OIT Summer Splash: Students now have choice for receiving UTSA e-mail

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(Aug. 6, 2010)--Something changed this summer for UTSA students that could make life a little less complicated. Beginning July 29, students were given the option to designate their preferred e-mail account. The e-mail change is part of OIT Summer Splash, a series of projects by the Office of Information Technology to improve the online experience for UTSA students, faculty and staff.

Previously, official UTSA correspondence was sent exclusively to a student's "my.utsa.edu" e-mail account. However, statistics and anecdotal evidence showed many students rarely checked their official e-mail accounts. That meant students could be missing important and time-sensitive information sent from UTSA.

In January, the Office of Information Technology asked students which e-mail account they would prefer to designate as their official method of communication -- "my.utsa.edu" or another personal e-mail account.

"Over 4,000 UTSA students responded to our online poll," said Cindy Espinoza, project manager. "We were really surprised to see the vote was split almost exactly down the middle. Because the vote was so close, it was decided to allow students to make their own choice."

Consequently, OIT worked closely with the UTSA Office of the Registrar to create a new process. Changes were made to computer applications and a communication plan was set into motion. As a result, students now can log in to the ASAP information system to designate a preferred e-mail account.

Faculty members will begin seeing a variety of e-mail addresses in applications such as Blackboard and Banner. Most importantly, students now can receive information from UTSA in the e-mail account they are most likely to access. It may sound like a small change, but it is one that will provide great benefits including improving communication.