Over the last few years, there has been a steady decay in the quality of club bulletin boards. While some of these boards are updated regularly, many haven’t seen any changes in months. Groups are assigned their bulletin boards and are then in charge of filling and changing their boards throughout the year. Recently, it seems the work put into these boards has dwindled and, in some cases, become none at all.
Craig Southern, Associate Dean of Students for Campus Life, believes that the lack of use comes from the surplus of other modes of communication available.
“Clubs have many different ways to let people know about things,” he said. “Whether it be through social media, word of mouth.”
He feels that organizations may not place too heavy of a dependence on their bulletin boards for dispersing information, and may consequently underestimate the importance of the boards.
Unlike forms of social media and other communication methods, Southern considers the bulletin boards to be the most consistent form of communication if used effectively. He emphasized that, since the boards are always in the same place in Seymour Union, it gives students a particular place to go and get a more dependable source of information. Without the boards, he feels that students may have to rely on less accurate information.
Senior Maggie Darrah, who is the unofficial PR representative of the Gaming Information Network, feels that the bulletin boards are an effective way of communicating information about clubs and organizations if used properly, but often finds that she and other members of GIN are lacking in information and resources.
According to Darrah, there isn’t a clear direction regarding obtaining funds for resources of printing in color, which may deter club members from GIN or other organizations from updating their bulletin boards.
“I know the money needs to come from club funds, but Student Senate isn’t great at communicating how to do that exactly,” she said.
Darrah believes that if Student Senate were more consistent in handling club funds as well as communicating with club members, it would go over more smoothly.
Darrah also mentioned that other forms of communication, such as email or using the MyKnox website are easier and more accessible to some students. She described that, while every student has an email and has access to the MyKnox page, not every student comes to Seymour Union on a daily basis.
Darrah anticipates that a more efficient use of bulletin boards will result in a greater involvement in GIN and other clubs. She hopes to expand the exec board in order to spread the responsibilities more evenly throughout the club instead of relying on one or two people to fulfill most of the duties.
Andrew Salemi, Coordinator for Student Engagement, said bulletin boards that fail to be updated regularly are often notified and encouraged to do so. However, with nobody checking on the bulletin boards consistently, it only comes to the attention of Campus Life when someone reports it.
Salemi considers the lack of regulation to be the reason behind the ineffective use of the boards by some clubs. By relying on other students to report a neglected bulletin board, he doesn’t feel that clubs are made aware of this as often as they should be. He believes that the purpose of the bulletin boards on campus is for students to have a visual representation of clubs and events they’ve heard about around campus. He wants the bulletin boards to prompt students to share the information with others.
“If students aren’t actively seeing that information, thinking about it, and having some internal or external conversations with their friends, then the bulletin boards aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing” Salemi said.
Along with other members of Campus Life, Salemi hopes to develop a more sufficient system of regulating the bulletin boards, resulting in more efficient use. He also mentioned plans to provide board space to clubs who don’t already have their own boards, and plans to split boards into halves or quarters to allow space for a greater number of organizations.
In the future, Salemi plans to create a system that provides a more consistent supervision of the boards. He noted that some of the changes he plans to make include setting a time frame for how often each board should be updated, and using a numbering system to more easily keep track of each board. By assigning each board a number and creating a spreadsheet, he hopes it will be easier to oversee which boards are updated often and which ones fall behind.