As a professional institute of knowledge, one would expect the UA to excel at the delivery of services to students.
Whether it is at the library, student unions or on the Internet, students have the right to speedy university-provided services. We are, after all, very busy people. WebMail is perhaps one of the most important services the University can provide us, as it helps students, faculty and staff stay connected to teachers, teaching assistants, fellow classmates, administration and many other campus institutions. So when WebMail isn't working properly it can be exceedingly frustrating.
Just last week, with an upcoming deadline for a group project in one of my classes, my fellow group members and I relied on the university WebMail to send information back and forth because our schedules rarely allowed the seven of us to meet in person.
As group projects often go, some of our members waited until the very last minute to send over their portion of the annotated bibliography that was due along with our project. About an hour before the project was due, our group members decided to send all the information to one person in order to compile it into one paper. Students are used to the old one-click method where we write our e-mail, click a button, and, voilà, the e-mail is sent in a matter of seconds. However, in the last few weeks this wasn't always the case.
When my group was trying to e-mail information to one another, instead of taking seconds for the e-mails to send and show up in the inbox of the receiver, it would take hours. Finally fed up with the sluggish UA WebMail, my group members and I resorted to sending information via Facebook, simply because it was faster.
While I love to think that the slow pace of WebMail the day our project was due was some form of karma for procrastination, similar problems have persisted for a while now.
For example, when I attempted to forward information to group members and e-mail the teacher our topic for review, the forwarded message took one day to send. The latter took nearly two days to send.
WebMail isn't the only problematic technology at present. Just this past weekend, seniors and various other groups tried registering for classes only to see an ""unexpected downtime"" message pop up during certain registration time slots. What kind of message do these serious technical difficulties send to the people who pay for an education?
Moving back to the problems with WebMail, it's a bit sad that university students had to resort to a social networking site in order to send information back and forth in a timely manner.
According to the University Information Technology Services, the slow delivery of mail in the past few weeks is due to hardware problems, and d2l e-mail was unaffected by said problems.
Hardware problems are understandable, and don't even get me started on all of the infuriating qualities of d2-hell. But slow send rates aren't the only problem WebMail gives UA students.
Some students report having a massive influx of spam in their inboxes everyday and problems logging into WebAuth — for example, putting in your net ID and password and pressing enter only to have the page refresh instead of logging into your WebMail, or logging into WebMail only to have it log you out before you can see your inbox.
Luckily, it seems as though WebMail's technical difficulties have ended, for now. Hopefully in the future, UA e-mail will become more polished and more convenient, because buggy programs funded by our school reflect poorly on the university.
— Arianna Carter is a creative writing junior. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org