Aug 10, 2020

More e-mail space draws praise, indifference

Gmail, AOL, Yahoo! and Hotmail are some of the e-mail services many Fresno State students use, setting aside their school-assigned e-mail address.

Don’t rule out that account just yet.

That’s because campus e-mail has expanded its megabyte capacity from 10 to 500, allowing for 50 times more messages to be received and stored.

Fresno State offers students and faculty a free e-mail account, which seems to go unused by some students.

“The first goal is to provide useful and appropriate services for our students,” said James Michael, associate director of Operating Systems Services at Fresno State.

The university wants students to use their e-mail, and believes that increasing the megabytes will help. Students who use their campus e-mail will now find it’s more effective, Michael said.

Many students use another service provider for their e-mail, because they find it more dependable, among other reasons.

“We hope that increasing the quota will help…encourage more students to use this service,” Michael said.

The upgrade has been in effect since August, but it is too early to tell if more students are using their campus e-mail, Michael said.

Making changes to the e-mail system cost the university $10,000. In the past, this type of upgrade would have cost more, but newer storage technology helped save money, Michael said.

The type of message sent will determine how much the inbox can take. A message with photos will take up more space than an e-mail with just text in it.

Many students did not even know the university had upgraded the megabytes.

The university is hoping that as more students find out about the additional storage space, they will then take advantage of it.

“Recent surveys indicate that over 70 percent of Fresno State students use their campus-provided e-mail account…either always or most of the time,” Michael said.

Getting more students to use their e-mail accounts is a goal during this process, Michael said. If it is free then why not take advantage of it?

The Information Technology Services department will work with the Student Communication Committee to see if there is evidence of higher usage among students, Michael said. The new system can hold more messages than some other e-mail services.

Students who forget about their account can easily have that mail forwarded to their main account. In doing so, this leaves many students not using the Fresno State service.

For some students, e-mail accounts have come in handy because teachers sometimes e-mail study guides, announcements or other important information to their students. Students who are not using their e-mail could be missing out and not getting the information.

“I use the [campus] e-mail all the time for my classes,” senior Alice Vang said. “But I don’t need all that extra space.”

Vang said she looked for school-related information from the campus e-mail account, but uses Hotmail for other purposes, such as MySpace.

The new upgrade also brings improved security and less spam. The process took longer than expected, but in the end, the goal was achieved by creating the additional disk capacity for students, Michael said.

More space will allow students to retain many more messages, and reduce worry about whether an e-mail was missed. Communicating through the e-mail system should now be easier for students and faculty.

The extra storage space comes as welcome news for senior Mailee Her, a social work major who had an unfortunate run-in with the old system.

“My financial aid got delayed because my e-mail was over quota,” Her said.

She said the university was trying to send her the paperwork for making changes to her financial aid information, but it couldn’t get through via e-mail.

“They ended up mailing it to my house,” Her said of the paperwork, “and said I needed to delete my [e-mail] trash.”

Besides that incident, Her said that using the e-mail system in general, such as for contacting professors, was a learning experience for her because her high school teachers were always “a lot more available.”

“We hope that faculty and students will find communicating via e-mail easier and more reliable now that the quota issue is no longer a problem,” Michael said.

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