Students are now taking care to read the body text of emails sent to them by the UVSS and their contractors as opposed to just skimming the subject line.
The sudden change in behaviour comes after backlash in response to an important email sent out to students in early 2017 pertaining to a change in students’ UVSS pharma and dental plans. The email received criticism due to the fact that its subject line read “Register for Pharmacare and win a $50 VISA gift card,” not clearly conveying its subject matter if recipients did not read the entire document.
One student interviewed gave his reasoning for why he planned to spend much more time reading over innocuous-seeming emails.
“I don’t know, man,” said Derry Manchego, a third year student majoring in Puppet Arts. “What if I get an email from one of the coffee shops in the SUB with the subject line ‘Buy One, Get One 50% off,’ and halfway into the email they say that they plan on building a small nuclear reactor to power their espresso machine? I would want to know of that sort of thing before it happened.
“Especially when I’m already tied into that particular coffee plan,” Manchego continued. “I want to know if I’m in danger of not being able to drink that coffee even though I’ve already been roped into buying the plan. I need my coffee.”
Pascal Cavatelli, a fifth year student studying Marine Ergonomics had similar points to make.
“Do you really want to ignore something that might be impactful? I don’t think I’ll read emails in their entirety more than I used to, but it’s something to consider,” she said. “If you suddenly found out that the government might be announcing mandatory military drafts through the Martlet’s back page, people might start reading the Martlet instead of using it to line their bird cages.”
According to reports, students using their phones in class to read these emails are eliciting mixed responses from teachers. Dr. Reisling, a professor at UVic teaching Viticulture and Enology wrote in on the subject.
“Well usually the titles of emails are pretty explicit. Either it’s an important document that’s being sent, or it’s junk mail. One would hope that upon reading the first couple of lines a student would be able to deduce if the email had any real significant impact on their life.”
“People really seem to be spending a lot more time reading the entire email than usual while in class,” they continued. “I wish they didn’t need to do it during class time, but I know that for them it’s a matter of safety.”
After reaching out, we received a statement from Studentcare — the third-party company who sent out the controversial email earlier this year. Studentcare defended their decision to advertise a VISA gift card in the subject line:
“Register to win a brand new 2018 ASUS Laptop!”