Letter to the editor: Iowa State should not distribute email addresses for political advertising

Katherine Taylor

I received an email Thursday from a [email protected] You, too, probably did. As a harmless email, it was neither threatening, offensive, nor objectionable by the writer’s words (and I’m sure Mr. Thomas is a very nice man). The email had a friendly tone and a positive message.

However, the “unique opportunity” I was offered in the email was to vote for his (I assume) friend, Stephen Quist, running for the Iowa House of Representatives. This brought up a stirring question:

Since when was the university’s listserve an untapped market for political ads? Where is this heading?

I put up with the advertisements for “Cy’s Locker Room” (seriously, Iowa State? In the wake of the Sandusky events, you want to invite me into a locker room? At least reword it). I delete the “Businesses That Really Work” emails and move on with the day. Heck, I even put up with the incredibly polite-yet-invasive Cru… or Salt Company… I forget the difference between them. I think the last email I got was from Cru… no matter. I believe they both have good intentions.

But a political pitch? Regardless of political affiliation, this is incredibly wrong that the whole of Iowa State’s contact info is now grounds for political ads. There are enough partisan junk on radio, TV, Youtube and Hulu. I sure don’t want more in my school inbox.

I don’t know if our emails are being bought or “loaned” to third-party entities, but this is ridiculous. I’m sick of my contact information being used as a marketing opportunity, monetary or otherwise. If I wanted a useless email account full of junk I’ve never been interested in, I’d go back to Hotmail.