Campus Communication Problem Raised at Open Discussion

Megan Oldak, Reporter

Campus communication – or the lack thereof – was a topic of discussion during an Open Discussion forum sponsored by Student Activities Oct. 25.

Despite multiple channels of communication and publicity about campus events, such as Cougar Radio, MY MU Weekly, and MU alerts, the consensus among those in attendance was that these resources are not effective in reaching the student body. MU Weekly, which is accessed through MyMU and lists weekly campus activities, was unknown to all but one member of the forum. On the other hand, students said The Stall Street Journal was effective. even though it is updated only on a monthly basis.

Students seemed genuinely interested in building school spirit and a campus culture where there is excitement and interest in campus events, but some felt discouraged.  One student asked, “With all these resources available to students, why is information not reaching the student body?”

Mike Gombita, senior communications major and event organizer, said the answer is organization.

“There needs to be a way for students to know. There needs to be a way, or a system, where students have accessible information.”

Another issue students raised was the effectiveness of the MU alerts, a text message and email service that notifies users about upcoming events. A majority of students stated that they use this service as a way to get information, but there was debate about whether it should be improved. One student said the number of events and the frequency of text messages should be increased, while others argued that the system would become annoying if they were to receive more text messages.

When one student suggested that they receive a monthly message containing all upcoming events, the majority of students said the message would be redundant and ineffective. Students admitted that they did not use their email frequently enough, and others pointed out that the message would be similar to The Stall Street Journal, an overview of events for the whole month located in most bathrooms.   

The conversation continued to flow smoothly as students expressed their concerns and how they felt campus life could improve.

Before the forum ended, Gombita posed a question to the group: Would they rather have more passive events, for example, sitting to watch a singer or a magician, or active events, such as Bingo or those in which students could compete to win prizes?

Everyone agreed that they would rather have events in which they could actively participate. The students said that these types of events would be more fun and exciting, compared to sitting and watching a performance. 

Overall, students appreciated that Student Activities had given them the opportunity to air their views and to offer feedback to improve campus life and communication. 

“It’s going to take a while to set up a better plan of action for Student Activities as a whole,” Gombita said. “We are working towards a better community, a fun community,”  he said.

Gombita’s hope is that someone will take the information gathered during the Open Discussion and make changes in the future. “If something isn’t broke don’t fix it. Clearly something is broken,” said Gombita. 

The Student Government supports improvements to campus communication. SGA members say they are working to improve communication by encouraging clubs to post on the Student Activities page on Facebook, and by setting up a listing of club officers and contact information.