Gatekeeping

 and Other Access Issues


Maria is the Marketing Vice President on her student government. As a part of her role, she manages access to an email list reserved for student events. There is an additional email list utilized by upper level administrators to share essential information, about things like registration, financial aid, and graduation, but its access is very limited. Each large student organization may send one email per week to the list. Maria also sends out a weekly email newsletter that compiles all information, so smaller student organizations with only one or two events can also feature their marketing on the email list. Maria receives many complaints from students about the number of emails they receive on the email list, and knows that sometimes the volume drives students to unsubscribe, causing them to miss valuable information about campus events.

Recently, Maria has received many demands and requests from faculty and staff members, who would like to send email to students, but don’t have access to the essential list that administrators use. Their information is equally valuable, but the list Maria manages is explicitly reserved for advertising events put on by student organizations. Maria includes information from faculty members in the weekly email, but most continue to demand their own emails be sent individually to the list. Maria recognizes that it is unfair that the faculty members currently have no access, but also wonders why the burden falls on her to resolve the issue. With the large volume of emails the list already receives, Maria has serious concerns that students would be very unhappy and begin to unsubscribe in large numbers if faculty members were granted access. She also wants students to have access to the information faculty have to offer.

If you were Maria, what would you do? How would you negotiate the balance between fairness, access, and a practical understanding of student desires?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s