We live in a modern age and for the most part, Mills College has tried to keep its technology up-to-date. Our new Life Sciences Building, for example, includes advancements like solar panels and Public Safety recently installed security devices such as the blue light warning systems in Richard’s parking lot. Despite these advancements, the Mills e-mail server has remained largely the same – until now.
Mills will gradually switch over to a new e-mail system, called Microsoft Exchange, over the course of the Spring semester. This change is not only a relief to us at The Campanil, but to the greater Mills community, because our current e-mail server is old and cannot take the strain our campus population places on it.
That is because we have record-high enrollment this school year, with nearly 1000 undergraduate students and over 500 graduate students attending Mills. All of these students, not to mention staff and alumni have Mills e-mail accounts. The large amount of people producing and receiving messages causes our current e-mail system to crash intermittently, making it impossible for some of us to access our accounts for days at a time.
Although such a problem might have been bearable a decade ago when most people used phones for communication purposes, e-mail and instant messaging are the telephone for the new millennium.
From asking professors last minute questions to e-mailing our homework to ourselves so we can print it in a computer lab, we have great difficulties completing our jobs and assignments without e-mail. Some people do not even check their phone messages, only their e-mail inbox. We need our e-mail system to run smoothly every day, and hopefully, this new mainframe will be strong enough to handle all of our messaging needs.
Additionally, students and staff rely on the Internet itself for many valuable services. When the server fails or “times out,” some students then cannot do research when working on papers. Others had difficulty registering for classes.
We applaud the arrival of a new e-mail system. In the meantime, we should follow the advice Renee Jadushlever included in her Nov. 2 e-mail: delete messages we can do without and move others out of our inbox and into new folders if we need to keep them.
Rearranging e-mail may take time out of our busy schedules, but isn’t losing ten minutes better than the hours we lose when the hours we lose when the server crashes?