We built something special,’ and that’s something that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.”

Junior Guard Camontae Griffin has earned CAC player of the week honors for the second time this season. (Photo by Matt Molek)
Junior Guard Camontae Griffin has earned CAC player of the week honors for the second time this season. (Photo by Matt Molek)

“I can’t say enough about him,” said Harney. “He is without a doubt the heart of our team … He is one of the best captains I’ve ever had. He’s a great leader.”

Another Seahawk in the spotlight this week is junior guard Camontae Griffin, who earned CAC player of the week honors for the second time this season. He continues to lead the team in playing time and scoring, averaging 20.1 points per game. “This is one of the best teams I’ve been a part of … I’m just having fun. I’m just going along for the ride with these guys,” said Griffin.

Inconsistent play has occasionally plagued the team during an otherwise spectacular 18-4 season.  There have been a lot of close games that the team feels should have been more definitive wins. “We get up… then we get sloppy, and we allow teams to come back. We need to learn how to put teams away early,” said senior center Alex Irmer.

Talking about his team’s inconsistency in the York game, Harney said, “We’re a young team, we do very young things. Everything’s a teachable moment, and even though we won the game, there were a lot of teachable moments in this game.”

“We are a young team,” Wise reiterated. “People forget that. It’s a learning process.”

Calvin Wise embraces coach Harney during a time-out immediately after tallying his 1000th career point. Wise was Harney’s first recruit as head coach four years ago. (Photo by Matt Molek
Calvin Wise embraces coach Harney during a time-out immediately after tallying his 1000th career point. Wise was Harney’s first recruit as head coach four years ago. (Photo by Matt Molek

One game that the team would surely like to have back, was against first ranked CAC rival Wesley College on Jan 24. The Seahawks held a 12 point lead at halftime, but ended up losing the game by just four points.  Griffin said, “When we lost to them it was just tough, because we were up to them the whole game, and the last 10 minutes we just kind of fell apart.”

The Seahawk’s only remaining home game, on Feb 21 at 4:00 p.m., is against Wesley, and will likely determine the first seed for the CAC playoffs, which will send the winner to this year’s NCAA tournament.

There are still two more away games before the Seahawks return home again. The team as a whole stressed that they need to take the rest of the season one game at a time, but it was hard not to look forward to the Wesley game. “They’re definitely rivals,” Griffin said.

Wise said, “We have the best fans in the CAC, possibly in the country, they come every game and support us wholeheartedly and they’re the X factor…We just can’t wait to get [Wesley] here in our house, to meet our fans, and just take them out. We’re not going to lose to them again.”

Kohler’s Come Back, Please

While I was sitting in the Point News office last week, talking about article ideas, I received a question from a few younger writers, and it took me aback: “What was Kohler’s?”

What was Kohler’s? What was Kohler’s!?! What is the world coming to?

Anybody who was around for any part of the previous three years knows all about the on-campus junk food heaven that was Kohler’s Pizza.

Sure, they weren’t perfect. There was the occasional messed up order, or delayed delivery, but come on, tell me where else I can get a large pizza with whatever I want on it delivered for nine dollars, and I’ll stop complaining.

For all those who never had the chance to order Kohler’s, you read that correctly.  Whatever you want on it. Nine dollars. Delivered.

Before news even broke about the downfall of Kohler’s, there was already talk from Bon Appétit and Kohler’s management that the on-campus student pizza service would be reopened “very soon.”

In an Oct. 7 Point News article, Bon Appétit manager George McClusick was quoted as saying that Kohler’s “is planning a return” and that he hoped the pizza shop would be back in business the following week.

But now here I sit, after more than a semester without pizza, talking with staffers who have never even heard of Kohler’s. You’re breaking my heart, Bon Appétit! In that same article, McClusick said that Kohler’s was shut down because Bon Appétit needed to stop to consider the feasibility of the service.

I’ve got an answer for you on that one. Just take one look at the class of 2010’s recent pizza fundraiser. They were completely overwhelmed by student demand, receiving 50 orders in their first hour, and quickly sold out well before their planned 1:00 a.m. closing time. Anybody with half a brain could make that profitable! Don’t let Kohler’s fall of the map, and be forgotten. Whatever other gripes the administration or Bon Appétit have with Kohler’s, I think they should be promptly settled. Student interest is off the charts, and we want our pizza back.

Two buffalo chicken pizzas to Homer 7 please.

Undefeated Seahawks Claim Two Tournament Titles

The Men’s Basketball team is looking stronger than ever with an impressive 7-0 record, and two tournament titles under their belts.

The Seahawks won the Penn State-Behrend Tip-Off Tournament, notching convincing victories against 2008 NCAA tournament qualifers Nazareth and Penn State-Behrend, and then proceeded to plow through the Provident Pride of Maryland Tournament. The Seahawks knocked out last years tournament winner, McDaniel College, in the first round of tournament play, and won the championship game in a come from behind 84-81 victory against Johns Hopkins University.

The team is also 2-0 in conference play this season, having posted 9 point victories over Stevenson (80-71) and Marymount University (76-67).

St. Mary’s was named to the No. 18 spot on D3hoops.com’s Division III Top 25 poll, the highest national ranking in program’s history. The team was ranked No. 28 in preseason polling.

The Seahawks won’t return home again until Jan. 3 when they will host Arcadia at 2:00 p.m.

Seahawks Upset Bowie State

Camontae Griffin led the team with 25 points against Bowie State.
Camontae Griffin led the team with 25 points against Bowie State.

After winning the CAC championship and fighting to the NCAA Sweet 16 in an historic season last year, the men’s basketball team showed no signs of slowing down as the Seahawks upset the highly favored Division II Bowie State Bulldogs in an exhibition game at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on Nov. 7.

Speaking about the victory, head coach Chris Harney said, “It was exciting. It was a hard fought win against a team that definitely didn’t expect to lose the game… Usually you don’t expect a team that has 12 full scholarships to lose to a team that has none.”

The Seahawks got off to a rough start at the beginning of the game, falling behind by 17 points early in the first half after an 18-1 run by Bowie State. “We were a little rusty…and I guess a lot of that had to do with nerves” said senior forward Calvin Wise. Those nerves were not unfounded. Bowie State is favored to win their conference, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), this year “which many feel is the best Division II conference in the country,” Harney said.

The Seahawks were able to pull it together though, coming right back against Bowie State with an 18-4 run of their own to finish the second half trailing by only 4 points. The game was very close for most of the second half, but giving up that massive first half lead had clearly gotten to the Bulldogs. “When it got tight and we took the lead they showed their almost lack of mental toughness. They became unraveled and started yelling at each other,” said Harney.

“[Basketball] is a game of runs. People are going to make a run at you. They’re going to have their run, and then you have to answer with your run,” said Harney. “It’s just going to be a constant back and forth battle of that, and the team that hangs tough is the one that will win.” After both teams exchanged damaging runs in the first half, it was St. Mary’s who gave the final answer, finishing the game on a 16-9 run to win by a score of 82-75.

“In the second half we really played our game,” said Wise. “We’re feeling as confident as ever.”

The team’s leading scorer in the game with 25 points was junior guard Camontae Griffin. A new face on the team, Griffin is a transfer from Division II Shaw University, also a CIAA program.  On the Bowie State game Griffin said, “It was a great experience. It was great for the team, confidence-wise. I feel as though we won’t play another team like that, as athletic as them, so I think we should be very good this year.”

The seahawks will see more preseason action at the Penn State-Behrend Tip-Off Tournament this weekend, with their first game friday at 6pm against Nazareth College. “Nazareth won 20+ games last year and went to the [NCAA] tournament, so we’ll get a test right away against a NCAA tournament caliber program,” said Harney. “I think we’ll be ready,” said Griffin. “I feel ready.”

Looking forward to the rest of the season, Harney said, “our schedule this year is one of the toughest I’ve ever seen here. So we’ll be tested early and often, but that’s why you play … I want us to work for everything we get.” Wise said that the team is “really excited to get at it.”

Look for the Seahawks at their first home game, Tuesday Nov. 25 at 7pm against McDaniel College.