It doesn’t take a techie to know that GUMail Messenger Express, the university’s default e-mail system, is downright archaic. From the drab design and primitive mail-managing system to the measly 20 megabytes of storage space, it adds up to one of the most user-unfriendly e-mail systems a university could use.

University Information Services has been talking about moving the university’s e-mail system to a better platform for more than two years. UIS originally planned to begin transitioning student accounts to the Gmail service this past February. It is now the end of March and Messenger Express endures.

UIS Director Beth Ann Bergsmark said that the university was taking time to purchase the necessary technology for the transition and to ensure that students would be able to keep their Net IDs.

This argument is insufficient, however. Gmail’s Web site says that the migration of any educational institution’s accounts should take about six weeks. (Google actually offers a step-by-step plan for schools that aim to move to Gmail.) What’s more, Gmail allows universities to keep their own domain and e-mail address names – which means that there should be little worry about sacrificing Net IDs.

When UIS gets around to making the long-awaited move to Gmail, students will have access to more than seven gigabytes of mail storage space and a number of other features. Hopefully, the day we bid goodbye to Messenger Express is not far off.

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