As a result of a recent student-led campaign to extend alumni access to Stanford email addresses, the classes of 2009, 2010 and 2011 will have access to their @stanford.edu accounts until May 31, 2012. After this date, email sent to those addresses will be forwarded to an @alumni.stanford.edu account for an additional year.
Under the prior system, alumni were given email addresses at an @stanfordalumni.org domain. Their @stanford.edu accounts were terminated 120 days after graduation, with no subsequent email forwarding. The change in policy is the result of collaboration between members of the ASSU Senate and Executive, Information Technology Services, the Stanford Alumni Association, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Greg Boardman, Provost John Etchemendy and students.
“[The new system] will give them almost two years to let their contacts know about their new alumni address,” Boardman wrote in an email to The Daily.
The effort was spearheaded in late April by students including Varun Sivaram ’11, who said he realized he could lose professional contacts, employment opportunities and correspondence with former classmates and professors. He approached ASSU Senator and new Appropriations Chair Brianna Pang ’13, President Michael Cruz ’12 and Vice President Stewart Macgregor-Dennis ’13.
Sivaram, a former member of The Daily’s Editorial Board, expressed some initial trepidation about the proposal.
“Last year, the Provost said no to the proposal of forwarding email addresses,” he said, referring to the reversal of a fall 2009 administrative decision to grant students indefinite email forwarding. “We weren’t sure why the change would be made, but [Boardman] brought it to the Provost.”
Etchemendy offered his rationale in an email to The Daily.
“We considered and rejected a proposal last year for Stanford ‘email for life,’ but the proposal made this year seemed to me much more feasible and reasonable,” he said. “After I was comfortable that it would not create any serious short- or long-term problems for the University, I approved the plan.”
Sivaram thinks both alumni and the University itself will benefit from the change.
“It gives alumni credibility because it’s at an @stanford.edu domain,” he said. “And Stanford has an easy path to email you if they want donations. They also have a great way to email you if they want you to participate in reunions or alumni events or be on a board or committee. I hope that over the next years, student representatives are going to continue to fight for email forwarding.”
Macgregor-Dennis said that his ASSU Executive team has no position on lifelong forwarding. “I know that it’s technically possible,” he said. “I can see why the University can be hesitant . . . when it doesn’t know what it’s going into. Right now, I think that the administration has taken a huge step forward.”
Classes that graduated prior to 2009 will have the option to change their email address when the new domain becomes available. The entire alumni email service will move to Google in September. Future classes will have two years of email forwarding, but direct access to @stanford.edu email will terminate 120 days after graduation.