Wellesley College Google Groups, a ubiquitous aspect of all Wellesley lives that has guided, enraged and above all, connected the campus, died in its home in Fall 2019.
Emails, for better or for worse, have been an inexorable part of daily life at Wellesley. Beyond professors emailing classes and the occasional College announcement, Google Groups have enabled the campus the unique ability to email the entire community body.
“IN TEN MINUTES,” a subject line proclaims. “ACTION REQUIRED,” reads another, most likely for an org with no more than a 15-student membership. Students have come to expect a dozen emails like that or more — in the span of an hour.
The short but well-lived existence of Google Groups has not been without controversy. In past months, the ability to mass email the school has garnered ire and frustration from students who lacked the sensible ability to adjust their email settings to digest.
Several town halls have been hosted about Google Groups, with the student body, administrators and other community members gathering to discuss solutions to the issues Google Groups have posed and potential replacements for it. However, the change will fundamentally alter the fabric of the campus body in every possible way.
Before Google Groups, and email in general, were introduced to Wellesley students, students received campus-wide communication, a relatively sparse number of administrative and safety announcements, in their mail boxes or in their voicemail boxes.
This is a time of great mourning for the community. If nothing else, Wellesley College Google Groups leaves behind a plethora of memories, shared amongst generations of students, faculty, staff, alumnae and the unfortunate ones who were forwarded particularly noteworthy threads by their beloved Wellesley loved ones.
In remembrance, The Wellesley News has compiled a Greatest Hits of Wellesley email of the last five years. This list is by no means exhaustive.
- OIS’s fatal error
- A simple error resulted in a 45-reply thread from recently graduated alumni in the Fall of 2018. A worker in the Office of International Study sent an all-school email, but included the wrong class year, inspiring several dozen members of the Class of 2017 to inquire, via reply-all, about opting out of the thread.
- Lost OneCard
- This one escapes all logic. Students will send out all school emails stating they lost a card that has their identification information on it. One student had enough and asked if the other could just use the Lost and Found Facebook page or pay $10 to get a replacement. A debate about class, privilege and wealth spiraled out of this as well as students comically asking for pretzels and snacks. This thread gratefully ended: “Thank you for coming to my TedTalk.”
- The greenest umbrella?
- Amidst a sea of “lost umbrella emails”, one stood out to shine above the rest. One brave soul demanded that there umbrella be returned now, but an even braver soul wanted to let the person know that they are “color blind, [so un]sure if [the umbrella is] yours. On a scale of 1 to 2, how green is your umbrella?”
- Does anyone have fork?
- On 11:11 p.m., Broti Gupta ’16 needed a fork and wished that someone in her dorm would be able to provide. Instead of emailing her dorm, she accidentally emailed the entire school. This mistake has led her to opportunity in her career as a comedy writer, even having creating a segment for Comedy Central’s Unsend about the situation called “Broti Gupta’s Fork in the Road.” She did, eventually, receive a fork.
- Lost Scrunchie
- A student attempted to inform the entire school to be on the lookout for their lost scrunchie, failing to email two of the present class years and instead emailing two class years that have graduated.
- Stolen Laptop
- Earlier this semester, someone had their laptop taken while dining in Pomeroy. The student emailed the entire school asking for it to be returned on the hopes that it was an accident. A student responded that it was not best to assume it was stolen and that the original sender should change their tone. A debate raged in the replies defending and arguing against the inclusion of the addendum to the original post.
- The clickbait to end all clickbait-y emails. Imagine being a stressed out senior and reading about a job after graduation, $600 scholarships or even a full scholarship? Many students clicked and then were met with the realization that they would then have to be apart of the American military industrial complex to reap any of these benefits. As custom, a debate about the military and recruiting was sparked in the comments in the form of emojis, selfies and factoids.
- Inner Peas
- Everyone can remember where they were standing when they received the infamous “Inner peas trader joe’s snack” email. A seemingly innocuous attempt to live by the Honor Code, the email prompted an 18-email thread, including a rather generous use of typographical emphasis, the establishment of the “common sense coalition” and a succinct and apt clown emoji.
January 2020 will be the start of a new year, a new decade and a new academic semester. But most notably, it will the first semester without our beloved Google Groups. Who will fill this hole in our heart previously filled by 18 email replies? We know Wellesley students will find a way. While Wellesley College Google Groups have met their unfortunate demise, their legacy will never be deleted.