The Drew community is lacking an accessible and practical digital space for announcements. Although student leaders technically have The Path to use for announcements, this does not reach everyone. Students need to come together digitally in order to create a space where they can find events and reminders easily.
Returning students might have noticed that the Drew Today emails are missing this year. The community used to receive these emails daily, informing everyone of upcoming club and community events, reminding them of obligations like financial aid and housing, and providing academic updates. Although these emails might have been a primary source of information for club and community events, they were only used by a fraction of students.
While this method of announcements seemed to reach students, the issue with Drew Today, according to Terrance Somesla-McCornell, Coordinator of Student Engagement & Club Life, was that “there was a dramatic decrease of people opening the emails, so [the Communications Department] wanted to step into a direction where it’s something easier to use, something that involved all programming on campus.”
For those students who want to check for announcements every day, there is a Drew calendar of events which feels like a replacement for Drew Today. Events such as sports games, raffles, club meetings, info sessions and more are listed with dates, times and locations on the website.
Drew Today used to be a bit of a hassle for student leaders since they would have to first put it on The Path, then put it on Drew Today and then wait for it to get approved by email. Now it is simpler because you can post announcements on The Path and it shows up on the calendar. The only issue is that there is no longer a promotional space for events. The Drew Today emails used to be like an advertisement for clubs; for some students it was a daily reminder to see what new things were happening on campus. Now students have to seek this information out for themselves.
While students and club leaders can use Instagram and other social media to promote their events and announcements, this is not wholly effective. If a student is not already following a club or organization, they won’t see the announcements made by them. On top of that, do students really want to see Drew announcements in between scrolling through their friends’ photos? We think not.
In the absence of Drew Today, students can continue to use other methods of promotion. Students should continue to use the TV screens in the EC and post flyers around campus. If students have any concerns they can contact Terrence at his email: email@example.com. Another option is to set up a table to promote your event and answer students’ questions.
The lack of Drew Today just means that students need to find creative ways to promote their events and come together to improve student engagement. The responsibility is now on each individual to be an engaged part of the community. The Path is our new home and we need to cultivate it as a community.
Emily Pieczyrak is a junior double-majoring in English and French.