Receiving emails about student research surveys has to stop

Brian Roberts

It’s not usually the small things that bother me, or maybe it is.  Either way the “student survey emails” have got to go.  And if not, at the very least some changes have to be made.

A computer is designed to make life easier.  We go online to stay in touch with friends, open up documents to finish work, and in general find that our lives revolve heavily around our technological worlds.

So when something gets in the way of that convenience it tends to bother me.  Now you might be wondering how exactly this relates to student survey emails and what the heck I’m talking about.

Well, the last thing I want to do when I open up my UW-Eau Claire email account is sort through a bunch of “spam” emails trying to determine which ones I should actually read.

I understand that these surveys can be important to projects and research, but I don’t feel I should be hassled with a daily supply of these emails that just seem to take up space.

I think that’s the biggest problem I have with the current email survey system.  It’s not that I wouldn’t be willing to take five minutes out of my day to participate; it’s that with the current format I don’t feel motivated to.

However, like my mother always told me:  If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all … or something of that nature.  In other words, if you don’t have a solution to the problem you are complaining about, you shouldn’t be whining.

On that note, I would like to propose a couple of solutions to the current survey method.

One obvious option would be to completely ban surveys from being sent out by email.  The university could easily do this by categorizing them as “spam” and putting email surveys on the list of things “not to do.”

Although I see the big problem with this option: not being able to give surveys at all.  This is why I have another solution which tackles this issue.

My second proposed solution to these inbox-clogging surveys is to give students an option at the beginning of each semester to “opt in” or “opt out” of survey taking.  Of course this doesn’t mean they would be required to take every single survey sent to them.  They could merely put their email into a list of “OK to send to.”

This would solve two problems: One, only people who are really interested in the surveys would get them, and two, there would be a public list, which everyone could access, and it would be much easier for the people sending out surveys to do so.

I understand neither of these solutions is foolproof.  No matter what, there are going to be some people left unhappy. However, I don’t think allowing countless surveys to flood our inboxes is much of a solution, either.

With the rest of the junk we as students find in our inboxes (“Eau Claire students get 50% off!,” “Open Housing Now!,” “Perfect Service Learning Opportunity!”), it can be overwhelming.

I don’t think this is the way our student emails should operate. We shouldn’t be getting spammed. Checking email shouldn’t be a hassle.

Just as nobody likes receiving telemarketer calls, nobody wants to get five student surveys every day.

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