Email contains welcome but disorganized information

Credit: Annette Ko/Art Editor Credit: Annette Ko/Art Editor

John Hannon, associate dean of student affairs, recently emailed students not in university housing information about living off campus. The information encompasses appropriate off-campus conduct, police presence, student-neighbor relations, landlords, over-occupancy, garbage, and parking.

The email provides information often overlooked or forgotten and is a welcome resource for students; it is a positive sign from the university that it encourages a safe community for not only students living on campus, but for upperclassmen living off campus as well. However, the email could have been organized more effectively to interest students in the information.

While some information in the email may be obvious, such as the increased presence of police in nearby neighborhoods, other bits of information could easily be unknown. For example, the email describes that city zoning codes require that no more than three unrelated people live in a single-family residence. Landlords may overlook this rule, but the rule can later be enforced to evict students if police find that they have violated the zoning codes. The email gives students the opportunity to comply with the code and other city laws, such as parking laws, if they do not currently.

The university should be recognized for reaching out to its students to provide them with information that can ease the transition to living off campus. This compilation of city information is a useful resource that can be referenced as needed throughout the year.

Unfortunately, this helfpful information was buried in block after block of poorly formatted and hard-to-read text, and this information should be placed on a university resources page for off-campus students. A more inviting email or website may encourage students to read this generally useful information. The attempt by the university to reach out to students living off campus is appreciated, but that attempt to reach out must be more visible, rather than hidden in a lengthy email.