Opinion: Students find communication to be key to survival

February 23, 2023

We spoke to five students about a subject that has been on the minds of many this school year: electronic communication or more precisely email correspondence.

Ever since students have been given an email address, the idea of communicating with professors has been a topic of discussion. Emails can involve reminders for class, updates on assignments, and even additional questions on lectures and readings.

Of the five students we spoke with, three stated they had an issue contacting who they needed at least once in their college career.

Some students, like Hospitality major junior Kayla Smith, said that registering for classes and time slots that work best for her can become difficult, and this is often when Smith needs to reach out for help.

Contacting professors face-to-face during office hours can prove especially difficult for those who don’t live on campus grounds. Commuting Mass Communications major junior Benjamin Williams explained that he started this semester not being able to register for the classes he wanted. 

“The lack of communication made me miss the first couple of weeks of classes. It both frustrated and saddened me because I was missing classes,” Williams said.

Williams’ scheduling issues have since been resolved and is now attending his classes without any conflict.

Jermaine Dukes, a sophomore History major who relied on commuting in the past, recounts the trouble he went through getting his schedule in order last school year. 

Dukes eventually spoke with who he needed through early morning meetings.

So what can be done?

The key is to be sure you know who you need to speak to and what the next step might be in case you don’t hear back.

The first thing is to be aware of who your advisor is and continue to check in with that person. You should know what their email is, campus phone number and location of his/her office. If you know this information, then you have three ways to contact your advisor.

The second thing is to plan for the worst situation. Find out who you should contact if you have reached out to your adviser multiple times with no response. That person could be someone else in the department or the chair of the department.

The third and last thing is to make sure you don’t wait until the last second to speak with someone about your concern. If you are having trouble registering for classes be sure that you have not only reached out to your advisor long before classes begin, but that you have also developed a back-up plan. Keep your eye on the university calendar and make note of your deadlines.

Just remember there are many reasons why email isn’t working as far as a means of communication. Your email could be going to a junk folder as spam. Your professor may be having computer issues. Or your email is just arriving at a time in the semester when it is just really busy and emails can get lost.

Email and other ways of communication are just one way to connect with people who can help. The more you stay in contact, the easier it will be to find solutions to your academic concerns.

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