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The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

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Booth Renews Alumni Email Service After Petition

“The decision to discontinue the service undermines the trust and reliance we placed in our beloved university,” a petition against the removal of Booth’s alumni emails stated.
Booths+Harper+Center.
UChicago News
Booth’s Harper Center.

Following a petition signed by over 3,200 current and past students, the Booth school has announced a reversal to its previous plan to shut down all alumni email accounts by April 5. Instead, alumni emails have begun transitioning to a new subdomain, alumni.chicagobooth.edu, as of February 1.

The alumni email system has been under scrutiny due to its low active use, with only six percent of alumni still using their Booth email after graduation, according to the petition. However, the decision to shut down the email accounts was not finalized until Google implemented a new security policy, which mandates that senders exceeding 5,000 daily messages to Gmail accounts must authenticate their outgoing emails. In response, the Booth School announced on January 19 that all Booth alumni emails would be shut down due to the increased “inefficiency” from Google’s new policy.

After the announcement, a group of current and past Booth students, spearheaded by Chenlin Zhao (M.B.A ’17), launched a petition to keep the system in place on the same day.

“From the outset of our time at Booth, we were introduced to our alumni email addresses as our ‘email for life,’” the petition said. “Like many of our peers, we placed immense trust in this commitment and migrated all our personal and professional communications to our Booth email, believing it to be a permanent and reliable point of contact… The decision to discontinue the service undermines the trust and reliance we placed in our beloved university.”

According to an email sent out to impacted alumni on January 24, Booth administrators changed their decision as a direct result of the concerns brought forth by alumni.

“The Booth alumni population comprises a group of incredibly creative problem solvers,” the email said. “We are grateful that many of you have productively and thoughtfully shared ideas for how we can continue to offer the email benefit while still addressing the security threats that our current structure creates.”

In response to the administration’s decision, Zhao released a statement on LinkedIn, thanking the “collective efforts” of the Booth community for making this solution possible.

“While this solution isn’t flawless, it represents a substantial victory,” Zhao said.

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Anika Krishnaswamy
Anika Krishnaswamy, Grey City Reporter
Anika Krishnaswamy is a first-year in the College planning to major in economics and computer science. She has been interested in journalism since high school and enjoys writing in-depth feature stories. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to Laufey (and other music), and scrolling on Reddit.
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