On your mark, get set, GO WUSTL!

| Assignment Editor

Say goodbye to acorns as Squirrelmail goes into hibernation. The release date for the new GO WUSTL e-mail program has been moved forward to Wednesday.

A GO WUSTL pilot program has been underway since mid-January. Student Technology Services (STS) representatives said it has been a success.

“The feedback has been generally good,” Director of Student Technology Services Barbara Braun said. “There have been a few hiccups along the way that were Microsoft-related.”

According to Marcia Mannen, associate director of client support for Arts & Sciences Computing, most of the questions that students participating in the pilot have raised were not technical. There have not been many questions regarding the actual program, but rather addressing issues such as mail forwarding.

The Student Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) has been happy with the pilot.

“It’s going to be a good transition,” said sophomore Brandon Lucius, a member of STAC. “There are a lot of tools and applications that are going to make students’ lives more organized and efficient.”

Tools available with the new GO WUSTL program include video and text chat, an application similar to Google Documents, and a global address book.

According to Braun, the global address book is among one of the favorite applications of the pilot program participants.

Issues that have plagued the new e-mail service since the pilot started include backlogged e-mail and issues with the spam filters.

Sophomore Betel Ezaz, who is participating in the pilot program, has found some of its drawbacks.

“It seems inefficient right now, even compared to what we already have,” she said. “My main issue is that it loses e-mails and that the spam folder always has legitimate e-mails. I think they can figure it out. They’ve been really good about feedback.”

To remedy the issue with regular mail ending up in spam folders, all e-mails from Wash. U. addresses have been whitelisted.

“Overall I think it will be better because of the options that are available through GO WUSTL,” Ezaz said. “It’s just a matter of working out the small issues before we go live with it. I think it’s good.”

Arts & Sciences and engineering students are making the transition from Squirrelmail.

“From our perspective we know it’s something to be excited about,” said Kristen Hornberger, communications specialist for the Engineering Public Relations & Communications department.

The business school is transitioning from a less advanced version of Microsoft Outlook.

“It’s a very smooth transition,” said Sharon Yoon, associate director of MBA student affairs. “It’s very nice I think. Students are very savvy, and this is very intuitive.”

The old e-mail accounts will not be phased out immediately; their end dates have not yet been decided.

STS will be offering a series of hour-long workshops in early March to help acquaint students with GO WUSTL. In the meetings STS will discuss how to use specific applications and how to forward mail. STS is also encouraging students to look to the GO WUSTL Web site to find answers to simple questions.

Expectations for the program’s success are running high.

“If the pilot program was any indication, it was pretty smooth,” Braun said. “I don’t think it will be too difficult.”

  • ben

    Backlogged e-mail and issues with the spam filters? Microsoft related issues? GREAT.