Opinions & Editorials

Respond to my emails

By Trevor Tiemeyer, Staff Writer

The ways students can contact faculty and staff are becoming even more limited.

The majority of professors on campus will only allow students to contact them via their Xavier email or office phone. Unfortunately, this is not always a viable option for time-sensitive or simple questions.  

As someone who works in marketing and planning for clubs both past and present, correspondence are crucial to understanding logistics. This, of course, requires people to read their email or other communication and act on its request.  

In my encounters, there are mainly two types of email responders: instantaneous or non-existent.  

There have been times when I am struggling through an essay around 3 a.m. On two separate occasions, with the same professor, I emailed him at that time, and he responded in two minutes.  

Firstly, I was concerned about him being up that late. Secondly, though I would have been satisfied with a response in the morning around 8 a.m., I genuinely appreciated their dedication to email attentiveness. 

On the other hand, I requested to meet with a different professor outside of their office hours and received a reply nine days later after two follow-up emails. Obviously, it was past the time of being useful.

This is not to say that an immediate response is the only good one. For example, a response within 24 hours is generally accepted. However, when response time exceeds that regularly, a problem begins to arise.  

The number of people who respond to emails effectively and efficiently is rapidly declining these days.   

A survey conducted by Creative Strategies in 2020 found that the emphasis put on emails is something Gen Z is not keeping up with. They much prefer other methods for collaboration and found that the under-30 group repeatedly ranked email lower than the majority of other platforms. 

It would seem that the solution is what they grew up with. Creative Strategies reported that  ”iMessage ranked far higher with the under-30s than Slack or Microsoft Teams chat.”

Moreover, an option would be for professors to give their personal phone number. Some of my professors and advisers have given the class their number for “emergency” questions or even to submit assignments. 

Texting could benefit a lot of struggling students. If faculty and staff are willing to meet students in the middle by texting instead of solely relying on emails or Canvas, the campus could be much more productive. 

Although this is only one of a few options to fix the problem, some people have difficulty giving out their number. I could understand that if we were at a different school with different standards. However, this is Xavier. I want to think that we have a greater understanding of professional settings and ethics due to our ethics-based coursework than other institutions.

Giving out their number is just one way faculty and staff could become more accessible to the student body. Still, I could only be so lucky if the solution to this issue were that straightforward.  

This message is not only for faculty and staff but also for students. There is no excuse in the real world to not respond to an email for over a week, so there is no excuse to not respond while in university either.   

Emails and other communication apps are how the world functions, so either intentionally or unintentionally waiting to respond to correspondences is highly unprofessional. 

I am imploring you to check your email at least once a day. If you can, get it on your phone or always have it open on your computer. That way, you can respond in a faster method as well.  

Even if you do not have a complete response, just giving them a confirmation that you have received their email and are looking into it is very important.  

I can understand taking a weekend off to reset your mental health or if you were away from your desk for an extended period. However, a response for something should be expected, as a courtesy, within 24 hours of their correspondence.   

Regardless of status as an adult or student, please read and respond to your emails or texts.

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