GW students adjust to new e-mail setup

System administrators and users are adjusting to the changes to GW’s new e-mail system, GWMail, which was installed earlier this month.

The new setup, implemented August 14, requires all students, faculty and staff to change the way they access their e-mail accounts. The new system required that new passwords be created to replace old ones, as GW Information Systems and Services transformed an out-of-date program into one that could handle the e-mail needs of the rapidly-growing University.

Jeff Baxter, interim communication coordinator for ISS, said the combination of the new e-mail system and difficulty freshmen faced with online class registration caused confusion among students.

The GWMail system introduced August 14 was a response to an overload in the old e-mail system, Baxter said.

ISS recognized that the former e-mail system, GWIS2, was overburdened, as e-mail passing between students, staff and faculty increased exponentially.

Now people see e-mail as a necessity, rather than a luxury, Baxter said.

Two main differences between GWIS2 and GWMail are that the system is more scaleable – able to handle more users and can be easily upgraded – and manageable for people at ISS, Baxter said.

We built it from the ground up, said Baxter. We know everything about the system.

The new e-mail system has the ability to pass larger files through e-mail. Staff, faculty and student e-mail has been divided into three separate boxes, instead of Webmail’s one box. This makes for a faster, more powerful and more responsive setup for the entire GW community, Baxter said

In addition to problems adjusting to the new e-mail system, online registration on GW’s BannerWeb faced an overload of students, as hundreds attending the final Colonial Inauguration logged onto the program at the same time, Baxter said.

The usual one-minute delay to get from one page to the next turned into a five minute delay, he said.

Reaction to the new GWMail system has been mixed, but once students talk to staff, their problems seem less troubling, he said.

There’s really not that much to complain about, graduate student Mili Mavely said. I haven’t lost any mail, and there are assistants all over to help.

However, some students said they had trouble sending e-mail with the new system.

I sent several e-mails and they came back to me as `user undelivered,’ and then I had to re-send it, Jamie Price, a law school student who has had experienced errors last week, said.

Staff members acknowledged some of the difficulties.

It’s kind of crazy. They’re all having password problems, said LaQuida Brown, lab assistant at the Center for Academic Technologies computer lab.Other students have yet to try out the new system.

It’s interesting being around all this, graduate student Jen Jorgenson said as she watched students rush back and forth in the computer lab of the Academic Center Thursday. I’m a little more laid back than some of the kids here, definitely.

Jorgenson moved onto campus Wednesday, and had not opened an e-mail account.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.