The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Class bulletins will be on Web

For Assistant Professor of Public Health Professions Crispin Pierce, having a printed class bulletin was often seen as a waste.

To create the bulletin, which many people only use a handful of times, many steps are necessary, he said. This included cutting trees, processing paper, printing shipping and eventually disposal.

“It’s a whole cycle of financial, energy and environmental costs,” he said.

Beginning this semester, class bulletins will no longer be printed, said Registrar Sue Moore. Instead, she said, students must now go online to search for classes.

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“It’s a whole cycle of financial, energy and environmental costs.”
Crispin Pierce
Assistant Professor

The decision to go online came at after the school looked to other universities that have also adopted a fully online system.

For example, UW-Stout in Menomonie went to an online system in 2003, said Stout Registrar Jeff Kirschling.

“What a marvelous transition,” he said.

Ultimately, the decision to go to an online format is in many ways, a money saving one, Moore and Kirschling agreed.

Moore estimates at Eau Claire, about $4000 to $5000 will be saved each semester by not printing the bulletin.

Kirschling said at Stout about $10,000 is saved every year.

Part of what made the change easy for Stout, Kirschling said, is that the school issues a yearlong timetable, with classes listed for both spring and fall semesters. Before the change, students already were used to checking the Web for updates on classes for spring, a time when many classes may have changed, or students may have misplaced the printed schedule.

“Really, students were going to the Web anyway,” he said.

To ease the transition, Kirschling said the school offered the class schedule in a printable PDF format for the first year.

“The faculty had a harder time (transitioning),” he said.

Another aspect of going online Moore said she believes to be positive is the ability to update the bulletin.

“The printed bulletin was out of date before it even came out,” she said.

Additionally, Moore said the online bulletin will offer students the chance to look for classes using many sorting options. For example, she said, students can look for only cases that will fulfill a GE requirement.

“The convenience is that it’s sortable by so many characteristics,” she said

Moore said the school is only planning to discontinue the printed bulletins for fall and spring semesters. Printed bulletins likely will continue to be printed for Winterim and summer sessions, she said.

“(The sessions) have enrollment from students who may not be here year-round,” she said. The bulletins for those sessions are also used as something of a marketing tool, she said.

Moore said she went to Student Senate with the proposed change before any decisions were made about two years ago.

“We were hearing mixed messages,” she said. “We thought it would be best to check with students.”

Student Senate came through with full support for the plan, Moore said.

“They were wholeheartedly in favor of it,” she said. The Senate mostly saw it as a great cost-effective measure, she said.

Student Senate President Chad Wade sat on the Senate that debated eliminating the bulletin. He said he was not in favor of eliminating the bulletin and remains hesitant about totally wiping out printed copies of the class schedule.

The problem, Wade said, is that it becomes the students’ responsibility to print off class schedules, which passes the cost onto them..

It’s indicative of what is a bigger problem, Wade said.

“We keep putting it on the students to print off materials for classes,” he said. “I still think we need to seriously look at the university’s policy on this sort of thing.”

Pierce said he is pleased to see the bulletins going into an online format.

“For these schedules,” he said. “I really think an electronic version makes more sense.”

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