HCS Expands Access to Accounts
Unofficial groups can now create mailing lists and gain webspace
“Now, anyone can create a mailing list,” HCS President Gregory N. Price ’06 said. “There’s a form on the [HCS website], and if you go to that form and fill it out, in five seconds you have a mailing list,” he said.
HCS—whose website is www.hcs.harvard.edu—will also provide an e-mail address and webspace to groups who request HCS accounts, regardless of their status with the University.
Price said students may wish to make mailing lists—which consist of an e-mail address that forwards all e-mail sent to it to any group of recipients designated by the list’s creator—for their blocking groups, sections, groups collaborating on class projects, or even as an alias for their own personal e-mail addresses. He said this might be useful for groups that are ineligible to be, or do not wish to be, officially recognized as student groups.
According to Price, the changes in HCS policy will “bring the services at Harvard more in line with many other universities.” He cited MIT as an example of a school at which “people can and do make mailing lists for absolutely anything.”
HCS Projects Coordinator Matthew A. Gline ’06 echoed this sentiment.
“It’s a very common thing at MIT for people to make mailing lists for group projects in classes and things like that,” he said. “We think [the policy changes] will make a difference [at Harvard].”
Price said the changes have been in the works since he and Gline took over HCS last spring.
“We had, when we came in, the idea that we should make it easier for people to...use mailing lists from HCS,”
he said, adding that the idea “gradually evolved” into the policy changes that were announced Sunday.
According to Price, the restrictions had originated largely out of financial concerns when “servers were a lot more expensive and hard-drive space was much more expensive.”
However, he said that “computers are very cheap now, and there’s no reason why many more people can’t use our services.”
According to Gline, part of the reason the changes were not made sooner was because HCS believed the University administration was behind the restrictions. But the group recently determined that this was not the case.
He said the technical changes necessitated by the policy shift “were essentially trivial.”
—Staff writer Matthew S. Lebowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.