Grad students are dismayed by OIT’s plan to change their email system

President of Graduate Student Senate Joel Newby speaks at a meeting in Scripps 111 on Monday evening. (ISAAC HALE | FILE PHOTO)

The plan set forth by Ohio University’s Office of Information Technology to switch graduate students’ emails from Microsoft Exchange to Microsoft Outlook was met by some disapproval at Monday’s Graduate Student Senate meeting.

According to an OIT official who spoke at the meeting, there are currently 13,278 Exchange accounts.  Of that number, 68 percent forward emails from Exchange to an alternative email account.

Since many current graduate students are former undergraduates, the majority of these accounts have emails forwarded to Catmail.  Currently, faculty members and graduate students both use the Exchange email system.

The main concern of students who attended the meeting was losing their access to faculty members’ calendars.

“As long as we’re all on the same system, it should be able to work,” said Joel Newby, president of GSS. “Some grad students are so tied to the faculty that they can’t really get rid of that system.”

If the proposal is met with enough support, OIT plans to move ahead with the switch in January.

“If the majority of grad students don’t want to move, we’re not going to support that,” Newby said.

Plans for the next GradFest, which will be held Dec. 6 at Pigskin, were also discussed.  As of now, GSS is anticipating approximately 50 people to attend but look forward to working with Pigskin, which has agreed to help advertise the event.

The budget for each GradFest is $200.

“The huge benefit of moving to Pigskin is (that) we have a contract,” said GSS Vice President of Communications Andrea Harless. “The people there are absolutely amazing.”


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