Microsoft Web program innovates student e-mail

| Assignment Editor

SquirrelMail may become obsolete on the Washington University campus this semester when the University e-mail system is replaced by the GO WUSTL e-mail program.

GO WUSTL e-mail will be available for use by all undergraduate students and students in six of the University’s graduate schools.

The GO WUSTL system, created using Microsoft’s Live@edu, will offer students tools that are not available on SquirrelMail. These tools include live chat and video chat.

The system also includes a calendar and online storage space. The students will also have access to a full University e-mail directory. In the past, each school has had its own address book.

The new program will be implemented in two stages. A pilot program, which started on Tuesday, gives almost 500 Wash. U. students a chance to test out the new e-mail program. The pilot program will provide administrators the opportunity to iron out any problems with the system. In early March the program is slated to be expanded to all students.

“We do anticipate it will be smooth,” Barbara Braun, director of Student Technology Services, wrote of the transition in an e-mail to Student Life.

All e-mail from the obsolete SquirrelMail accounts will be forwarded to the new GO WUSTL accounts.

Some students are looking forward to this change. Freshman Kevin Liang, who finds SquirrelMail difficult to use, has had his Wash. U. e-mail forwarded to his independent e-mail account during his first year at Wash. U.

“I may switch back if the e-mail system is good,” Liang said.

The practice of e-mail forwarding is common among students. Junior Erica Cole also has her Wash. U. e-mail forwarded to her Gmail account. Cole said the new GO WUSTL program will have no effect on her.

“I don’t really care,” Cole said. “Either way I will get my e-mail forwarded to Gmail.”

Many students remain unaware of the imminent transition.

“This is the first that I’m hearing of it,” freshman Johanna Rudnik said. “It would be nice to be told that the program was going to happen.”

Liang suggests that the new program should be advertised better to the student body so that students have an opportunity to learn about it before March.

Many students are optimistic about the changes.

“I have no problem with it as long as my e-mails are forwarded,”  Rudnik said.

Liang said, “I think it is good. SquirrelMail was hard to use.”

To activate their GO WUSTL accounts, students need to have a WUSTL KEY and a password, as well as an alternate, non-University e-mail address.

The password for the GO WUSTL e-mail will be the same as the WUSTL KEY password.

Further information on the program, as well as instructions on how to set up and use the new e-mail accounts, is available online at http://go.wustl.edu.