One thing we all have in common these days is we have more questions than answers. 

No one knows what next week, next month, or next semester will hold makes the answers we do have even more precious. That’s why we would like UR to stop burying these gems in a barrage of vaguely-labelled emails.

@Rochester’s daily “Coronavirus Update” emails have been useful, especially in the first weeks of UR’s coronavirus fallout. But the labeling makes them difficult to sift through, categorize, or even notice. 

From reading the subject line of a daily @Rochester email — which only provides the date and “University of Rochester News: Coronavirus Update” — we don’t know whether we’re going to get links to a virtual jigsaw puzzle (like on April 11) or a list of remotely operating mental health resources for students (like on April 6). 

Our request is simple: Use the subject line to tell us what’s actually in the email. We can find out what day it is elsewhere, but right now, we can’t know what’s in the email until we’ve read it.  And students are not going to open (let alone read) an email from UR every day without a good reason.

Take the @Rochester email titled “University of Rochester News: Coronavirus Update (April 12, 2020.)”. 

For those who didn’t read it: ResLife told students who were unable to move their stuff out of their rooms that “their belongings are still secure,” UR’s Miner library put out a guide to remote educational resources, and the Food Pantry opened themselves up to all students at UR, not just undergrads in the college of Arts, Science, and Engineering. 

For those still in Rochester struggling financially, access to the Food Pantry might be one of their only ways to get food. For students everywhere, a comprehensive list of resources for online learning can help those adjusting to it. There was valuable information in that email, its headline gave us no inkling of its contents — and therefore, no motivation to check it out. 

It would be a different story had the subject line been, say, “Belongings on campus, resources from Miner, Food Pantry access.” Funny enough, that’s the subject line format of UR’s weekly “Read This” emails. 

We’re grateful UR puts the information out there. We just want to help as many people access it as possible. Advertising a key resource or making a big announcement is pointless if nobody bothers to read your message. 

If there’s going to be important information in the @Rochester emails, we should know before we open them, because we might not click otherwise. At this point, a daily email titled “Coronavirus Update” doesn’t attract attention.

The Editorial Board is a weekly Opinions article representing the view of the Campus Times, co-written by Editor-in-Chief Wil Aiken, Publisher An Nguyen, Managing Editor Efua Agyare-Kumi, and Opinions Editor Hailie Higgins.



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