President’s message cuts out DPS


Each year, Saint Louis University administrators and planning committees work hard to improve campus at all levels. We are greeted to fresh fauna and faces everywhere we look. In this crowded and dynamic setting, it’s too easy to lose track of important news.
The Office of the President sends a monthly message summarizing the developments that the SLU administration undertakes. It also serves to outline future plans that SLU hopes to bring to fruition. All SLU students receive this gilded mailer.
This is also a message to SLU’s Board of Trustees, who especially have the right to know about the projects where their kind donations are being utilized. It is SLU’s attempt to give students and our highest benefactors a semblance of transparency.
While it attempts to relay important information, it fails to address its audience.
The messages are at least three to five pages in length; the June message was nine. Students already have heavy textbooks and readings to absorb – at what impetus would we be willing to double click our e-mails and sift through pages of fine and wordy print?
We are capable of handling long reading, but we still need our news bites in some organized and prioritized fashion. Students understandably do not read the messages, resulting in key (if inefficiently expressed) information becoming lost.
The reason this problem needs to surface now is because the August message failed to include news on a key change that campus security is experiencing. It also buried truly important information inside a haystack of bureaucratic language.

The Department of Public Safety has replaced its CEO with a new director, as well changed its name to Public Safety and Security Services. This has created confusion among all of us, since we all understand the policing body by one name and not the other. Not only is this carelessness troublesome to students, it’s also extremely problematic  to the Board of Trustees who are equally uninformed in the message.
Important student issues such as the Grand Bridge Reconstruction and Hotel Ignacio, on the flip side, have been given brief paragraphs. Following these gems, we have a swath of thorny details outlining the minutiae of some reconstruction being done in Des Peres Hall.
The most important issues, such as the Grand Bridge Reconstruction and Hotel Ignacio, are not receiving attention – if at all.
While this may present clear information for our Board of Trustees, respectfully, students do not gain much from these messages. Since students also invest in the University (same as the Board of Trustees), we deserve to have our information tailored to our needs.
Information, especially in what many consider the Information Age, need to be relayed so that intended audiences can see information and absorb it.
This means that the messages either needs to have information arranged so that student-concerned news is first and other details come later. Important student-related news needs to be included as well.
This written communication can be improved as such, helping along student-administration relations and transparency.