Lifetime Access to Harvard E-mail Accounts

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Students at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and several other Harvard graduate schools, have had lifetime access to their Harvard e-mail accounts since 2011. In 2017, a new policy through the Harvard University IT called for the inactivation of students' Harvard e-mail accounts 230 days after graduation. Students may request an alumni forwarding e-mail address; however, it cannot be used to send e-mails.

As students, we receive many benefits from studying at Harvard: a top-tier education from world-renowned faculty, an abundance of opportunities and resources, and a network of current and future world leaders. These opportunities and resources have been available to us, in part, due to the power of a Harvard e-mail. The Harvard e-mail has allowed us to connect with faculty, peers, alumni, role models, future employers, and world leaders -- people who we never imagined would respond. It has opened doors and led to extraordinary opportunities. Our education, experiences, and accomplishments hold tremendous value; however, none of these things have the immediate recognition and impact of a Harvard e-mail. It is, in our increasingly digital world, the first encounter most people will have with us.

Our Harvard e-mail is an invaluable tool that many of us will continue to use throughout our careers to connect with people, organizations, and employers across the world. Graduates have, historically, been able to keep their Harvard e-mail indefinitely.

We, Harvard graduate students from across the University, ask the Deans and Harvard IT to respond appropriately and swiftly regarding this matter to reverse this policy or to pursue alternative options which restore lifetime access to our Harvard e-mail accounts.

Reasonable alternative options include, but are not limited to:

- Opt-in requirement: students who wish to continue having access to their e-mail accounts must opt-in.

- Expiration from inactivity: students must actively use their e-mail accounts or the accounts will expire after 365 days of inactivity.

- Switching back to Gmail

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