The Maroon

WolfMail needs more than just a face-lift

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Notwithstanding a few issues, I’m a very happy and content student at Loyola. As a native French Canadian, I wish it could be colder outside, but I’ll take what I can get this time of year.

What I cannot abide by is the continued use of Squirrel Mail for WolfMail and, considering the cost of attendance, the lack of a Microsoft Office or Google Apps software package for each student.

As a transfer student, I still have many email addresses active that work through a far superior interface. Tulane? George Mason University? UNO? Even other universities use Google Apps, such as Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Mary Washington in Virginia.

Do you know who doesn’t?

Loyola University New Orleans. Our university.

I’m old enough to live off campus and access the Internet through cable Internet, my smartphone/tablet (from which I can’t send @loyno.edu emails), and I can’t get any real work done until I trudge back onto the main campus or the law campus at night — a proposition that’s becoming less realistic in Uptown neighborhoods with the latest spikes in violent and property crime. Or I’m stuck using the antiquated and insecure Squirrel Mail through my web browser.

Here’s a fun and scary fact: Squirrel Mail expired over the summer and stopped issuing secure updates this past June, full stop – though those in the IT department here at Loyola won’t admit to it. I had to rely on statements directly from the developers of Squirrel Mail and other universities that have dropped the email program. Meanwhile, there is a looming security problem for those that rely on WolfMail alone.

Other private, exclusive universities have abandoned that email software for Google Apps or Microsoft’s Office 365, which both give free access to office applications crucial for university study. Plus, they both have very strong encryption, unless you’re extra paranoid and want to add a Virtual Private Network on top of that as well (Disclaimer: I use a VPN on Loyola-Net’s Wi-Fi network just to be safe.)

Recently, when I was discussing this lack of security and convenience to a Loyola professor, he suggested that I forward my WolfMail to a normal Gmail account. That’s not secure, and that’s not following the Code of Conduct. It doesn’t solve security issues, emails can’t be authenticated by professors and the administration, and off campus, emails still can’t be sent from your @loyno.edu address. Problem not solved.

Loyola, please invest in Office 365 or Google Apps — not next year, but now. It’s a win-win for everyone, and it works on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux-flavored computers.

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Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola
WolfMail needs more than just a face-lift