Columbia J-School Dean of Students blogs

The Dean of Students at the Columbia University J-School is using a blog to communicate with students. It’s mostly announcements and events, which means less email from him in students’ mailboxes.

He’s not messing around with internal servers or anything like that; it’s just a free hosted WordPress blog from, where I had this blog hosted before I moved to my own server space.

Of course, at SJSU, I don’t get a single email from my department, and there’s no student email list-servers other than what we set up ourselves through Yahoo groups. What’s the logic there? Are you afraid of overwhelming us with spam?

The bulletin boards in the hallway are no longer a viable way to communicate to a student population that spends most of its time outside of the building at jobs or covering stories (present company excluded). Grad students who only have classes at night are especially cut off from the community.

I know the faculty has an email list; why not set one up for students? All we need is a way to opt out if we want to. I

I’m willing to bet most of us would benefit from knowing about events going on in the department – sometimes the only way I know about a guest speaker or meeting in a discipline outside my own is by entering the building through a different door than usual and happening by the Ad or PR or Broadcast bulletin boards.

It’s a real simple way to create a community online. Give students a chance to talk to each other, and we will. I’m constantly jealous of the email my wife gets from fellow grad students on her university’s list servers – we’ve bought a couch, considered adopting a dog, found out about problems on campus, and been notified about the ongoing bus strike in Santa Cruz, all through folks sending email to the list.

If there’s some big bureaucratic hurdle to this, let me know…

If you’re an SJSU Mass Communications graduate student, we’ve set up our own Yahoo Group at Feel free to join up.

[tags]sjsu, j-school[/tags]

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