Wildcat Newswire to replace daily e-mails

Jacqueline Lebowitz

The University Committee on Information Technology will implement a daily student broadcast e-mail Monday morning in lieu of individual e-mails sent to the University community. In an effort to consolidate University e-mails, one e-mail broadcast, the “Wildcat Newswire,” will be sent to students each morning and will serve as the primary communication vehicle for the campus.

A brief description of upcoming events and activities will be provided by organizations with an accompanying URL link or contact information which students can click on to learn more.

“After many months of deliberation and evaluating options, it became clear we wanted to retain the direct communication linkage to students but needed to reduce the literal number of individual messages they receive,” said Marybeth Avioli, Assistant Director of Web and Portal Technologies of UNIT. She added, “UCIT has approved a project to streamline the process and move towards a daily newsletter concept.”

Students and the members of UCIT, including the deans of the University’s colleges, agreed that the current e-mail system was not effective and that a better solution could be made. After tracking this problem for a year, the idea for an online newsletter began last semester.

This new improvement will reduce clutter in mailboxes and ensure that important messages will be seen. With one central e-mail, the idea is that students will be more likely to see it, and they can scan its contents for information that is pertinent to them rather than overlooking important information.

Students interested in a specific group or organization can be redirected to a homepage to get more information.

Teachers will receive an e-mail instructing them on how to place messages on the newsletter. Online application forms necessary to advertise on the newsletter will be accessed by clicking on “Compose Student Broadcast” under the Faculty/Staff links on the Villanova University homepage.

A target audience can also be chosen by clicking on the appropriate group: undergraduate, graduate, law and all students. This way messages can be assembled by relevance and sent to the appropriate groups.

While any organization or group can submit an online form requesting student broadcast with the approval of a faculty adviser, all applications will be up for review by Dean of Students Paul Pugh. Each day messages submitted before 7 a.m. will be reviewed. Messages sent after this time will be saved for the following morning’s broadcast. A message may be rejected due to an inappropriate target audience or because of inappropriate or incomplete content.

This reviewing process will ensure that messages are appropriate and meaningful. Pending Pugh’s approval, students will receive the first broadcast e-mail on Monday.

“An e-mail newsletter would bring the community together,” said Stephen Fugale, chief information officer and chair of UCIT. He also noted that such newsletters work well in business and other organizations, so they should also work within the Villanova community. The students, teachers and faculty would have a more efficient way being informed about Villanova events.

According to Fugale, the newsletter is meant to provide for easy navigation and rapid response: “You can get right to the things you need and bypass others that are not of interest or importance to you.” Fugale is enthusiastic about the newsletter and is anxious to hear if the newsletter is making a difference.

Many people collaborated in this effort and the feedback from users as well as SGA has helped UCIT construct an easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing e-mail. Senior Frank Brogna, SGA Chief of Staff, junior Jonathan Ambrose, SGA Executive Aid and Jeffrey Morris, also a junior involved with SGA, met with UNIT and Tom Mogan to finalize the project and ensure its implementation.