Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Student-created e-mail system good for MSU

After endless complaints about the problems of the current MSU e-mail system, it appears the plight of students, faculty and staff could be over.

Computer science and engineering senior Daniel Fiordalis has created, a new e-mail service that offers more features than the current e-mail system, including a mailbox-search feature and a chat tool.

Now users have options beyond the bare minimum offered by the current system. Whereas before they were only able to send mail, users can now chat with other users, read the day’s top stories and check the weather. For once, the university e-mail system looks modern — not like an ancient relic that belongs in a museum.

Although it’s a new system, students shouldn’t be leery — State-Mail still uses MSU’s server and transfers all of the mail from the old university account. It’s an MSU e-mail system created by an MSU student who understands the problems we all face with it — you can’t get much better than that. No doubt Fiordalis had his own share of problems with the current system and finally decided enough was enough.

If a student is rushing to a class and needs to quickly check his or her e-mail, the new system provides the student with the opportunity to see if class has been canceled or that an assignment is due in the next few hours. We’ve all had to sit and wait for 10-20 minutes as the e-mail page loads. It’s frustrating and, more often than not, we grow impatient and leave.

A good number of students gave up on the university system long ago and have their e-mail forwarded to other providers such as Google’s e-mail service, Gmail.

Though State-Mail is a welcome change for many students, those who already have e-mail accounts with other providers like Google might be reluctant to switch. This new system is more likely to affect incoming classes and might ultimately encourage more students to keep their university e-mail accounts.

The opportunity for Fiordalis to give back to the university by creating this new system is a step in the right direction. As MSU officials appear to support State-Mail, it might be beneficial to them to negotiate a contract with Fiordalis that would pay him for his services and allow him to keep updating State-Mail as needed.

After all of the complaining, it’s refreshing to see someone step up and take charge of this project. It helps the university expand, and it’s something that affects everyone at the university, as everyone is given a university e-mail account once accepted to MSU.

University and ASMSU officials recently went over available options as to how to change the e-mail system, which included completely revamping it at $1-2 million a year or simply forwarding the mail to another provider. Instead, Fiordalis has done something the university might not have thought anyone could or would do.

While everyone might not accept it, at least now we have options with our e-mail instead of being stuck with something we don’t like.

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