SGA right on the money

Student Government Association officials are calling it “more of a suggestion” than a request. But we think the recent resolution asking professors to notify students of class cancelations an hour and a half before they meet should be adopted as law on the Hill.

The recent blackout was just the latest in a string of examples of how such a relatively simple rule could help students avoid wasting valuable time trekking to classes that aren’t meeting.

Everybody’s time is valuable. Having a rule such as SGA is suggesting would not only be a courtesy to students but the university as well.

Think about this. Though this latest SGA resolution could potentially make some exceptions for morning classes, the fact that it took 12 hours for students to be e-mailed about the blackout is garbage. And even then, that e-mail was sent by a university department.

We’re not saying that having this mandate in place would have significantly sped up the communication lines. Though, with the university already responsible for fixing the major problem in this case – the power – wouldn’t it have been a big burden off your shoulders to know that your faculty was in charge of relaying it to the students?

Sure it’s more “official” coming from the university. But several smaller e-mails are a lot easier to send than a huge, mass email that oftentimes doesn’t reach everybody it needs to – even when there’s not a crisis.

It wasn’t just the blackout. Remember last year when classes were called off after one of the winter storms? Students were left shrugging backpack-toting shoulders to the tune of “are we or aren’t we meeting today?” Most students didn’t meet, but others did.

The point is they didn’t know for sure, because some students look toward university messages as their guide, while others depend on direct communications from their professor.

And why is it a problem, you ask, when Western requires the preferred e-mail address students use be via their given Western address? Because when a mass e-mail goes out on this system, it is inevitable and apparent that some students aren’t getting the messages they are supposed to.

As we see it, you’ve got two real options here. Either improve the e-mail system so mass messages reach everybody without exclusions. Or, listen to SGA and make it the responsibility of professors to notify students of class cancellations.

But like SGA, that is only a small suggestion.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member board of student editors.