Transfer student forced to use USD e-mail account


I arrived at South Dakota State filled with optimism and excitement for the spring semester. I came as a transfer student from the University of South Dakota. After leaving Vermillion behind, I happily became a full-fledged SDSU student. But something isn’t quite right. I’m still using my USD e-mail account. Why? The largest university in South Dakota doesn’t provide me with an e-mail account.

My computer is like a jackrabbit that willingly visits the coyote’s den. It just doesn’t make any sense.

SDSU needs its own e-mail system for a number of reasons. The most important of which is the advantage of streamlined communication between its students and faculty. A unified service would allow for security measures such as anti-virus and spam filtering. For instance, USD provides its students with Barracuda spam protection. This is not only important for the user but is also crucial for the integrity of the campus network as well. With Internet security being such a prominent issue, it only stands to reason that SDSU would want an active role in protecting it’s own network. E-mail is among the top communication tools in use, and simply offering a personal address to each student would only add to the allure of SDSU’s educational packages.

Student activities and events are a must for a healthy campus. And student awareness of these events is of utmost importance. A reliable and consistent list of university e-mail addresses is the easiest way to get the word out. For now, students are left using accounts provided by Hotmail, Yahoo or USD in my case. We’ve all had our Hotmail or Yahoo account overrun by unwanted junk e-mails telling us how to become six inches … uh … taller. These waves of garbage force students to abandon their accounts under fire and open new ones. A campus e-mail system, like the one in place at USD, prevents such occurrences.

When addresses constantly change, the university goes uninformed. This severs communication with students. But when the student is provided with his or her own secure account the problem is virtually eliminated. A new system would greatly benefit professors as well. The ability to email an entire class from a list of confirmed addresses would only increase classroom efficiency.

When trying to remember countless addresses it would be easier if everyone had at the end of his or her address. And it says, “Hey, I’m a Jackrabbit” to those who see it. It strengthens SDSU by giving us a more “official” image.

Of six South Dakota universities, SDSU is the only one failing to provide student e-mail. The students in Brookings are being left out. And before we claim to have D1 clout, SDSU needs to meet simple needs.

It’s unfortunate my former university, archrival USD, is currently providing my e-mail account-the most basic technological need. The fact that SDSU did not offer me an account was an immediate surprise and concern. Our school is working hard to establish itself as the number one university in the state, but without basic necessities like student e-mail one can only wonder.

Kevin Kantack is a junior wildlife and fisheries major.