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Happy…Holidays? Miscellaneous

Some universities don’t give their faculty and staff the ability to communicate with every other faculty and staff person on campus in a single campus-wide email. Buffalo State, for instance, did away with the e-mail free-for-all and replaced it with a daily bulletin, called The Daily.

As I understand it, it’s managed by their College Relations department. Folks who want to get their news and announcements out there e-mail them to someone in College Relations who puts the whole thing together each day through some automated database. Something like that.

I know why they did this.

RIT is still in the e-mail free-for-all world. We have RITstaff e-mail. Anyone with a faculty or staff e-mail account can e-mail everyone else. And they do.

For the most part, it’s a well-behaved use of technology. Departments advertise their lecture series, stress management sessions, remind us to turn our computers off over break, advertise specials at Ben & Jerry’s, that kind of thing. They often use atrocious backgrounds that make it nearly impossible to read the text, but it’s OK.

But every few months, someone manages to say something that bothers someone else in some way and that someone (the someone else, are you following?) hits the REPLY TO ALL button.

And lets us ALL know how they feel.

This, of course, sparks a chain of reply-to-alls. Lots of opinions flourish. Free speech is enjoyed. Then there’s the inevitable reply-to-all which says, “Could you please stop replying to all?” Ironic, considering that’s what they did to get their message out to all…

What’s caused today’s e-mail ruckus? Of all things, a well-meaning (although possibly unecessary) note from the Academic Senate office, wishing everyone “a wonderful holiday season, a restful break and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!”

I didn’t know it was possible to be so offended by political correctness. It seems that by trying not to upset folks that celebrate one holiday and not another (i.e. something other than Christmas), Christmas-celebrating people get upset that their own holiday is not specifically mentioned. There are times when you just can’t win, no matter how considerate you try to be.

Personally I like to celebrate as many holidays as I can. Not to demean or diminish the other aspects of the observance, but there’s usually food involved and that’s always something I can get into.


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