Old emails to be deactivated, students protesting


Austin O'Brien

The change.org petition “Stop Southeastern Email Account Deactivation,” encourages current and former students and employees of the university to sign. As of Oct. 18, the petition has 716 signatures. The university has set the final account deactivation date as Friday, Oct. 22.

On May 12, Southeastern released a statement announcing that any school emails that belonged to individuals who are no longer enrolled or employed with the university would be removed from the school’s system and deactivated. 

This has been concerning news to many individuals in the Southeastern community, and the decision received backlash as students tried to reverse it.

Five months ago, a change.org petition was organized by alumnus Brody Hay to stop the deactivation of the emails. More than 700 people have signed the petition so far.

The initial email stated that the reason for the deactivation of emails is due to “heightened sensitivity to cyberattacks and ongoing efforts to reduce risk of unauthorized access to university systems and data.” Included with the statement was a link where anyone affected by this new policy could learn how to properly prepare for the transition.

“The decision was a result of a risk assessment performed in June of 2020. Planning and discussions have taken place since that date,” said Dr. Mike Asoodeh, the Chief Information Officer for the Office of Technology.

While the Office of Technology is aware of the petition and the outcry of people who wish to keep their emails, the office’s stance is firm with maintaining the school’s safety as their top priority. The final account deactivation date is set for Friday, Oct. 22. 

“While we realize this may be an inconvenience to some, the university must operate from this position to ensure the safety and integrity of university systems and our users both past and present,” Asoodeh stated.

Even though it doesn’t seem that emails can be saved, those who seek assistance in preparing for account deactivation can view the documents provided in the university’s correspondence. 

“Southeastern has sent several ‘Take Note’ communication emails regarding the account deactivation which included helpful information,” Asoodeh said.

The new email policy, which went into effect on May 11, 2021, states that future email deactivations will be handled differently for separate cases. 

According to the policy, if an alumni graduates, their email will be preserved for three months before it gets deactivated. However, if the student returns, their email can be reinstated as long as they are in good standing with the university and will stay open until the completion of their degree.

Staff and employees who are terminated from Southeastern will have their emails deactivated immediately. However, if a faculty member retires, they are granted 90 days to have their emails forwarded to an external account.

An inactive student, i.e. one who does not enroll in a class at Southeastern for two consecutive semesters, will have their emails disabled. After that, they have to follow university procedures to have their emails returned to them.

The new policies allow higher protection for Southeastern but at the cost of old email addresses. However, not all is lost. If you need assistance with transferring old emails to a new account, click here for more information. If you would like to sign the petition to try and keep the old emails from deactivation, click here.