Digest serves as improved email system

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

After a week and a half of adjustment, students are adapting to the new Reserved Students Digest. ITS designed the Digest to cut down the volume of email sent to students by compiling and sending reserved students only twice a day. While many still complain about the new system, most students admit that the new Digest system of sending [reserved-students] emails is an improvement over last semester’s situation with the [reserved-students] list.

One of the biggest complaints concerning the system was the html tags that remained in the email, which is text-based and cannot support html formatting. Since the system was first initiated, the html tag problem has been fixed; however, attachments are still not supported in the Digest emails. Fran Gelfand, ITS’ UNIX System Administrator, cautioned, “Submissions to the digest can be formatted as usual, but submitters should be aware that any formatting such as font colors and layout will be stripped. Attachments are not supported in the digest, but may be in the future. Those wishing to distribute documents are instead encouraged to send a link/URL to the document on the Web.”

While Zach Wolfson ’06 likes the list of titles at the beginning of each Digest, he still thinks that the formatting of the system could be improved. “It’s definitely gotten better,” he said. Saurav Dhital ’06 agreed. “Reading it is not easy,” Dhital remarked, “but I at least look at the emails now.”

Many of the complaints regarding the new system concern the abuse of the new [students] list that was designed to be used for important emails that are expected to be relevant to the entire student body. Gelfand commented, “Select administrative staff members can still send direct e-mail regarding official College business (this is the mail labeled [students]).”Gelfand also noted that it may take some time for faculty to adjust to the new system, but she expects duplicate emails to subside as people become accustomed to the compiled Digest emails.

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