The University of St. Thomas plans to replace its widely-used Oracle Webmail system with Office 365 during the week of spring break beginning March 14.
According to an email sent to all students by UST Vice President of Finance and Business Affairs Spencer Conroy, every student will gain free access to the new system, which allows for increased email storage and usage of Office 365 programs such as SharePoint and Teams.
This is “Microsoft’s solution for innovative work anywhere, anytime,” Conroy wrote in the email.
The process is expected to last throughout the week of March 14-18, and Conroy wrote that most University tools, such as BlackBoard and MyStThom, may not be available for usage during this time.
The integration to the new Office 365 system began as a proposed legislation by the University’s student Senate.
Students such as junior finance major Susana Villazon said they were not satisfied with the Oracle Webmail system.
“I think the old mail system was outdated. It was a pain in the butt to go to the school website and then have to login,” Villazon said.
“I did not like it. I feel like other schools use Outlook as opposed to our webmail system.”
Graduate accounting major Aundrea Gibson said the webmail system made it hard for her to communicate effectively with her professors.
“At one point, I couldn’t correspond with my professors because I wasn’t receiving emails. Recently, the email system has not allowed me to send emails to my professors,” Gibson said.
Others such as sophomore finance major Joshua Nieto are optimistic about the changes to come.
“I like our current webmail system, but Microsoft tools are very useful,” Nieto said.
“Most issues that students have is the trouble they have with sending and receiving emails, but once they have the switch to Microsoft Outlook, I think they will be satisfied.”