Frequently Asked Questions

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Why are we changing email services?

You may have noticed, but we've been having trouble keeping up with the amount of growth that campus has seen in email usage. Students are using it more often, and for sending large attachments. We've had to remove old email several times in the last year to keep our server from filling up entirely.

Beyond that, our service really isn't anything special any longer. When we first started offering email in 1995, it was this really cool thing that you'd have to pay to get elsewhere. Nowadays you can go to Yahoo, Microsoft or Google for a free account with a massive mailbox with all sorts of bells and whistles, while our service has remained for the most part unchanged.

In short, we simply can't keep up. Now with Google Apps our students will get email addresses that are associated with the University (every address ends with, a 6.5 GB (and growing!) Mail account, and all sorts of other goodies. Plus, you can keep this account forever.

It's a better service for our students, and it frees up time and budget for us to improve other things on campus.

Will my email address change?

Yes, unfortunately. Email addresses will now be of the form, where username is your campus network account name. We'd have liked to keep emails addresses the same, but for various technical reasons it just isn't feasible.

We will be forwarding mail for existing students to their new accounts until December 31, 2008. So if your email address is right now, it will be changing to, but will continue to work for the rest of the year. During that time you'll need to let your friends know that your email address is changing.

Will I get to keep all of my current email?

Yes, all of your current email will be copied into your new Cougars account.

Will I get to keep my address book?

Yes, but this won't be automatic. You have to sign into your Cougars account at least once before we're allowed to copy your Contacts into it.

Once you've logged into your Cougars account, send an email to and ask us to migrate them for you.

How long do I get to keep this email address?

These new Google accounts are yours for life, as long as you graduate. Current Alumni email users will be migrated as well.

What happens if I have my current email forwarded?

To cut down on potential confusion, all student email forwards will be disabled when their accounts migrate. After your account is migrated, you'll be able to set up a forward within Gmail. To do that, check out the instructions here.

What services are being offered?

Officially, we're offering Mail only.

That said, we also have CalendarsDocuments (a word processing and spreadsheet package) and Chat turned on. These three applications are currently unsupported (Documents in particular) because they don't meet our accessibility requirements.

What options do I have for accessing email?

The primary (and probably best) option is webmail:

The webmail interface is packed with all sorts of features. In your online email account, you can chat with your contacts, create filters to organize your inbox before new mail arrives, schedule calendar events, map addresses in your messages, and track postal packages.

You'll also be able to access your email via POP or IMAP, or with a special application for a Blackberry or J2ME enabled phone. For more information, visit Google's help pages.

Do I use the same password I'd use on campus?

Yes, you use the same password for your Google account as you do on campus. When you change your password on campus using the Password Change Page, your new password will be synced to your Google account within 15 minutes. For the technically minded, we send them a hashed form of your password, not the password itself.

You will still be able to change your password within your Google account using the Settings link in your email account (instructions here). If you do that, your password will not be sent back to the University, and it will be over-written the next time you change your password on campus. We're leaving that functionality in place so that Alumni members may still manage their email passwords after they've graduated.

Where can I learn more about using these services?

Google has an excellent support site available.

Can Faculty or Staff members use this service?

Not at present, no. Our contract with Google is limited to students only.