To the Editor,

I am writing to draw attention to what I see as an egregious abuse of power and an important resource. Every time it snows, I, like most other Bowdoin students, have been receiving texts notifying us of parking bans and cancellations of the Shuttle and Brunswick Taxi services. This is in addition to emails containing the same information and is unnecessary and annoying as shit. My main bone of contention, though, is that my understanding of the purpose of Bowdoin Security’s text alert system was that it was to be used to swiftly contact students in the event of an emergency. A parking ban is emphatically not an emergency, and as such, using the text system to notify students of parking bans is a serious misuse of the resource. The first time I received one of these texts, I assumed it was related to a campus emergency (why else would I have gotten such a text?) and my blood pressure ratcheted up, only to slink back down upon my discovery that the text was about parking. I have gotten enough of these texts over the course of the semester—I’m starting to get more texts from Randy than from my mom—that now when I see that I have received a text from Bowdoin Security, I assume it’s parking related, and ignore it. 

A text from Randy has lost any urgency it may have originally carried and as such has seriously damaged the efficacy of the text alert system as a way of notifying students of an emergency. What’s the point of having a text alert system for emergencies if you have, through vacuous messages, conditioned students to ignore them? Damn, Randy, stop abusing the text alert system to tell me about parking.

Laurel Mast ’14