New e-mail system introduced

The practice of checking e-mail has grown as popular as walking to the mailbox.

The Florida A&M University Office of Institutional Planning and Analysis recently unveiled a new user-friendly e-mail system that will benefit the entire school.

There is an abundance of different e-mail providers that most students have either used or sent e-mail to at some point in time.

The list grows endless, from America Online, to Yahoo, and everything in between. Now FAMU wants everyone to give their e-mail system a try.

“Although AOL and Yahoo may be more convenient for some, the information that you are sending may not be safe,” said Keith Berry, e-mail technician of the Planning and Analysis Department.

“We built this system from the ground up, and we made sure everything was secure.”

Berry explained that when an e-mail is sent through other providers, most messages are sent in clear text, but when ever an e-mail is sent from FamMail, the information is encrypted.

When using FamMail, if someone tried to intercept a message the document would be coded, making it harder to decipher. Some students fail to give the new system a try because of problems in the past or the comfort of an previously used provider.

“The old system wasn’t practical or easily accessible,” said Jinaki Stallworth, a fourth-year biology student from Nashville, Tenn.

“What if I really needed to check my e-mail, then what would I do?”

A few professors also share the same sentiments regarding the system.

Michael Abrams, a professor of journalism, doesn’t require any of the students in his classes to use the service.

“I don’t require any of my students to use the service because it has proven to be unreliable in the past,” Abrams said. “I’ve been using computers for over 20 years, and I can’t figure out FAMU’s e-mail system myself.”

According to Berry, the new system promises to be accessible from any Internet connection.

Those with dial-up connections should use the basic setting on the e-mail login page and others with higher speed Internet connections should use the premium option.

The FamMail Web site also reminds users that passwords are case sensitive and tyoing an incorrect password can prevent students from connecting.

“I had so many problems with the system, and I thought, “Here we go again; nothing has changed,” and then I found out I was entering the wrong password in the whole time,” said Tere Crawford, a fourth-year pharmacy student. “Now I check it as often as I check my other accounts.”

For those who have not already registered for a FAMU e-mail account, the steps are simple. From the homepage, click the link to “Check your FAM Mail.”

At the bottom of the next page will be another link for new users which reads, “Are you new to the University…?”

After agreeing to the terms of service-entering a name, date of birth, and the last five digits of a social security number-students will be assigned a username and a password.

“The only disadvantage of the system is if you receive a high frequency of e-mail, it can eat up your quota space,” Berry said.

Currently, the storage space for student e-mail accounts is 20 megabytes, which is plenty of storage. The average size of an e-mail without an attachment is two to four kilobytes. This means you can send or receive about 7000 e-mails before reaching your maximum capacity.

The FamMail system also offers a global address system. This system gives you the opportunity to search for addresses, phone numbers, offices, and e-mail addresses of faculty and even information of students.

To get help setting up or your FamMail account, call the Office of Institutional Planning and Analysis at 599-3560. Students can also e-mail Keith Berry at for assistance in setting up an account or password.

Contact Andre Shannon at