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CIT to Alums: Die, Drop Dead, Go Home!

A bombshell just landed in my inbox from Cornell's CIT department. With only one week's notice, Cornell is disallowing all email aliasing for all students, staff, and alums:

You are receiving this e-mail because Cornell Information Technologies (CIT) records indicate that you have been successfully receiving e-mail via an "@cornell.edu" address that starts with something other than your NetID or a special mailbox.

For example, the fictional Ezra Erwin might be using "ezra.erwin @cornell.edu" instead of, or in addition to, "ewe1 @cornell.edu".

Starting December 5, 2007, Cornell's e-mail system will only be able to deliver messages intended for you if they are addressed to your "NetID @cornell.edu" (for example, "ewe1 @cornell.edu").

Messages addressed any other way will be returned to the sender with an "unknown user" error. Please advise the people who e-mail you about this change.

For the last seven years, one of my main email addresses has been nagowski(at)cornell(dot)edu. It's a very convenient email address -- it's easy to remember and it instantly brands me to Cornell. Because I was the first Nagowski every to attend or work at Cornell, I was privileged to have such an email address available to me. And it stuck. A lot of my friends use it to contact me. And now my parents and grandparents use it. I use it for countless different personal business purposes; to sign in to many websites and to receive important information from various sources. What's more, I use it for all of my Cornell related activities as well -- things like CAAAN alumni interviewing and organizing events for the Cornell alumni clubs that I am involved with.

But now: no more. And I have only been given a week's notice of the change.

To have an email address that has been working for the last seven years to suddenly stop working with only one week's notice is inconsiderate and unprofessional, and quite frankly, I expected more out of CIT's usually exemplary service and of my alma mater.

At the very least, they need to reconsider this sudden and drastic policy change to something more reasonable, like giving individuals a three month window (at the very least) to alert all of their contacts to the impending changes.

Update:There are unconfirmed reports that CIT has decided to reverse this decision. My email to CIT has not been responded to.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on November 28, 2007 (#)

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