Stop the spam
Anyone attached to StFX in any way has probably, at one point or another, complained to someone about how awful their StFX email is. Besides the important notices and emails from friends, peers, colleagues, students, professors, and administrators, we all get flooded with completely unnecessary emails about all sorts of things. It is email without a specific audience, completely unsolicited, and sent throughout the entire school. It’s spam and it’s coming from the University itself.
Why is StFX spamming our inboxes multiple times a day about events and items that rarely, if ever, concern us?
The amount of spam from StFX led me to turn off notifications for my inbox. My peers in the education program and some of my professors have all voiced similar complaints about the amount of emails filling our inboxes. I’m very happy for the people who have worked hard and are now entering the thesis-defense phase of their education, congratulations to them, but an email sent in bulk devalues their efforts by, essentially, spamming the university at large. Sending notice of the defense to select groups associated with the work or the program would be a much more appropriate way of raising awareness.
But is what StFX sends its users actually spam? Unlike other emails that occasionally fill my personal inbox, StFX’s emails contain no “unsubscribe button,” nowhere in the message is the opportunity for the recipient to turn off the emails. There is no way, as I discovered, to email the sender and ask them directly to stop. If you try to reply to “St. Francis Xavier University,” you realize two things very quickly. First, you’re not actually emailing StFX, you’re emailing email@example.com. Second, you’ll receive an instant reply telling you that firstname.lastname@example.org is an unattended inbox; meaning no one uses it. A lot like a spam email.
What’s one to do? I emailed StFX IT services and asked them about it. They replied that they had no idea who actually runs email@example.com and that the only way to stop the emails from ending up in my inbox was to create a “Rule” that automatically redirected the emails to my junk folder, which I promptly did. Now, instead of filling up my inbox all with emails from StFX (or more accurately, firstname.lastname@example.org) they all go right into my trash. It’s simple and relatively easy.
I also emailed communications about this. I received a reply from Cindy Mackenzie, Manager of Media Relations. Cindy told me she, too, has no idea who runs email@example.com and that I should contact IT. A dead end.
So, who runs firstname.lastname@example.org? It remains a bit of a mystery. If you or someone you know has the answer, please let us know. Send us a tip, we’ll even keep you anonymous. Thanks in advance.
For everyone else who shares my frustration at being spammed by our very own University and wants the emails to stop, it’s relatively easy. Right click the offending email in your inbox and, from the dropdown menu, select “Create Rule,” and send that sucker to your Deleted Items folder where you’ll no longer get notifications or even see the offender.
Anyone connected to the notorious spammer, email@example.com, please, reconsider how bulk emails are handled. Surely, there’s a better way than sending out untargeted, mass emails daily. Make a few lists, use Excel (I’ll even help you out!) and separate emails by the programs they’re attached to. An email about the science department? Maybe don’t send it to the English students. A lecture about Medieval Theology? Just direct it to the theology students. Or better yet, maybe have a calendar on the website about up-and-coming events that people can choose to view instead of flooding their inboxes. Just a thought.