SDSU e-mail addresses a hassle, useless


I have used the Internet for a long, long time. So long that Thursday, Feb. 23 will mark the tenth anniversary of the registration of, my family’s domain. Ten years ago Thursday will mark the day I left my first e-mail address, [email protected], behind and moved on to the primary address I have used ever since. In a sense, this address is the best e-mail address I could possibly have; how does one improve on [email protected]? Over time, I have accumulated other addresses, be they throwaway webmail addresses, or more specialized accounts such as my computer science department account, but this address has always remained my primary. Why, then, must SDSU insist of foisting another address on me?

Of the “Top 10 Reasons to Activate Your Student Email Account” (to find the original list, Google: “student e-mail account”, seven break down to either “It’s an email address,” or “We’re forcing you to.” The remaining three are equally null. I don’t suppose that the people behind this project mean to imply that SDSU students lack the mental faculties required to register a professional, easily-remembered Gmail address on their own, but seeing the list that way is no great stretch. And there’s no way you’re going to get an iPod out of the deal anymore.

Maybe they couldn’t come up with any good reasons. Maybe some students don’t have e-mail addresses. What’s wrong with these accounts? For starters, as anyone who has registered their account knows, it’s nothing more than a dressed-up Hotmail account. This carries with it a number of limitations: your mailbox is limited to 250 MB, you can use only 15 message filters, messages sent cannot exceed 10 MB. The list goes on. Most significantly, though, Hotmail accounts (and, by extension, accounts) cannot be accessed by a normal POP client such as Outlook or Thunderbird, and messages cannot be automatically forwarded to another address (a service that Yahoo and Gmail both offer). This means that while I can check three of my four regularly checked accounts all at once by clicking one button, I have to go through an entire procedure to access my Jacks webmail account.

Purportedly, these accounts exist so that the administration can guarantee that they have an e-mail address for each student, but this does nothing to solve the mystery of why it’s impossible to change my official contact information to include my real, normal, primary e-mail address. Until now my primary address caused no trouble for the administration’s systems. The only conclusion I can draw from this entire fiasco is that the powers that be decided to sell out the personal information of the student body to Microsoft. I dearly hope, however, that there’s another explanation.

Ben NessonSenior Computer Science