The switch to Outlook has led to a number of complaints from students. Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum.
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The switch from Gmail to Outlook continues to be a bumpy road

In July 2020, the University of Ottawa announced it would be switching email servers for students. Since then, student email accounts have been migrated from Google’s Gmail service to Microsoft’s Outlook system. 

The switch to Outlook has led to a number of complaints from students with the most recent being a noticed increase in spam emails since their accounts have been moved.

As part of the switch, the University promoted Outlook as being more secure. However, many students said that they never received spam before the move and are now finding dozens of unwanted emails in their inboxes each week. 

To combat any issues due to the migration, the U of O’s Information and Technology (IT) department has a number of resources for Outlook. However, the IT department’s FAQ page offers multiple links that lead to inaccessible web pages. 

Screenshot: Bridget Coady/Fulcrum.

The decision to switch students’ emails to Outlook was partly credited to the fact that the university’s staff and faculty were already using the service. 

Having the university only use the one system was more cost effective but students have not seen any changes in their yearly fees.

In a semester relying on the schools internet infrastructure more than ever, IT resources are illusive and a new mailing system has a long list of complaints. Many of these spam emails, if not treated properly, present risk for hacks. 

The U of O’s administration looked for an opportunity to save money while outsourcing as many costs as possible and made no visible efforts to translate these savings to students. 

I’m sure U of O students are sick of reading headlines about the university’s unempathetic choices surrounding the fall 2020 semester.

The administration chose to undertake a transition of this magnitude amidst so many ongoing issues they are leaving unaddressed.