E-mail has become the central form of communication on campus.
It has become so popular, in fact, that many students, faculty and
staff find themselves exceeding the 50 MB quota for their IMAP
mailbox, prompting a message from Godzilla — the quota
server.

Information Technology Central Services is trying to solve this
problem of disruption to e-mail by making changes to the Basic
Computing Package for students, faculty and staff. The changes,
which will be implemented in September, will provide users with a
larger e-mail mailbox.

“For students, these are all enhancements to the service.
We think (the changes) are necessary because of the increased uses
of technology by students,” User Services Director Ruth Addis
said.

ITCS e-mail mailboxes will be increased from 50 MB to 200 MB and
IFS space will be increased from 50 MB to 1 GB.

Also, if a user requires additional space, the cost will only be
$1 per GB per month compared to $0.25 for every 5 MB per month.

“The default space of 1 GB is more than any student is
using right now, and if a student does go over, the price is
greatly reduced,” Addis said.

There have been many complaints from students, faculty and staff
— who constantly rely on e-mail — about the lack of
e-mail space.

Like many students, LSA senior Evan Glicker has had his inbox
flooded in the past. He said it was inconvenient to be cut off from
e-mail and hopes the new changes will prevent this in the
future.

Addis said faculty and staff were also unhappy with the system.
“In terms of the mailboxes, they weren’t big enough.
File space was not enough for faculty and staff with research
projects. They were having to develop their own file systems and
mail servers,” she added.

The BCP changes come at a time when other e-mail services are
expanding as well. A new form of e-mail through Google –
known as Gmail — provides users with 1 GB of storage.

“We didn’t feel competition from these places.
Students have been using other services for years. It’s not
driven by Gmail, but the fact is, people expect more space,”
Addis said.

University alum Bill Workman said he thinks that providing
bigger e-mail mailboxes is the next technological step for the
University.

“They’ve already got up-to-date computers. This is
worth doing, especially for the IFS space,” Workman said.

Students, faculty and staff will benefit from more space because
they will be able to make CD images on their IFS space, he
added.

This technology is important to education, he added,
particularly because it allows better communication between
students and teachers.  

Other changes to the BCP include free and unlimited statewide
MichNet dial-in access. The printing allocation for students will
remain at 400 pages a semester, but it will be reduced for faculty
and staff from 400 pages to 50 pages.

The academic deans decided they did not want to reduce the
printing allocation for students, Addis said. Faculty and staff,
however, do not need to use this central resource because they can
use the printers in their own departments and offices.

During the last fiscal year, which lasts from July 1 to June 30,
22,850,000 pages were printed from the computing sites in the
libraries. ITCS hopes to reduce this number so they can use their
budget to provide better technology, such as bigger e-mail
mailboxes and more IFS space, Addis said.

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