When current seniors came to GW, one of the first things the University told them was that every student receives their own @gwu.edu e-mail address for life. However, consistent Webmail snafus, backups and slow-downs have now caused the University to change this policy.
Alumni Relations recently sent an e-mail to alumni who continue to use their @gwu.edu account explaining the luxury will end in June. The University has reneged on an assurance that student e-mail accounts would be good for life and 2002 graduates only received one year of extra use.
This is another example of the University’s bad planning and poor alumni relations. Technology officials never should have said the e-mail accounts would be for life, nor should graduates really have expected it. But with the promise in mind, graduates should at least be able to retain @gwu.edu accounts for a few years after graduation to provide an easy transition into the next stage of life.
Seniors about to graduate have yet to be notified about this change and have no idea how long their e-mail accounts will work. They unknowingly continue to provide their @gwu.edu email accounts on resumes and graduate school applications, but the addresses may no longer exist when their job offer or graduate acceptance comes around.
The University should provide adequate transition time on these e-mail accounts, even if that just means mail forwarding. Alumni should be able to receive e-mail from their @gwu.edu accounts for at least a year, and preferably two or three years, after graduation. If they do not, the administration should tell seniors immediately when their accounts will be terminated so they can plan accordingly.
For a University in dire need of alumni donations, this recent change will leave graduates with a bad taste in their mouth. Positive alumni relations are directly related to donation amounts, and as several alumni have already noted, this inconvenience will make them less likely to contribute to GW in the future.