On Monday, March 21, 2022, Evergreen ended the ability for students to forward their @evergreen.edu email to external email providers such as Gmail, Hotmail, etc.
Why did we make this change?
Historically email forwarding was needed to overcome resource constraints related to the small (50MB) mailbox quota. Student inboxes would frequently fill up, preventing students from receiving new messages. When the college migrated student mailboxes to the office.com cloud-based platform, the project steering committee decided to disable email forwarding because there was no longer a cap on storage capacity. Forwarding was terminated for staff and faculty at that time. As security and identity theft threats have increased, the time has come to end the service for students as well. We've addressed the various challenges presented by email forwarding in detail below:
- External email providers (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.) frequently block mail from @evergreen.edu as spam/junk resulting in missed communications.
- We cannot verify 3rd party email addresses meaning typos can forward emails into the void.
- A copy does not remain in your @evergreen.edu mailbox once it’s forwarded. We need students to have a reliable form of contact for important internal communications.
- Third-party email addresses make it difficult for offices to readily identify if they are communicating with an authenticated student.
- Students can potentially forward emails to a parent or partner where information shared may not be in adherence of FERPA.
- Malware/spam and phishing emails that are delivered to evergreen.edu mailboxes are routinely deleted once identified before users open. Once a message is forwarded to a third-party provider, we can no longer remove potentially dangerous messages.
- According to Evergreen’s public records officer, the account to which messages are forwarded may become discoverable under a public records request. It would require a court order because student email is protected by FERPA, but this puts students at risk of having the contents of what they may believe to be their private email account become public.
- Evergreen has partnered with Microsoft for efficiency, security, and manageable enterprise productivity software. Our students therefore must become familiar with and proficient in using M365 applications, including Outlook.
- Allowing users to cross platforms to Google or others causes confusion between students and faculty.
- Microsoft remains the dominant platform in business and higher education. Building our students' proficiency in the latest Microsoft tools is a benefit to them upon graduation.