As Haverford students begin their spring semester, some major changes are coming to the College’s communications infrastructure. The Weekly Consensus, which is an hc-all email about events happening each week, returned this past week after being discontinued two years ago. The return of the Weekly Consensus is in part an attempt to reduce the number of hc-all emails students receive, and is just one of many changes that Haverford College has made regarding communication over the past couple of years.
“The return of the Weekly Consensus coincided with updates made to the all-campus email policy,” said Michael Elias, head of student activities, via email. “Since the consensus gathers community announcements, events, sign-ups, etc. the hope is that it will reduce the number of all-campus emails and organize information more intentionally.”
Katie Leiferman and Mariana Ramirez ’20, the Students’ Council Co-Secretaries who are responsible for creating the Weekly Consensus, expressed a desire for students to utilize the email. Groups who want to have their announcements added to the weekly consensus can fill out a Google form sent out by the Co-Secretaries.
“Katie and I are very excited to bring back the Weekly Consensus,” the Co-Secretaries wrote in an email. “We hope that this can be a helpful tool for students to stay informed on everything happening on campus weekly. We highly encourage the student body to fill out the submission form with updates they would like to see included each week.”
The Weekly Consensus had been discontinued following the launch of the Havertivity app in the spring of 2016. Havertivity was originally conceived of as an app that could perform the functions of the Weekly Consensus and allow students to message each other and buy and sell items. However, it became clear Havertivity was not effective in connecting students in a constructive way that enhanced communication and coordination on campus, as reported by the Clerk last year.
Haverford is currently in the process of launching a new app called LOOP to be used by students for communication. The app was originally scheduled to launch in the late fall semester of 2017, but was delayed because of problems that arose during testing. Nevertheless, all signs point toward LOOP launching this semester, and Students’ Council has been telling student clubs to prepare for integrating with it.
“The LOOP software is designed to build intentional connections within the community and foster better relationships across common interests,” said Elias. “The scope of the LOOP project goes well beyond the process of sending a weekly email containing campus announcements.”
Elias added that “there’s no reason [the Weekly Consensus and LOOP] couldn’t exist simultaneously.” There are no plans currently to phase out the Weekly Consensus as of this writing.