The Collegian
Monday, February 26, 2024

SpiderBytes returns to email format in addition to website

A screenshot of the Dec. 6 edition of the re-introduced SpiderBytes daily email.
A screenshot of the Dec. 6 edition of the re-introduced SpiderBytes daily email.

Whether school was in session or students were on break, the SpiderBytes email filled with announcements always came. Whether they were part of the group that read SpiderBytes every day or never read it, students noticed when they stopped receiving the emails.

SpiderBytes, a list of campus announcements and opportunities, was delivered to every student's inbox early every morning. 

This summer, SpiderBytes stopped coming as an email and transitioned into a webpage on the University of Richmond website. 

“I thought SpiderBytes went away because they realized no one read them,” sophomore Grace Bebout said. 

According to the communications department, House Bill 1 was not applicable to SpiderBytes and is not the reason that the email was stopped. HB1 is the Virginia bill that went into effect this summer that makes it illegal for an “institution” to give out the email address of a student unless the student has consented in writing. The communications department declined to comment on why the SpiderBytes emails had ceased.

Cynthia Price, director of media and public relations, said previously the format of SpiderBytes had changed because students had not been reading the emails.

Although some students knew about the move to the webpage, others were unaware and thought the email had disappeared. 

During the Nov. 13 State of the University address, Vice President for Communications John Barry announced that University Communications would reintroduce the daily SpiderBytes email in conjunction with the designated landing page. 

Price said the daily SpiderBytes email was seen as a valuable piece of information to students and faculty members, so they had chosen to reintroduce it in email format in early December. 

SpiderBytes came back on Dec. 6, without any formal announcement to the student body beforehand from University Communications. For first-year Maggie Raso, who received SpiderBytes for the first time last week, getting the email without any notice or information was a little confusing. 

"When I got the email without any explanation, I was confused because it didn’t have dates or anything and was just a list of things with numbers and names next to them," Raso said. 

Before SpiderBytes was reintroduced, Raso relied on word of mouth, tabling in Tyler Haynes Commons and the TVs in the Commons to know what was happening around campus, she said. 

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