CSUN webmail still problem for some students

Oscar Areliz

Some CSUN students remain unsatisfied and unaware of the features on webmail even after the university promoted it as the main source of communication on campus to students last semester.

For some students like Keith Bobrosky, junior marketing major, the feature of forwarding e-mails does not seem to work all the time.

“I haven’t gotten any messages through forwarding,” Bobrosky said. “I checked to make sure I put the right e-mail address, too. I don’t think (web mail) is forwarding them to me.”

Bobrosky recently started using the university webmail more since instructors now require students to check their e-mail often for course information.

Other students find the university webmail confusing.

“I don’t use it too much because I find it complicated,” said Alicia Zzaragosa, junior nursing major.

Zzaragosa also said the site is plain and not attractive, adding the visual aspect of the site does not encourage her to log on to her webmail account.

Angelica Mendez, junior accounting major, said she wants to see more features on the CSUN webmail that are similar to other popular e-mail sites, such as Hotmail, Yahoo and G-mail, she said.

Steven Fitzgerald, chief technology officer of Information Technology Resources, and Richard Shaw, director of student affairs and information technology, have received comments and recommendations from students to further develop webmail.

“We have received many complaints and we already have some ideas to improve the webmail,” Shaw said.

Students could face problems with the CSUN webmail due to user literacy, Fitzgerald said.

A lack of “branding or marketing” the university e-mail is another reason CSUN webmail has not been fully recognized and used by students, Shaw said.

Students and faculty may not be aware of the features provided by the university e-mail or how to access those features, he said.

Fitzgerald said the webmail has improved over the years and continues to improve.

“The e-mail system is so much better than what we had before,” Fitzgerald said.

The storage of e-mail has increased since it was first featured in 1998, he said. The number of MB started out at five, and has recently increased to 30 MB of storage, he said.

Since several students do not check their university e-mails as often as the web portal, Shaw and Fitzgerald said they plan to introduce an e-mail indicator on the portal’s main page to show students they have new messages. If a student has a new message, they will be able to click on the indicator that will direct them to their inbox without having to log on, they said.

For students, the idea of integrating the portal and webmail would help students check their e-mail more often and be aware of what is going on, Zzaragosa said.

Students like Bobrosky expressed similar sentiments.

“If they (integrated webmail and the portal), it would be great,” he said. “It would be much more convenient. I would definitely be checking it out more.”

Oscar Areliz can be reached at city@csun.edu.