Permanent address

Cassie Miller

Graduation doesn’t mean giving up

your e-mail account

Credit: Beth Rankin

Students have lots of decisions to make as graduation approaches — including deciding what to do with their .edu e-mail accounts once they have left school.

Kent State students have the option of keeping their accounts after graduation as long as the account stays active, said Shani Pacheco, editorial communication coordinator for Information Services.

“You can keep the account forever,” she said. “Or you can close it, if you want.”

Alumni who do not keep their accounts active will be sent a message that asks if they would like to keep the account or not, Pacheco said. This procedure, known as an audit, is done periodically to clear Kent State’s server of unwanted e-mail accounts.

Pacheco said the university currently has about 143,000 active e-mail accounts, and about 85,000 of those will soon be audited. Only 5,000 to 10,000 of the audited accounts are expected to be retained.

The audits are done mostly for security reasons, not because Kent State does not have enough space to accommodate the accounts.

“Everyone has a quota for space on their accounts,” Pacheco said. “Everyone has the same amount of space allotted to them.

“The audit keeps control over the number of active e-mail accounts,” she said.

Not all students use their school e-mail accounts, and they have different reasons for doing so. Some students opt to have the mail forwarded to an outside account, such as Yahoo! or Hotmail.

Angelica Figueroa, senior early childhood education major, chose to have her university e-mail forwarded because it is more convenient.

“It is easier for me to have (the e-mail) forwarded to the account I use most often,” Figueroa said.

Even though Figueroa does not use her school account often, she said she plans to keep the account active once she graduates.

Tiffany Jones, senior early childhood education major, also plans to keep her account after she graduates even though she only uses the account now for correspondence with professors. Her reason for keeping the account is professional, she said.

“I used my Kent e-mail address on my resumé in order to keep the document as professional as possible,” Jones said. “Career Services suggested I use it as well.”

Some Kent State students, like Jones and Figueroa, only use their university e-mail accounts for contact with professors and other school-related activities. But other students may use their accounts as a way to reduce spam messages being sent to their other e-mail accounts.

Junior English major Bart Sullivan uses his account for online shopping.

“When I order things online, I get sent lots of junk mail,” he said. “I give sellers my Kent e-mail, and that way my regular e-mail doesn’t get the junk mail.”

Kent State and Akron’s policies for keeping e-mail accounts are similar. When a student at Akron needs to reactivate his or her account, the student can go to the university Web site and enter his or her user ID and password to reopen the account.

Students can call Akron’s Computing Help Desk for assistance if they have forgotten their ID or password, according to the university’s Web site.

Akron follows the same policy with faculty and staff as it does with students. Kent State faculty and staff receive as message asking if they would like to keep their accounts if they have been inactive for awhile, Pacheco said, which is the same procedure the university uses for student accounts.

Students at the University of Akron have similar reasons for using or not using their school e-mail accounts. Sophomore English major Heather Davey uses her account about once a week for correspondence with professors, but she is unsure whether or not she wants to keep the account once she graduates.

“Most likely, I’ll use my AOL account,” Davey said.

Ellen Powers, who graduated from Akron in 2003, rarely used her school account.

“I transferred my mail to my Hotmail account,” Powers said. “I saw no reason to use (my Akron e-mail).”

Powers said she thinks students should have a choice whether they have a school e-mail account or not.

“It should be optional for students,” she said. “(Students should) agree to use it only if they want (the account).”

While Kent State and Akron allow alumni to keep their accounts for as long as they would like, other schools will remove an account no matter what after a certain amount of time.

Ursuline College, a small Catholic school in Pepper Pike, only keeps e-mail accounts for a short time once someone has left the school.

“Student accounts will remain active until the student is not enrolled for the next semester … (but will) be disabled at the beginning of the following semester, and then deleted if they aren’t registered for the next semester,” according to Ursuline’s Web site.

Ursuline’s faculty and staff accounts will be closed immediately after a staff or full-time faculty member leaves and after one semester when a part-time faculty member leaves, according to the school’s Web site.

Ursuline employees try to be careful of what they send and receive on their e-mail accounts, said Rosemarie Emanuele, associate professor of mathematics and chair of Ursuline’s mathematics department.

“The school has rules we have to agree to before we can use the (e-mail system),” Emanuele said. “I use my account for work mostly — nothing I wouldn’t let the president (of Ursuline) see.”

Pacheco said Kent State chooses to allow alumni to keep their e-mail accounts because many find it convenient.

“It’s an easier transition,” she said. “Students may wish to keep their account active until they have a work account.”

Because of the space quota allowed to each account, Pacheco said, “We’re able to offer service that students and alumni want.”

Contact copy editor Cassie Miller at [email protected].