By EMU alumnus Michael Marotta
I finished a Bachelor of Science at Eastern Michigan University in 2008 and a Master of Arts in 2010. According to EMU IT policy, my student email account should have been disabled six months later, but I was lucky enough to keep it until January 21 of this year. Why not longer?
I was told that once deactivated, an account cannot be re-initialized due to limited server space. Of course, that is not true. The issue is not server space. I am active in several cloud groups in my current city of Austin, Texas, and at a recent presentation, a rack space provider gave 1 cent per month per gigabyte as the price of archive storage.
In addition to all of my communications, archives and work, when I lost my EMU email account, I also suffered a loss of social standing. Being affiliated with a university is important to much of the writing and research I do. I have already been denied registration to a local conference for which a public email account (Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) was insufficient.
This is not the only way EMU shows a lack of respect for its alumni. Now that I live in Austin, I have a University of Texas library card with an astounding array of permissions, including unlimited checkouts and renewals, and access to JSTOR, etc. I am not a UT student, faculty or staff, just a Texan, but that means something being an EMU alumnus does not.
I sent this letter to Ann E. Thompson, the new Executive Director of Alumni Relations, on Jan. 25; the same day I clicked online to join the EMU Alumni Association. On Jan. 29, Thompson’s office sent me a nice decal and a letter signed by Ms. Thompson. My inquiry of the 25th has not yet been answered. That, to me, speaks to the problem.
Editor’s note: As per Attachment A of the EMU IT policy, EMU degree holders can have their EagleMail messages forwarded, upon notifying the university of a forwarding email address, until the time of their demise.