Danton J. Thompson
Mississippi University for Women has been described by many as one of the best-kept secrets in the South. This is true for a number of reasons. MUW has an impeccable student-to-teacher ratio, an amazing and caring staff and what seems to be an unlimited surplus of drive when it comes to offering its students free services. Every dorm on campus is equipped with free washers and dryers, free Internet and free cable. Each student upon arrival is fitted with a free “W-Box,” which is basically a P.O. box to receive mail, and an official MUW certified e-mail address. In most cases, you can’t argue with free, but many W students who have dealt with the W’s e-mail service, affectionately called “W-Mail,” will tell you that you certainly get what you pay for.
The MUW Webmail service provided every student on campus with a direct feed to every other student, teacher and organization on campus with just the click of a button. This concept seems great on paper, but after actually using this service for years, one could easily notice the flaws in the system.
What started as a nifty idea and ended as a spammy nightmare, the MUW Mailing List service has filled up many a W-Box since its conception. Any student, teacher or organization with a valid W-Mail address can send out a message of their choosing to every other student, teacher, or organization with a W-Mail address. This service, once again, sounds like a great idea when say, you’ve lost your keys in Cromwell and you’re stuck on duty in Hasting/Simmons. But when 30 students a day lose their keys or are trying to sell books to other students, this influx of messages become extremely annoying when you’re trying to sift through your inbox for mail from your teachers that you actually want to read.
MUW’s new service MyApps provides an amazing solution to the problem of the overcrowded inbox and many other problems that students might have not known that they had. Students familiar with the Google based G-Mail will notice the similarities right off the bat. MyApps is a service provided directly through G-Mail and behaves primarily as such. As every student is assigned a W-Mail address, every student has also been assigned a MyApps account. Unlike your W-Mail address which consists of your initials and a number corresponding to how many people have had your initials before you, your MyApps account e-mail address is made up of your first two initials and your last name. As Danton Jerome Thompson, my MyApps e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Though this is more of a mouthful that the old addresses, they are certainly worth the extra effort.
MyApps accounts provide students with the option to filter messages like any other mainstream e-mail client. This option has been available on Yahoo, Google and MSN for years now, but it can be most helpful when it comes to filtering your inbox to keep out pesky list-serve spammers. After creating filters, you can create folders to send certain types of e-mails directly into said folders and keep your inbox either full of only important messages, or leave your inbox as the list-serve spam wasteland it was in the past after creating a folder for your important messages.
If you’re anything like me, you use your W-Mail quite often for attaching important documents for class, work or anything else. The W-Mail service unfortunately has a miniscule limit when it comes to the size of files that can be attached and sent to a recipient. I have been using MyApps for about a month now and have yet to encounter the attachment limit after having over 10 megabytes of .pdfs attached to a single email. The W-Mail attachments kicked the bucket at around four megabytes. Speaking of space, every MyApps account comes fitted with more than 20 gigabytes of e-mail storage. That is more than enough space for an entire college career worth of e-mails without ever having to purge your inbox of list-serve spam. Along with the 25 gigabytes of general storage, the MyApps account also comes with five gigabytes dedicated to Google Docs storage. Through Google Docs, you can create and share documents, spreadsheets and presentations online.
Last but certainly not least, because this is a service that is based on Google’s G-Mail service, each MyApps account has the ability to send instant messages and free voice and video calls directly from the MyApps inbox. This function is certainly next gen compared to the alpha format of the old W-Mail accounts. I haven’t used this service myself yet, but I’m almost certain that it would act a lot like Skype for browsers, whereas you could call or contact anyone else with a valid Google account. With this Google based MyApps account, students can also sign up for Google Voice where you can send text messages to almost anyone else with a cell phone number for no charge at all. The only downside to this service is that because your MyApps account is provided through the school, the school has every right to be able to read any of these messages if they pleased, which is noted by the website when you sign up for the service.
All in all, there is no question when it comes to switching from W-Mail to MyApps. MyApps outclasses the old service by leaps and bounds in absolutely every area. The inclusion of this service to every student on campus is certainly a gift and is just another example of MUW wanting the very best for its students and going out of its way to provide it to them. Every student on campus is expected to switch over to MyApps by the end of the Fall 2012 semester.
For information on how to make the change, head over to: http://web2.muw.edu/index.php/en/myapps