Point Park employs new email system

Written By Matt Petras, Staff Writer

Students can now store 50 gigabytes of data in their school email account, which is 250 times more than before, thanks to an updated system. This improvement comes alongside other new features.

“Don’t think of [the new system] as just email,” Director of IT and Security Will Elmes said in a phone interview Monday.

The new system offers students a wide array of features through the Office 365 suite of services, all offered, free. This includes Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Students can now also set up a mobile phone number and/or alternate email address to retrieve their password on their own; before, students had to call the IT Help Desk to do so. These additions come alongside the increase in storage.

“There is not a single person on campus using a quarter of [their new storage limit],” Elmes said.

Increasing the storage through the new system was “substantially” less expensive than adding the storage through the old program would have been, according to Elmes.

IT Director Tim Wilson is also involved in the update.

“We’ve been looking into doing this for a long time now,” Wilson said.

The previous email system, which was an older version of Microsoft’s Outlook service, only allotted students 200 megabytes of storage. This amount of storage is substantially less than the new 50 gigabytes of storage, as one gigabyte is equivalent to 1,000 megabytes.

This is helpful for students like Colten Gill, who is the executive director of the Campus Activity Board (CAB), and United Student Government (USG) President Blaine King.

Both students were often frustrated by the 200 megabyte storage limit.

Once or twice a week, students within CAB send files as large as 50 megabytes over email, Gill expressed in a phone interview Thursday. Now, Gill doesn’t have to worry about constantly deleting emails, and plans to take advantage of the expanded space to archive many of these files and documents.

“I’ve been playing a game of deleting emails to make room for the past year and a half or so,” King said in a phone interview Thursday.

Most students only have to use their own personal school email, but King, for example, has to jump between multiple accounts, such as his personal account and USG’s account. One new feature King enjoys is the ability to open multiple accounts on one browser at the same time. Before, on the old program, he would only be able to view one at a time.

Despite the issues students acknowledge with the old email system, King said that there were never any substantial complaints reported to USG about it. From King’s perspective, implementing the new system was a step forward in preventing issues before they grew into a bigger problem.