As Baylor seniors prepare for the transition from college into the professional realm, they will also need to prepare for a transition in their email accounts.
In the past, university policy allowed Baylor graduates a non-specific grace period to continue using student emails. However, the costs of licensing every used email account, coupled with the decrease in available server space, prompted Baylor’s Information Technology Services Department to find an alternative best suited to alumni needs, said Becky King, associate vice president for information technology and deputy CIO.
This decision was made after much discussion between the ITS Student Advisory Group, Student Senate, focus groups and senior Baylor administrators.
On Sept. 3, the final stage of a three-part phasing out of student email accounts used by alumni was implemented.
Alumni still using student email addresses were divided into three groups based on when they graduated.
Each group was sent an email alerting them of the final day they would have access to their accounts and were given instructions on how to activate their alumni emails.
“It is our intention that these alumni emails will be lifetime accounts, but we reserve the right or may be forced to end the accounts,” King said.
Baylor alumni email addresses will use the website Login.MicrosoftOnline.com for access. Graduating students will be given their new alumni email addresses at least one month before graduating to allow for a transition period, said Carl Flynn, director of communications and marketing for University Libraries and ITS.
An exact time frame is not known. Though Baylor will not forward mail, a message reading, “The email address for this recipient has changed. Please resend your message to the new address firstname.lastname@example.org,” will be sent when old accounts receive messages.
Allowing alumni to continue their association with Baylor while creating space for current students’ email accounts was an important factor in the decision, according to Baylor’s ITS website.
Donna Sparks, assistant director from the Office of Career and Professional Development, said with immense effects for graduates who rely on email communication, current students should consider keeping a separate record of all their contacts.
“It’s going to be a big issue,” Sparks said. “Students will have to be diligent and remember everyone and everywhere they’ve used their school email to update those people and systems in time before it becomes inactive.”
In comparison to the current 300 MB storage capacity of student email addresses, alumni accounts will offer 25 GB of storage.
The @baylor.edu address will also be replaced by @alumni.baylor.edu.
This addition of one word might seem like a hassle for students, Sparks said, but it is in every student’s best interest to continue using a Baylor identifier after graduation.
“Email is relevant,” Sparks said. “The previous student email addresses associated you with the Baylor institution. A Gmail account doesn’t give you the same kind of credibility. This alumni email will offer the same credibility and until you get a job and professional email, it makes sense to keep using it. It gives students a leg up on résumés and with contacts.”
Robert Lauck, Waco businessman and founder of the Lauck Marketing advertising agency, said he agrees with Sparks, but with a caveat.
“Being in Waco, yes, seeing that Baylor affiliation matters to me because I have strong ties in this community that relates so much to Baylor,” Lauck said. “But honestly, if I were located anywhere else, if I were in New York or Nebraska, it wouldn’t matter much to me. But here, seeing that Baylor address is what helps me decide if I even open the email.”
Dallas sophomore Kristen Brown said wherever she looks for employment, she will utilize some form of a Baylor email address.
“I don’t mind that I will have to switch to a new address even if it will be a little bit of a hassle,” Brown said. “I just know that when you use a college email address, especially one from Baylor which is an esteemed college known around the world, it will look good on my résumé.”
Brianna Bowman, a May 2013 communication master’s degree graduate, said using a Baylor identifier is always a good idea when applying for a job, but it should not be the only email address used.
When applying for employment Bowman said she always used a secondary address such as her Gmail address in case her Baylor email was full or if it closed when she graduated.
She said current Baylor students looking for jobs should also consider using a backup.
“At one point I was locked out of my Baylor email and had to change my password,” Bowman said. “That is really difficult to do and because it’s so much work to change it I didn’t renew it. But had I known about this new alumni email when I was a student I would definitely have taken part in that.”
Though Bowman said she would have liked to keep her student email, many colleges in Texas completely sever students from their accounts without an alumni alternative.
Graduates from Texas Christian University can use their email for one year after their last semester before it is discontinued. Rice University discontinues email access the first August after graduation.
For questions about student or alumni email accounts, call the ITS Help Desk at 254-710-4357 or email email@example.com.