“The old e-mail address is dead. Long live the new e-mail address!

If you’re a student and semi-conscious at any point during the day you’ve likely heard about the changes being made to e-mail services here at Western. Yes, it is true that they are fairly drastic and no, you won’t be able to forward your Western e-mail to another account anymore, but hey, change is good.

There are a lot of reasons to like the new e-mail addresses. First, the addresses themselves have been changes from smith@email.wcu.edu to the slightly easier to remember and (supposedly) more professional looking jmsmith1@catamount.wcu.edu. The first two letters, if you haven’t already figured it out, are the first letters of your first and middle names, while the number at the end is a system generated sequential number.

But don’t worry, the aesthetic changes aren’t the only reason for the switch. The entire e-mail service has been re-vamped and streamlined so that checking your e-mail will be a calm, cool and collected process now, like checking an actual e-mail service, versus the old system which was the equivalent of clicking randomly until a fist emerges from your computer screen and punches you in the neck multiple times.

While mostly a good thing, there are a number of down sides to the new system. No, we can no longer forward our Western e-mails to an account we check more regularly. Yes, you are being forced to make the change. The deadline to switch services early is fall break, at which point the system will swap you automatically. I would recommend you go through the set up yourself early on to avoid confusion.

To set up your new account, simply click the “Catamount Mail” tab in your MyCat homepage. If it is your first time using the new system, you will be prompted to set things up a bit, which takes no more than thirty seconds out of your busy day. After things are all set up, the new system will automatically log you on any time you sign in to MyCat. Convenient!

While it may be debatable that the new Catamount Mail system is more or less professional than the old e-mail, there are many changes for the better in the new system. Even the color scheme and font of the service can be customized by users, if they so choose. In addition, the new Catamount Mail is, as they put it, “Email for Life!” In other words, you will keep this e-mail until the day you die (hopefully long after you’ve graduated and moved on with your life), and even then you’ll probably still receive CatTran announcements.

The new mail system is easy, it has more features and, more importantly, a much, much easier to use design. Take thirty seconds out of your busy day and make the switch. You will be glad you did and relieved to find that campus e-mail services don’t have to be obscenely complicated.

Of course, if you do find yourself lost, confused or frightened by the change, you could always contact IT services for more help than you’ll know what to do with. They can be reached by calling (828)227-7487 or through e-mail at itshelp@email.wcu.edu. Or if you’re using a long distance cell-phone, you can call toll free at 1-866-928-7487.