Viewpoint: Student government needs to support greater email storage

Danny Huizinga | Guest Columnist
Danny Huizinga | Guest Columnist
Danny Huizinga | Guest Columnist

By Danny Huizinga
Guest Columnist

“Your Baylor mailbox is almost full.”

It’s about time we put those repetitive emails from Information Technology Services to rest.

A new bill before Student Senate would have done just that. The “Act to Increase Storage for Student Email,” sponsored by junior senator Chase Hardy, would have encouraged the administration to update the size limits for Baylor student email inboxes.

The limit has remained at 310 megabytes for several years, a limit inconsistent with industry standards and evolving technology.

For reference, an email with two or three large pictures or a PDF of a research paper can easily be 10 megabytes. That means you may have to empty your inbox after receiving only 30 emails.

Hardy claimed that the bill was common-sense legislation that was beneficial to students and supported by the administration.

“Do you want to tell your friends tomorrow morning that you voted against raising the email limit?” he said.

James Porter, Campus Improvements and Affairs Chairman and sophomore senator, voted against considering the bill in Senate. He said, “The bill should not be voted on at this time due to numerous issues, but it should be voted upon at a later date.”

Senator Lindsey Bacque said when speaking against the bill that even though it was clear this was a good idea, “This is not the right way to do it, and we need to make sure we do things right.” Several of the other senators in opposition expressed similar reservations.

Some agreed that the bill was a good idea but wanted to wait for a clearer message from the administration.

In the end, the bill failed with 16 senators in support and 19 opposed (with two abstentions).

So even when senators clearly agree on the purpose of the bill, it still can’t get passed because of small procedural issues? That’s something that needs to change.

In the last two weeks, I have had to empty my Baylor email inbox three times – only to have it fill up again within a few days. Besides being an annoying chore, the constant emptying means that saving emails is difficult. If it was sent more than a few weeks ago, it will likely be gone.

I recently ordered an 8-gigabyte flash drive for a few dollars on Amazon. That tiny flash drive will hold 26 times the storage space of my Baylor email account. Texas A&M provides 30 gigabytes of e-mail storage to students – almost 100 times the space that Baylor students have.

Even more alarming, the Baylor alumni email accounts offer storage space of 25 gigabytes. Thus, each alumni email account can hold the equivalent of emails from 83 student accounts.

This doesn’t make much sense, considering that alumni accounts are much less popular than student accounts.

Clearly it’s time to support more email storage. Student government should have done so.

Danny Huizinga is a senior Baylor Business Fellow from Chicago. He is a guest columnist for the Lariat. Follow him on Twitter @HuizingaDanny.