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Because of privacy issues and lack of reliability, we urge students who may be using their student email for things that do not concern school, or might involve any sort of academic dishonesty or anything inappropriate, to consider creating another email account away from the school’s watchful eye.

Flip to page 49 of your student handbook and you will find a page that is probably unfamiliar. The page is a waiver form to verify that students and parents are aware that the email account issued to students comes with strings attached. The school owns your email. They can access your account at any time under any circumstances. Also, they will delete your account once you graduate.

The student handbook states: “Users of technology (aka students and faculty) understand that email and network files are not private. Network administrators and other designated school officials have access to all email messages and they may review files and communications to maintain system integrity and responsible uses.”

It also goes as far to say that using the school email is a “privilege” and not a “right.” Every student and parent is theoretically supposed to have read these terms and returned the completed waiver form to the Assistant Principal of Operations Mr. William Walsh. Walsh says that every freshman completes this waiver at the beginning of the year. “When you receive the student handbook you are in essence agreeing to everything in the student handbook.” Just like the terms and conditions on iTunes, whether we read them or not, we give our consent when we click I agree.

Walsh takes an interesting perspective on our school email. “This school is a business, and your full time job on campus is a student. It’s your job and your email is associated with your job, and it should be related to your place of work.”

In the real world, employers monitor emails to check that employees are using them appropriately. According to the American Management Association, 77.7 percent of major U.S. companies keep tabs on employees by checking their e-mail, Internet, phone calls, computer files, or by videotaping them at work, and 27 percent of companies say that they’ve fired employees for misuse of office e-mail or internet connections, and 65 percent report some disciplinary measure for those offenses.

Besides the school’s ability to sift through our emails, another negative aspect is the expiration date that comes with it. Our student email is deactivated once we graduate. So if we cannot use the email for long term you shouldn’t give to anyone important like an employer. Also, if a senior forgets to transfer important emails to another account, they can lose important information. “Because your job is done, you no longer have the right to your school email anymore,” Walsh said.

Moreover, everyone can attest to how it annoying it is when our mailboxes fill up, and with the new announcements emailed to our accounts every day, many students’ mailboxes are always full. As a result, the school email is unreliable because if the mailbox is full, then emails are bounced back to the sender and never received by the student recipient. Using AOL or Yahoo provides the opportunity to have thousands of emails in an account without worrying about it being filled up. Having to sift through and delete important emails to make room for new ones is always a painful and time consuming process.

Your school email is not going away anytime soon; just be careful when using it.

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