Drexel announces new e-mail system

By Christina Michaluk
January 31, 2008

Drexel University, who provides the e-mail service for Cabrini College, will soon be offering its students with 4 GB of storage through Gmail or Microsoft e-mail. This is in contrast with Cabrini’s e-mail limit of 100 MB.

The launch of this new e-mail system is expected to take place this spring.

Drexel supports other local school’s webmail services in addition to Cabrini’s.

This is through a new free program offered to colleges by companies like Google’s Gmail. Although the e-mail will be Gmail, the students’ addresses will still be @drexel.edu.

The program has been named exclusively by Drexel as LinkEdu. Students will not only have more e-mail options they will also have access to instant messaging as well as voice based instant messaging from Google.

Other applications that are offered are: web-based calendar, web-accessible space for photo and document storage and real-time collaboration tools.

Both Microsoft and Google allow students to have their accounts notify them if a new e-mail appears in their inbox. The partnership with Google and Microsoft allows a combined 400,000 GB of storage for the entire student body without any cost.

The partnerships with both companies are considered beneficial because it will allow students to work with tools that are already familiar to them. These are also tools they will be able to continue to use after graduation.

Microsoft and Google offer access to all of the tools no matter the location of the student.

One perk that separates an existing outside e-mail account from the LinkEdu account is that students will be free of unwanted advertisements.

“These partnerships are another example of Drexel’s commitment to providing students with not only state-of-the-art technology but greater personal options to help them in developing their creativity and talent,” President Constantine Papadakis, said in the official press release.

Drexel’s administration decided that it would be best not to settle on one particular provider like other schools who have outsourced their e-mail systems in the past.

“Choice is good. Drexel has been and remains committed to providing our students with choice,” Ken Blackney, assistant vice president of core technology of Information Resources and Technology, said.

A selected group of 100 students will test out the new LinkEdu features in February. The rest of the student body will begin to use the features in March.

Drexel is still in the process of developing the tools to offer LinkEdu to students. It is too soon to say if other school’s webmail, such as Cabrini’s will have access to the new applications. The decision will be made this spring after the official launch of LinkEdu.

Christina Michaluk

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