Don’t sue us, part 56

Before I’d seen the light, I was a political science and journalism double major. Even though I switched from polisci to legal studies my sophomore year, I never got taken off the polisci listserv. The department assistant sends out all kinds of job offers and other emails of potential interest to the listserv. This week, I received the following message:

Dear Students,

The Political Science Department has been inundated with requests from various campaigns and political organizations seeking students to work in both paid and unpaid positions. Since the Department adheres to a nonpartisan policy, future messages will not be forwarded through our listserv. Of course, we encourage students to get involved in the political process, especially during this exciting election season. If you are interested in working with a particular campaign or a political organization, we recommend that you contact their offices directly.

Bonnie Gordon
Undergraduate Program Assistant
Department of Political Science

The overwhelming majority of listserv messages sent to polisci majors pertain to political organizations and campaigns. I wonder if the department is going to stop sending out messages altogether.

I’m also wondering: So long as the department doesn’t discriminate by blocking certain messages while allowing others, how does forwarding a message from a political organization constitute a violation of the “nonpartisan policy”? This seems more like an antipartisan policy than a nonpartisan one.

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8 Responses to Don’t sue us, part 56

  1. lbsmom says:

    How hard can it be to forward these things? Do they screen messages before forwarding them? Are they concerned they might have to do that if they continue? Whatever the reason, & it would be good to know the reason besides “inundated,” they should say more. For now, I agree, it sounds anti partisan.

  2. robertlnelson says:

    I suspect it is a workload issue. We could ask Bonnie Gordon, but maybe it is more fun just to speculate amongst ourselves. If your headline is accurate, it is not the first time officials have used the law as an excuse to avoid doing something they would prefer not to do in any case. Happens all the time. My lawyer made me do it (or not do it).

  3. laurabethnielsen says:

    I encourage e-mail reduction of all varieties. But, there could be an opt-in list. The email distribution lists for NU students would be a valuable commodity for spammers and sales people of all varities. What do they put through?

  4. lbsmom says:

    Bob, What is that picture you’re using? Planter, wooden box with different top, things stacked? Mine’s a picture of the Kazan Narrows on the Danube River at sunrise.

  5. laurabethnielsen says:

    for bob: rice krispie treat. his favorite — and, as Jeremy says, he snaps and crackles in milk. How Jeremy knows this is something we should not ask.

  6. dspett says:

    I don’t mean to say Bonnie Gordon must spend her time fwding these things– she probably has better things to do. But she blames the nonpartisan policy, not the inundation, for not being able to send them anymore. If I get a chance, I’ll ask her to clarify the rationale.

  7. David–what’s the difference between nonpartisan and antipartisan? Is antipartisanship the act of intentionally eschewing politics altogether?

    If that’s correct then I agree whole-heartedly — how can a political science department withdraw itself from politics in the midst of one of the most important Presidential primaries in decades?

  8. dspett says:

    Yup. Looks like you just clarified my argument better than I could have. Thanks for that.

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