Keeping The Lights On

Nobody likes junk mail. Sifting through spam in your inbox is a pain in the butt. And, fending off telephone solicitations during the dinner hour is as annoying as it gets.

We live our lives surrounded by media and under constant bombardment by a seemingly endless onslaught of catalogues and e-solicitations and telemarketers. And because there seems to be no escape from the flood of inquiries and surveys and one-time-only deals that are guaranteed to make our lives happy, meaningful, and complete most of us feel a powerful urge just to ignore all of it.  Let someone else deal with it. We'll call or text or email the people we want to call or text or email and everyone else can just leave us alone!

But, if you don't pay the electric bill your power will get shut off. So, you have to go to the mailbox and sift through the junk mail to find the electric bill and pay it to keep the lights on and your smartphone charged and your computer whirring away.

Part of being an independent and responsible adult is dealing with the sort of mundane, not particularly exciting or pleasant tasks that ensure that the power doesn't get shut off. And there are parts of your relationship with Colby that are not unlike one's relationship with the electric company.  On the bright side (no pun intended), Colby isn't going to shut off your power. But there are several electric-bill-like things the College needs you to do from time to time. Things like registering for courses, signing up for housing, receiving and completing course materials, assignments, or correspondence from professors, not to mention a variety of communications from the dean's office, student financial services, or the health center to name just a few. And the way Colby will communicate with you is through email sent to your Colby email account and/or paper correspondence sent to your campus mailbox or to your permanent home address (when we are not in session).


You need to read your Colby email and check your campus mail daily. You are responsible for the information that is sent to you via these media. In other words, if you miss a change to a class assignment or the course registration deadline or your housing selection time because you didn't check your email or campus mail, then you're out of luck. Like when the electric company shuts off the power because you didn't pay the bill.

Pay attention to what's happening on campus.  Read your Colby email. Check your campus mail. Follow through on the things you need to do. It's easy. And if you do, then your life will be happy, meaningful, and complete.

Jim Terhune
Dean of Students

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