While students at Elon University have become accustomed to rapid changes on an expanding campus, many were surprised after receiving their President’s List and Dean’s List certificates for the 2014 fall semester via email instead of the traditional printed ones.

Although some students across campus have called the maneuver a way to cut costs, University Registrar Dr. Rodney Parks says the move was more concerned with saving the other kind of green.

“We mainly changed it to support our green initiatives of being a paperless environment,” Parks said. “Certainly this does save money, but very little. The certificates were not that expensive to print and mail.”

Parks also cited various logistical issues and frustrations that resulted from mailing the certificates to each student individually.

“Each semester we received many of them back for bad addresses and could never get students to pick them up from our office,” Parks said.

Freshman Alexander Pearl, who made the Dean’s List for fall semester, believes that moving the certificates online was a smart move.

“It really didn’t affect me,” Pearl said. “I thought it was nice our school wasn’t wasting paper. The online certificate also can't be lost.”

While Parks thinks the complaints about the shift from print certificates to electronic ones have been minimal [he’s only received two complaints] he encourages all students who would like a printed copy to go to the Office of the University Registrar.

“We have had two complaints so far, but both were fine when they found out they can still get a paper copy,” Parks said. “ We will still print a hard copy certificate for any student that requests one.”

Within a span of two years, Elon has moved processes that affect students online in order to save time, promote efficiency and be environmentally conscious.

Any students with questions regarding the shift to online processes are encouraged to visit the Office of the Registrar in Alamance 102.

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