The Stallseat Journal, Drake’s weekly bathroom newsletter, is set to move online for the rest of the semester after on-campus classes were canceled due to the coronavirus.
The idea to move the Stallseat online was brought up before the coronavirus pandemic hit, according to Campus Communication Coordinator Maddy Kapel.
“The idea was originally brought up in a Residence Hall Association meeting about a month ago separate from the pandemic,” Kapel said. “Since halls have had difficulties putting up the Stallseats each week, the RHA president suggested moving online so not as much paper is wasted.”
Kapel did not originally support moving the Stallseat online.
“I originally was not a fan of the idea since it takes away the purpose of the Journal which is to be something to quickly read in the bathroom and as an easy communication platform between RHA and Hall ECs to their residents,” Kapel said.
However, when on-campus classes were canceled for the remainder of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kapel saw it as an opportunity to try something new.
“When classes were moved online, I thought it would be the perfect time to try out the idea to see if residents would read the Stallseat Journal if it was online or not,” Kapel said. “After all, RHA cannot communicate with residents through a piece of paper in the bathrooms if most of the students are in their homes.”
Abby Minten, Communications Chair from Stalnaker Hall, found the transition to the online Stallseat to be easier for her as a writer.
“I find it easier,” Minten said. “I have more time to find ideas.”
According to Kapel though, getting the online Stallseat to reach the student body presents a challenge.
“I definitely think it will be more difficult. Due to limitations on email blasts, the link to the Journal has not even been sent out to residents yet,” Kapel said. “Additionally, without a weekly meeting, it is very easy for my committee members and especially me to forget to send materials soon enough to get the Stallseat done.”
While Minten enjoyed the paper version better, she said she hopes the online Stallseat will be a success.
“I hope some people look at it,” Minten said. “I personally like the paper versions but I understand it’s difficult to hang them up every week.”
Kapel said she believes that once the link is sent out to students, it will find a decent readership.
“I think once the link is finally sent out it will be a success,” Kapel said. “The Stallseat Journal has always been a favorite among students at the University that they will want to keep reading.”
This pride in the Stallseat is the reason Kapel said she chose to run for Campus Communication Coordinator in the first place.
“I ran for coordinator because of how much I enjoyed reading the Stallseat Journal as a freshman,” Kapel said. “It is something that other schools do not have. I think it is a great way to get information about what is going on on campus and around the halls, and I knew that I wanted to get involved in it.”
Minten said that she also takes pride in the publication of the weekly Stallseat Journal.
“I really like the comments that I receive from others about how they liked the section I did that week or how it made them laugh,” Minten said. “I love the Stallseat and I think it’s a good way to give out information and inform students about what is going on that week.”
In the end, Kapel said she enjoys creating the Stallseat for the Drake community, regardless of what form that takes in the future.
“I enjoy creating the Stallseat Journal every week,” Kapel said. “I take great pride in making each edition fun and informative for residents and for everyone.”