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Release: Immediate

E-mail express stations debut at Iowa Memorial Union

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Checking e-mail should be a little easier for University of Iowa students on the go this year. Six new e-mail express stations have been installed at the Iowa Memorial Union. There are two each on the ground floor, first floor and the third floor.

The walk-up computer stations offer students an opportunity to check their e-mail or to log-on to ISIS, the UI's on-line registration system. The express stations cannot be used for any other purpose, but that's by design. The less time students spend using the machines, the more students can use them. And if more students use the express stations for those simple tasks, the less competition there will be for using computers in Instructional Technology Centers (ITCs), where students go to tackle longer assignments, such as writing papers.

The idea for the e-mail express stations came from former UI Student Government leaders Allison Miller and Meghan Henry. "It all got started when we went to the Association of Big Ten Schools conference and saw what other schools had to offer, particularly in their student unions," Miller recalls.

"I thought the e-mail express station idea was a good one, so I took the idea to the Student Computer Fee Advisory Committee and convinced them that this was a worthwhile project," Henry adds.

Although Miller and Henry spear-headed the effort to get the e-mail express stations during their tenure as UISG executive officers, a number of other UI organizations helped make them a reality, said David Grady, director of University Life Centers, which operates the IMU. The Office of Information Technology Services is funding the operating costs for four of the machines, the UI Parents Association has provided funding for the other two, and the IMU built the wooden stations for the computers.

The computers used for the e-mail express stations have been recycled from ITCs, where they were replaced by newer computers last year.

The UI Student Government will monitor use of the express stations and determine if an expansion of the project is warranted.