Ben Roth ’04 was kind enough to send in some information about how all-campus e-mails work. All the details can be found here. Ben writes:

The most important thing to note is that there is a screening process, if an extremely fallible one. The current moderator, Eric Engler ’04, checks submissions by the listed content and then sends them on (so he is trusted, but not every organization representative). I believe only students receive the emails, and that you cannot remove yourself from the list (as I think you can for Daily Messages). I would guess that an average of about ten messages go out a week, and each has a preface of “[campus]” in its subject line. The service is maintained by WSO (with some CC involvement), not the administration. I don’t have any administration announcements in my box to check, but I’m pretty sure they use a completely different system.

Sounds reasonable enough. Again, Williams does a marvelous job of empowering its students so that they can make important contributions to life on campus. Many larger schools would not trust an organization like WSO nor give screening responsibility to a student.

Of course, it might be nice to allow students to opt-out of this system. From a technical point of view, that would not be difficult. It would be much harder to provide the option of not receiving e-mail from specific groups, as Pritchard and Lucien seem to want. But, being confronted by some amount of (moderated!) exposure to viewpoints and events that one does not like is part of what an education at Williams is all about. So, Pritchard and Lucien had better get used to it. No one is going to force them to go to Queer Bash, but no one is going to shield them from e-mails that they may find troubling.

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