OCS, a headache for all involved

By Jimmy Longun

I am quite sure that many, if not all, Macalester students are aware of the recent problems with our e-mail server, OCS. I do not know why, but OCS’s problems often surface during times when students need it most, in the evening and morning hours. Given OCS’ recent lack of reliability. is there no other option we can turn to?When the college first introduced OCS as the new kid on the block in 2005, there was a lot of jubilation from students, faculty members, and staff alike, because it was regarded as the ideal replacement for Mulberry, the former Macalester e-mail server. I for one was quite convinced that OCS was indeed going to be the promised paradise. But a couple of years down the road, OCS has not done enough to live up to the hype bestowed upon it during its inauguration. The recent troubles with OCS serve to warn us that while Mulberry might be gone, its demons have returned with a vengeance to haunt OCS.

To give credit where it’s due, OCS does have a colossal storage space, and it might be faster too, compared to Mulberry. But is the enormous storage space that OCS guarantees worth ignoring the most important issue at hand, the fact that this e-mail server is no longer reliable? I have been waiting for someone to bring this issue forward, but to no avail. I therefore decided to step up to the plate to protest this situation. On several occasions I have been outraged by OCS going missing for several hours. If faculty members and students have to wait for several hours before they can send or receive important e-mails pertaining to academia, don’t you think we are fostering breeding grounds for inefficiency? Or even worse, are we not falling victims to this seemingly high-tech world?

Given the current precarious situation of the OCS e-mail system, I guarantee you many students will soon switch allegiance to e-mail servers like Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail and so forth. The odds are definitely against OCS because no student will chance having their files there knowing that the system might go down without warning. Putting all I have said aside, my main concern really is whether or not we have other options. We surely can’t run out of options because, like Mulberry, OCS too can be discarded in favor of another, better server. The way things look, it’s probable that, like its predecessor Mulberry, OCS too, might be close to being shown the exit.

Contact Jimmy Longun ’08 at [email protected]