On Friday the 26th, of November, Semper Floreat were advised:
“A decision has been made not to proceed with the retiring of all alumni email services in December 2021 as part of this program, based on feedback.
We are re-assessing options to deliver improvements for current students as quickly and seamlessly as possible and will consult with students and alumni as these plans are revised.”UQ Communications
In 2009, UQ promised students prospective and current that their university email account would remain active “for-life”. Members of the UQ StalkerSpace facebook group where aghast to find out, yesterday, that the uni had planned to go back on this promise.
In an update to the correspondence apparently available only via UQ’s website, the uni had delayed this move “based on feedback”, and were to update their plan and its timeline “shortly”. Semper queried UQ’s marketing and communications department, as to what this meant, but they weren’t across the issue. We were awaiting a follow-up (see the above quote from the UQ Communications’ office).
Anecdotally, Semper Floreat understands that a number of past students have signed up to essential services, such as those under the MyGov umbrella, and use their accounts to corroborate their identity. Some students also use their UQ email for work and family matters.
A member of UQ StalkerSpace shared a petition in response, which garnered thousands of signatures.
On the 25th, councillor Sam Adams moved a motion at council condemning the university for failing to consult with the student union before announcing the changes. The motion passed.
Editors’ note: adjustments were made – on the 30th – to put parts of this into past-tense, and to change the headline from “unclear whether UQ to go back on ’email-for-life’ promise” to what it is now. Additionally, it is perhaps worth noting that this was originally published on our temporary spark site.