Over a year after proposing two technology projects to enhance student life, the Undergraduate Council of Students recently launched one of the initiatives – a system that allows graduates to transfer information from their student email accounts to alum accounts – but it is still in the beginning stages of implementing the second, a system that would enable students to check laundry machine availability online.
Under the change, which was implemented in March, graduates will be able to keep all the information in their Brown email accounts starting with the class of 2011, though they will be required to switch to alumni.brown.edu addresses, said Michael Lin ’14, chair of the admissions and student services committee of UCS.
The email transition cost the University around $100,000, making it the University’s largest new alumni engagement initiative in the last five years, wrote Todd Andrews ’83, vice president of alumni relations, in an email to The Herald.
Under the new system, emails to student addresses will be forwarded to the alum emails, and senders will receive automatic responses explaining the address has changed, he said.
The University was concerned that keeping Brown student email addresses could create confusion or allow alums to misrepresent themselves, but students complained about losing the information in their accounts after graduating, Lin said.
“It was actually a pretty controversial issue, and (Computing and Information Services) took a middle position,” Lin said. CIS eventually decided to keep the different alum addresses but adjusted the system so account holders had to transfer the information from their original addresses.
Whether alums will take advantage of the extended Brown email services remains to be seen, Andrews wrote.
Another project UCS proposed last spring was installing LaundryView, a system other colleges use to enable students to check the availability of dorm washers and dryers online or through email alerts.
The Office of Residential Life is currently working on a plan that would connect the laundry machines to the Internet, a necessary step before investing in the program, said Richard Bova, senior associate dean of residential life and dining services.
“They want to be certain that if or when LaundryView is installed, it will run as smoothly as possible,” wrote David Rattner ’13, vice president of UCS, in an email to The Herald.
Bova said he was unable to provide an estimate for the cost of the system at this time, but he added that ResLife has requested funding for LaundyView as part of a larger laundry facilities renovations budget.
“I am confident that we will be able to bring this for the fall semester,” Bova said.