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Grads receive mistaken e-mail


A student logs into his Webmail account. A recent e-mail from ITS mistakenly indicated that members of the Class of 2009 will no longer have access to their SUNet accounts. (ARNAV MOUDGIL/Staff photographer)

Members of the Class of 2009 received an unexpected notification this month that their SUNet ID “for life” privileges might, in fact, suffer a premature death.

The SUNet ID accounts that students open upon enrollment at Stanford give them access to e-mail addresses ending in “” in addition to other online services. These accounts used to be terminated after students graduated.

However, at the request of many alumni and after considerable work with the administration, the class of ’09 and future graduates should be able to keep their SUNet ID for e-mail forwarding, ASSU executives announced in October.

But some members of last year’s graduating class received e-mails this month saying that services for their account would expire soon unless their account is sponsored or their affiliation with Stanford changes. The announcement confused some recent graduates and prompted inquiries from concerned alumni.

ASSU President David Gobaud, a coterminal student in computer science, said that his team has been in contact with Information Technology Services (ITS) and is currently awaiting a resolution.

After the announcement, many students contacted both ITS and Gobaud about the apparent glitch.

“We got a lot of e-mails about it and we told everyone that nothing has changed since the announcement that was made in [the] fall,” Gobaud wrote in an e-mail to The Daily.

For recent graduates who worry about the hassle of switching to an entirely new e-mail address, October’s new policy was a welcome change.

“Hundreds of students let us know after the announcement how grateful they were for the change,” Gobaud said.

Sanjana Tandon ’09 was one of the recent graduates who received the account termination notification.

“I kind of ignored it,” Tandon said in an e-mail. “I was hoping it wasn’t real.”

“I think it’s important to a lot of people to retain that link to Stanford — that e-mail becomes a huge part of your life for four years, and it’s kind of sad to have to part with it,” she added.

Peter Kariuki ’09 agreed.

“I thought it was a great resource,” he said.

“It’s useful when you’re trying to get in touch with contacts to be able to send e-mail from your Stanford address,” Kariuki added, alluding to the credibility that comes with having an affiliation with the University.

ITS still recognizes the new policy on its Web site, which says, “Beginning with the class of ’09, students automatically retain their SUNet ID for email forwarding.”

In the past, accounts were terminated following a 120-day grace period after leaving Stanford.

Students who sent help requests have been told that they will receive an update on April 15 clarifying the issue. For now, ITS and ASSU officers are still in the process of fixing what seems to be a mistaken e-mail.

“I’m assuming that there was a mistake,” said Michael Dimaano of ITS. “A lot of students sent the help request about it, but right now we haven’t heard back from the SUNet ID-for-life project team about what they’re going to do,” Dimaano said. “We are pretty positive that they’ll be able to resolve that issue. We just don’t know what steps they are going to take to do so.”

Other ITS affiliates declined to comment.

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