Last night, I slouched in a disheveled heap upon my bed, disgruntled and dismayed by the paper I needed to conclude regarding King Alfred’s influence on the preservation of the Old English language. Yes – it was every bit as painful as it sounds.
Sure, the material was interesting, in a historical way, but ten pages seemed like an unreachable goal. So, I haphazardly applied my attention to the mounds of essays and books I was using as research and opened my Scatcat account in the meantime.
“What’s this?” I cried. “Yet another infernal cyber message begging me to take a survey?” Okay, the tone of that question is probably much more aloof and – dare I say press-appropriate? – than the outburst that actually ensued, but you get the point.
I opened my email, emitted a short exclamation, and furiously jabbed the mouse at “delete message” until the devilish intruder disappeared from my inbox forever.
And now I pose the question that many of my peers have voiced, a question for the ages: Why is our university waging full-blown bombardment-style warfare on students’ email accounts? Or another: When will the email abuse stop?
It seems that every other day for the past few weeks, I’ve opened another message containing a request that I make sure to fill out teacher evaluation forms, a survey about my experience at Fort Hays State, a survey to determine new courses of action for policies and programming decisions, a survey about whether I prefer to shower in the morning or in the evening and so on.
I don’t mind in the least filling out forms about my teachers. I like to give credit where credit is due, and I know that in theory, teachers who receive “bad” responses from their students will experience some sort of repercussions.
It’s the other surveys, the ones that come in droves, that plague me. Judicial Affairs/Student Code of Conduct Survey. National Survey of Student Engagement. FHSU Satisfaction Survey. FHSU Student Academic Advising Evaluations. A survey about attracting future employers to campus. A survey about topics “relevant to me and my peers.” A survey courtesy of the Virtual Success Center. Annual Student Impressions Survey.
There may be more that I’m missing, but after a while, I stopped opening anything that looked fishy or contained the words “tell us about” or “survey” in the subject line.
Let me assure you, Fort Hays, I would certainly have a better “student impression” and be more “satisfied” with my time at this university if I weren’t repeatedly pelted with surveys.
I’m already convinced the school needs to think really, really hard about hiring a full-time email copy editor, due largely – okay, completely – to the fact that somewhere around 90 percent of the all-user emails I’ve received this year have had at least one blatantly obvious spelling or grammatical error that screams “Affordable Success,” – I’d rather be “a part” of Hays’ future than “apart,” thank you very much.
And what the heck is up with the mass emails that arrive in fine-print font? Who can actually read that? And who would try?
Please don’t force me to walk away from the last month of my college experience with a negative attitude based solely on the sheer volume of emails I receive. I’m sure some of my adult readers will consider these statements ridiculous or careless, but until you’ve received an email about the same survey five times, I must ask that you refrain from passing judgment.
Sometimes I wonder if the school thinks students are dumb enough that we’re just forgetting to fill out student surveys. Or they think that students are dumb enough to be tricked when the same survey is sent seven times via multiple addresses.
Do not be fooled – if students wanted to fill out five thousand surveys, we would. The problem, though, is relatively simple: We just don’t want to fill ’em out.
If Fort Hays could come up with one survey per semester that would not be a complete waste of my time, I would have no problem filling it out, patting myself on the back and moving on with my college experience. Until then, the college can save itself some time and stop plaguing student inboxes with “URGENT SURVEY” reminders.
In the meantime, I’ll politely decline. No thank you, Fort Hays – I do not want to fill out yet another survey. You’ve consumed my bank account. You’ve taken my sanity. You cannot have my soul.