Gmail enhances possibility, develops problems

“UPDATE: Over 1,200 users have already made the switch!”  This is the opening statement for instructions on setting up student Gmail accounts, as posted on Seton Hill University’s (SHU’s) Griffin’s Lair web page.  The instructions inform students of the migration from Microsoft Exchange to Gmail and prompt transitioning e-mail accounts through an automated system.

Griffin’s Lair credits the change to the opportunity for better teamwork through Gmail accounts.  “This new system, powered by Google, will provide Gmail to our school, as well as a suite of other Google products that will enable our organization to better communicate, share and collaborate.”

Student e-mail addresses will remain the same despite the transition to Gmail, but the log-in process and format will be relatively different from those of Microsoft Exchange.

Though the change has been implemented with good intentions, some students feel as though Microsoft Exchange should not have been dropped in favor of Gmail.

“I feel it’s more confusing than anything, and from what I can tell, they are practically the same thing.  Call me technically ignorant, but I don’t understand the reason for the transition.  But, I guarantee someone who is tech savvy could give me 456 reasons as to why Gmail is better than Exchange,” said sophomore Carolyn Bringe.

Not all students agreed with Bringe’s thoughts on the switch, however.  Sophomore DJ Beckage seemed to find the change a positive one.  “I actually didn’t have a problem with the switchover whatsoever. Not only was it painless to switch to Gmail but it made it easier to use and set up with my cell phone versus Outlook.”

Students with existing Gmail accounts will need to log-out of their accounts, and the subsequent accounts synced like YouTube or Blogger, in order to log-in to their SHU mail. A way to bypass the problem is to log-in to your SHU email and in the top right corner by is an arrow next to your email address. Click it and select “Account Settings.” Turn “Multiple Sign-in” on. You will have to check off several boxes to agree to terms. After turning on multiple-sign in for both accounts, sign back into your SHU account and go back to the arrow on the right. Click “switch accounts” and add your email on. For the rest of the day, you should be able to access both accounts and keep your other Gmail applications logged on.

A problem with Gmail account switching is that you have to sign-in to your SHU mail every time in order for it to work so if you sign out of Griffin’s Lair, you’ll have to log-in again.

Another option is to set-up your SHU account on the Mobile Mail apps, if your phone has one, and just access it from there. SHU email does not, however, work with the Apple laptop Mail app.

Regardless of individual preference, all SHU e-mail accounts will automatically be queued on June 27.

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