Gmail To Replace Student Mail


Courtesy of Gmail

Published: April 22, 2010

Fordham University plans on switching from its current student mail, Mirapoint, to Gmail in the Fall 2010 semester. According to Patricia Carlucci, special projects executive of Fordham Information Technology (IT), this once rumor is now officially true and although not every student at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) knows about it, there are several places where official information about the switch can be found.

FCLC students have complained about Fordham student mail and shared their opinions on why they preferred Gmail, but there were still a handful that said that they hardly have problems with the system. Either way, Deirdre Dillon, director of IT training and communications, agrees with Carlucci that Fordham is moving in the right direction by switching to Gmail.

“Our current plan is to have it deployed for the Fall 2010 semester,” Dillon said. Both Dillon and Carlucci said that this move will only be for student mail.

“We’re basically taking the student e-mail and switching the box,” Carlucci said. “The box used to be a Mirapoint server (our current system for students) and it will soon be a Google server.”

“[The decision to move towards using Gmail] was a decision made by a cross-section of administration, faculty, students represented by Resident Technology Consultants (RTC) and Student Affairs and a student survey, which all pointed to this being a positive move,” Carlucci said.

“A lot of universities [have switched to Gmail] already so we’re just trying to follow the trend,” Dillion said. “We are still in the testing phase, but more information will be put on the My.Fordham blogs after April 22 for everyone to see.”

The blogs to which Dillon referred are the three main sources that students can access on the Web for the most recent news about this project’s status.

First, by clicking on “Groups” on the upper right-hand corner of, students may join the group titled “Gmail.” After joining that group, students can also connect to a second site, which Carlucci created, called “[Both sites] don’t have too much information on them yet, but updates will be posted as more information becomes official,” she said.

The third source of information is available at the RTC blog, which can be found under the “Student” tab in labeled “Fordham RTC Blog” on the left hand side, or by visiting

In addition, Carlucci said that she feels these blogs are important tools for students. “We want to be able to make sure that before students leave for the summer, they know where the most current information will be so that when something exciting happens, they can be aware and on the alert about what is new so that they are prepared for what is to come in the Fall semester.”

Monica Hanna, FCLC ’12, said, “I am super exited to hear about this and I actually see myself staying updated this summer with these blogs!” Hanna said that she had problems with Fordham mail this past month when she would receive important mail a few days late because it was quarantined. She said, “Changing to Gmail would be much more reliable.”

“Once people begin using the blogs, they can comment and communicate things they like and don’t like,” Carlucci said. “We are trying to use more Web-based applications for internal communications instead of passing several e-mails around.”

“Because of improved customer service, the move to Gmail will have a positive budgetary impact,” she said.

Regardless of whether the students believed this project was a rumor or not, students who already forward their Fordham mail to Gmail feel that this plan will be great for several reasons.

Maya Saoud, FCLC ’10 and president of Middle Eastern Students Association (MESA), said, “This switch is a great thing because it will be helpful for student leaders at FCLC to communicate with other students. Doing this lets us know that Fordham is keeping our best interests in mind.”

Andrew Lew, FCLC ’13, said, “I like Gmail and I don’t use Fordham’s mail because you can’t customize it like you can with Gmail.” He said, “Fordham mail is too plain in terms of the format and I know a lot of my friends also use Gmail.”

Hanna also said that she likes the setup of Gmail because, “Everything is in one thread and so it is more organized and structured.” She continued, “I used to use Fordham’s student mail, but forwarding on Gmail was much easier.”

Sophia Lee, FCLC ’12, said, “I don’t really mind what happens to Fordham’s mail, but I think whatever happens will turn out to be for the best for Fordham.”

This project is not fully set in stone, but Fordham IT’s current plan is for this switch to work by the Fall 2010 semester. Deirdre said, “This is a good thing for the students, a good thing for Fordham IT from a cost perspective and a good thing for the university as a whole because we’re moving in the direction of innovative technology in line with our peers and aspirants.”