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Campus announces switch to Gmail
On June 1, Elon University will convert all
student e-mail accounts to Gmail, Google's
e-mail client, expanding e-mail capacity and
After looking into Microsoft Live and
Gmail as options for hosted e-mail, Tony Rose,
assistant director of information systems and
technologies, said Gmail better met what the
university was looking for.
According to Rose, Gmail not only provides
more space, but also many students already
use Google’s services and are familiar with
Rose said the security and back-up offered
by Gmail is also superior to what the university
can currently provide.
“Back-ups (of e-mails) are a huge cost and
time-intensive,” Rose said. “It’s large amounts
of data that take up staff time.”
Rose said the current e-mail accounts
provided for students, faculty and staff are
housed on a server on campus. The university
is responsible for buying upgrades, support
and hardware for the server.
He said the university eventually realized
through outsourcing e-mail services, others
could provide the same services but better
“We looked at it and said, ‘We can use our
money and resources better and make students
happier,’” Rose said. “Why spend money to
provide what’s already being provided?”
While the support offered through the
Technology Help Desk will still be available.
Rose said other universities that have switched
to Gmail have seen their costs for support
“We expect the Help Desk demand for
e-mail services to go down,” he said. “Students
just get it.”
As a result of the change, students will have
seven gigabytes of storage for their e-mail,
compared to the 100 megabytes currently
“Currently, there are no talks about moving
staff and faculty to Gmail,” Rose said.
One reason for this is the use of Cisco
Messaging, which sends faculty voicemails to
their e-mail inboxes. Rose said this function
does not work with Gmail.
While Gmail is free, finances did not drive
the university’s decision. Rose said.
“Going to Gmail is more about the services
that we couldn’t do before more than financial
problems,” he said. “It costs us money to get
the same thing they can give for free.”
Among the services are Google applications
such as Google Docs and Calendar, which
Rose said will increase collaboration between
faculty and students.
Students will keep their current e-mail
addresses and passwords and will still have to
go through the Elon homepage to access their
accounts, he said.
Alumni will also be able to keep their
accounts for their lifetimes, which Rose said
has never been possible before, but has been
a goal for years.
While current students will not see
advertisements. Rose said there will be
advertisements once students graduate.
Though no savings will take place
immediately June 1, Rose said the university
will see cost reduction in the long term. It will
no longer be necessary to update the hardware
needed for the on-campus server, he said.
Rose said students have been involved in
the process of transitioning and the decision
does not come as a shock to anyone.
Kelly Reimer, coordinator of the Elite
program, said that members of the technology
department have student workers who talked
to people about how they felt about Elon’s
e-mail system. She also noted the number
of students already corresponding with her
through Gmail accounts.
“We wanted to meet students where they
are,” said Katie DeGraff, assistant director for
Before officially announcing the decision
through a campus-wide e-mail on May 6, Rose
said it was presented at a Student Government
Association meeting earlier that day to ensure
that the organization was onboard. The
announcement was met with overwhelming
support, ensuring that the rest of the campus
would be notified. Had SGA not been on
board. Rose said a committee would have met
to discuss the future of the plan.
QRAPHIC BY CAMILLE DEMERE
Local school system hopes for better test scores to offset past struggles
During the week of May 17, principals,
teachers and administration in the
Alamance-Burlington School System
will be holding their breath.
On May 17 students in grades three
through eight will take their End-of-
Grade tests, and the county is hoping
test scores will improve.
In the past, ABSS has struggled with
poor test scores and an ovefair stigma
of subpar academic quality. While some
still see it this way, others say the school
system is beginning to see a light at the
end of the tunnel.
But, this light has always been harder
to see for the schools in Alamance
Out of the 33 elementary, middle and
li'gh schools in the county, as well as
one middle college and one alternative
education center, 13 of the schools
3re considered Title One schools. Title
One refers to schools that have a high
percentage of students who qualify for
free or reduced lunch. In turn, they
feceive supplemental funding from the
United States’ Department of Education.
The schools must make adequate
yearly progress (AYP) in order to keep
receiving funds, a requirement that was
passed under the No Child Left Behind
signed in 2001 by former President
George W. Bush.
In AYP, for every subgroup that a
school has, a set percentage of each
must pass the reading test and the
math EOG tests (proficiency targets),
according to Dain Butler, director of
accountability services for ABSS.
A subgroup must include at least
40 students and is organized by
demographics that include white, black,
Hispanic, economically disadvantaged
and limited English proficiency student,
Each group IS counted twice, once
for the math test and once for the
reading. They are counted once again
for attendance in which 95 percent of
each subgroup must be present at the
test. Essentially, then, each subgroup
is counted four times. If there are five
subgroups in a school, then there are
20 targets. One extra target is always
added. In this case, the school would
need to make 21 out of 21 targets in
order to make AYP.
When a school does not meet its
AYP targets for two years in a row,
it is considered a school in school
improvement.” This means that
parents have the option to send their
child to another school outside their
district. A school gets “out of school
improvement” if it meets its AYP
targets two years in a row, according
In addition to serving mostly low-
income schools, Alamance County
BRYCE LFTTLE | Staff Photograpfier
Students Zy’taja and Leya work on a project in their classroom at Andrews Elementary School.
receives less federal funding than
counties surrounding Alamance.
ABSS Superintendent Randy Bridges
said he does not know the reason for
this. Every year ABSS submits a local
budget to county commissioners.
“We try to communicate our needs,
and at the same time, we do the best
with what we’ve got,” he said.
Since Bridges took his position as
superintendent four years ago, he said
he has seen vast improvement in testing
See ABSS I PAGE 3
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