Google Apps @ RIT launches new environment for student e-mail

Student e-mail includes mail, calendar and Google Talk applications

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Dan Wieme, a first-year biotechnology student in the College of Science gets help with Gmail, the new student e-mail application, from ITS HelpDesk manager, Omar Phillips. More than 4,300 students are taking advantage of the new service with more applications and increased storage capabilities.

With more storage, multiple applications and the Google brand, student e-mail at RIT has a new home. Google Mail has arrived on the RIT campus and since mid-August more than 4,300 students have moved from Exchange e-mail to the new service. Students will be able to access more than seven gigabytes of storage.

Information and Technology Services transitioned the students’ on-campus e-mail from Exchange to Google after responding to requests for e-mail services that were more reliable and had increased storage, says Omar Phillips, ITS HelpDesk manager.

“Of all the users that have been moved to the new environment, student reactions to the change have been very positive,” he adds. Google Apps @ RIT consists of RIT Gmail as well as calendar, documents and Google Talk features. Existing RIT usernames and passwords will remain the same.

“We’re excited to see RIT adopting Apps,” says Gabe Cohen, Google Apps, education product manager. “We’re committed to working with RIT, and it’s great to see more and more RIT students taking advantage of the collaboration features of Google Apps and enjoying the reliability benefits of the Google-hosted service.”

Faculty and staff will be able to look up student e-mail addresses through the Exchange Global Address List. The new account through RIT is different than a personal Gmail account a student might have, Phillips explained.

“Student Government has been advocating for e-mail enhancements for several years now,” says Matt Danna, RIT student government president. “I’m glad we finally were able to transition students to such an awesome service such as Gmail. With nearly 50 times the capacity of Exchange mailbox sizes, students will no longer be hassled by mailbox-size notifications and will have increased reliability. SG is thankful that the administration listened to the students concerns and acted upon them.”

More information about the new student e-mail service can be found at the ITS Web site.