Starting on Nov. 26, GUTS buses running to Rosslyn and Arlington, Va. and the Law Center will no longer stop outside the Leavey Center and O’Donovan Dining Hall, according to a broadcast e-mail sent to the university community last night.

Buses on these routes will enter campus from Canal Road, make their only stop across from the Multi-Sport Facility on North Road and exit campus on Prospect Street.

The Dupont Circle and Wisconsin Avenue routes will not be affected.

While the move is intended to improve pedestrian safety for those walking on Tondorf Road, some do not approve of the change.

Gautam Mehta (MED ’09) and Ambereen Kurwa (MED ’10) take the bus as part of their commute to school every day.

“A lot of people take the bus very early in the morning,” Mehta said, “and not even students, all of the staff at the hospital, too.” Mehta said the extra walking time from the Southwest Quad would be burdensome when he is expected to be in the hospital by 5 a.m. on some days.

Kurwa said she is concerned that discontinuing the Leavey Center stop will increase safety risks for people walking home late at night. “There are a lot of safety advisories, especially for north campus,” she said. “When we’re coming home late at night or we’re here really early, you just want to get there as fast as possible.”

The route change will have little impact on GUTS bus drivers, but Dereje Woldeyes, a driver on the Rosslyn route, is unsure how his riders will adapt to the change.

“They just told us of the change last Saturday,” he said. “I don’t think it’s good or bad but the people that are close to [north campus], maybe they won’t like it.”

Woldeyes said that students usually walk on Tondorf Road instead of the sidewalk next to the Intercultural Center, making the road space cramped.

– Fiore Mastroianni

UIS Works to Block More Spam, Upgrade GUMail

University Information Services shut down the university’s e-mail system to perform maintenance early Friday morning, as part of the university’s work to block more spam and decrease loading times.

Beth Ann Bergsmark, director for academic and information technology services at UIS, said spam has accounted for the slowness some users experience in accessing their accounts and opening, deleting or copying a sent message to folders.

“The increased load from spam and possibly several compromised computers had created many erroneous client … connections [between university computers and spammers]. We took the mail service offline and cleared these to optimize performance,” Bergsmark said.

The e-mail system, built seven years ago, was originally designed to manage 250,000 messages per day. However, since 2000, messages traveling through the system have risen 400 percent, and the network regularly processes over a million messages per day, mostly due to spam.

“We now block around 750,000 spam messages per day,” Bergsmark said. “Unlike normal messages, spam does not come in at a predictable rate. We routinely see huge waves of 10,000 or more messages bust at once.”

Bergsmark said the university has the capability to prioritize broadcast e-mails if the need arises.

“In an emergency situation … we have the ability to promote a campus-wide message and would hold other announcements to deliver it fast,” she said.

While UIS is making efforts to block spam in the current system, it is also currently working on a new e-mail service as an eventual replacement for the current one.

“We are working [on] the design and architecture for the new e-mail services. We are also still researching options to pursue commercial services such as Gmail, AOL, or Yahoo for the students only,” Bergsmark said.

She added, though, that no formal decision has been made on selecting an outside provider.

– Tom Kelly

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