the last few years the Internet has become the ultimate means of communicating
ideas and expressing oneself to a worldwide audience. It has become
increasingly common to see television commercials that post a World Wide Web
address at the bottom of the screen so interested parties can find out more
about the product being advertised. At movie theaters and in popular magazines
one will also see URLs listed directing the curious to World Wide Web sites.
Since the Internet is so conducive to the rapid exchange of ideas and
information, it seems judicious for Psi Chi chapters to go online, thereby
taking advantage of this new information medium.
getting your chapter online can be problematic from several standpoints.
Nonetheless, if one is persistent, many potential obstacles can be overcome
with minimal effort. The first step, and probably the simplest step involved in
getting your chapter online, is establishing an e-mail account. Although this
sounds like an easy endeavor, some chapters may discover unforeseen problems
associated with establishing e-mail accounts. Also, even if your chapter
already has an e-mail account, there are ways to enhance your account to ensure
the proficiency of your chapter.
establish an e-mail account, an officer should determine who is in charge of
computer services at your school. The head of computer services will be the one
who can authorize the creation of a unique e-mail account for your chapter.
Sometimes, however, schools will have a policy against setting up open accounts
for clubs or organizations. If this is the case at your school, don't panic;
there is an easy way around this problem. If your school has this policy, ask
the head of computer services if you can set up an alias. An alias receives
mail without storing it. Rather, it diverts incoming mail to preestablished
personal e-mail accounts. An alias does this without being an actual
accountable address. Therefore, if your chapter has an e-mail alias of firstname.lastname@example.org, this address
will receive all messages sent to it and then echo those messages to whoever
you wish to receive the messages. The bonus associated with this arrangement is
that all chapter officers can be set up to receive all mail sent to your
chapter. With all officers receiving Psi Chi-related e-mail, response rates
should increase, thus making your chapter and other chapters more proficient in
communicating thoughts and ideas. [EDITOR'S NOTE -- Be sure to notify computer
services of any changes, e.g., when new officers take office. Also, put this
procedure in writing and include it in the permanent chapter notebook(s) to be
passed from one set of officers to the next.]
your chapter is among the many that already have a unique chapter e-mail
account established, it may be helpful to implement a forwarding option on your
chapter account. A forwarding option is similar to an alias because it too
echoes messages to anyone you wish. The rationale behind forwarding is simple:
the problem with having a specific Psi Chi e-mail account is that it is
infrequently checked for incoming messages. While one may be in the habit of
checking personal e-mail daily, chapter e-mail accounts are often neglected for
weeks at a time. This delay defeats the purpose of chapters being online, since
the primary advantage of being online is to increase speed of communication. To
initiate forwarding, speak with somebody in your computer services department.
Your computer services department will be your greatest resource for getting
your chapter's e-mail optimized.
in reviewing a list of chapter e-mail addresses, I have noticed that many
chapters simply use the chapter president's personal e-mail or the faculty
advisor's e-mail. I would advise against this practice since this means chapter
addresses will change annually, thus making it difficult for the Psi Chi
National Office to keep abreast of current chapter e-mail addresses. Aliases
and distinct Psi Chi accounts with a forwarding option are by far the preferred
arrangement for bringing your chapter online at the height of proficiency.
the next issue of Eye on Psi Chi
I will discuss issues related to setting up chapter web sites on the World Wide
Web. In the mean time, if you have any questions regarding e-mail, feel free to
send me a message at email@example.com.